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Jan 14, 2006 06:38 AM

tortilla soup?

  • d

I'm looking for a good recipe for tortilla soup. I made it a few months ago and loved it, but lost my recipe. A quick search on the web found too many that started with condensed soup!

The one I made had shredded chicken, tomatoes, cilantro, and a bit of heat, but not too much. No cheese. We topped it with fried tortilla strips (the best part as far as the kids were concerned).

Any favorites out there?

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  1. I made this at a girlfriends house for 8 people - got the recipe from her and then played with it (the cheese is optional):

    2 packages of chicken breast, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, and chili powder. Saute in olive oil in large, heavy pot.

    Remove chicken breasts and shred when cool. Add as much garlic and shallot or onion as you want to pot and saute until soft.

    Add about a cup of white wine to deglaze the pan.

    You're almost done, believe it or not.

    Add in 6-8 cups of chicken broth, a can of refried beans (I use black beans), a jar of your favorite salsa (I like something with a little fruit and a little heat in it),a package of frozen corn (you could use fresh) the shredded chicken and any accumulated juices, I add a package of cheese but that really is optional. Salt to taste. Heat and serve with your favorite tortilla strips (I like to fry my own flour tortillas). It's so simple and amazingly tasty. I've been known to add a little cocoa powder too for that wonderful earthy, rich flavor that hints of mole sauce.

    Good luck!

    1. This is one of our favorites. It freezes well too so I always have a batch on hand. I've been making it for years, everyone always requests the recipe, and it's very easy - it's from a restaurant in Houston.


      4 Replies
      1. re: Rubee

        Sounds everybit as good as Dean Fearing's.

        1. re: Monty

          In the Fearing cookbook he cooks corn tortillas until they are soft to add body to the soup, and the Recipe Source recipe uses some corn starch. The excellent tortilla soup I had at Manuel's in Austin, TX last spring, I was told by our waiter used a little roux to give it a bit of body. I tried it at home with the roux and it worked out very well. Bayless doesn't use anything like that and I find that interesting. I have 5 D. Kennedy books and only 2 of them have tortilla soup, The Tortilla Book and The Cuisines of Mexico both are pretty similar but in Cuisines she puts the fried tortilla strips in the soup to cook for about 3 minutes before serving. I'd mis the crunch.

          1. re: Candy

            Exactly. The fried strips should be the last thing added, you want the crunch. I've fixed Fearing's from his cookbook several times and it's just wonderful. Lived in Dallas for over 22 years and ate at the Mansion a number of times. The toritlla soup was just a must.

            1. re: Candy

              I like to add quite a few unheated corn tortillas cut into squares into the broth. They fall apart and add body as well as an unmistakable corn tortilla flavor that you won't get by adding fried strips which is really a garnish.

        2. Great Tortilla soup is one of the things I missed when I moved away from Texas. I spent several months digging through recipes and making variations. As a point of reference, I think it is mandatory to use tortillas in making the stock/base - it thickens the soup and gives it a distinct flavor. And if you don't use tortillas in the base...well, then its just chicken soup with with a garnish of chips.

          The rest of the recipe is based on me trying to get the flavor of a lost-family recipe although I suspect mine is spicier. Anyway, here's what I came up with:

          3 T olive oil
          4 corn tortillas, torn into pieces
          5 garlic cloves, minced
          1 large onion, pureed
          1 can of tomatoes, pureed (I used Muir Glen roasted with chiles)
          1/4 cup tomato paste
          1/4 cup fresh lime juice
          1 T chili powder
          1 t ground cumin
          1 T canned chipotle in adobo (minced)
          1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
          8 C chicken stock
          salt/pepper to taste

          2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cooked & chopped
          1 haas avocado, chopped
          1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
          3 tortillas, cut into strips & fried crisp

          In a large pot, saute the tortilla pieces & garlic in the olive oil until tortillas soften. Add pureed onion & tomato. Bring up heat (to boiling). Add tomato puree, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, chipotle & chicken stock. Bring to a boil again, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

          During this 30 minutes, if the chicken breasts are not already cooked, you can poach them in the soup, then pull them out and shred/chop. The reason I call the chicken a "topping" and add it at the last minute is for portion control reasons - its annoying when one bowl is chock-full of chicken and the next bowl isn't - which no doubt comes from my Mom having to deal with 7 kids fighting over who got what!

          Taste & adjust seasonings, adding salt & pepper as needed. Serve hot with plenty of toppings.

          10 Replies
          1. re: Pssst

            This is very much like Dear Fearing's Mansion on Turtle Creed recipe which is outstanding. I'm also a Texan and have found there is NO good tortilla soup in CA. So, having his cookbook, I make his. It's almost identical and, yes, EXCELLENT just like this one would be.

            1. re: Monty

              Thank you very much! (And thanks to all the others). I'm planning on making it tonight and have been pulling bits and pieces from different recipes that appeal to me-- I think this one hits it right on the nose from the start--

              Thanks again--

            2. re: Pssst

              The recipe doesn't mention when the cilantro goes in. By order, I assume with the stock etc-- usually I've seen cilantro go at the end of recipes, but it seems with tortilla soup this isn't necessarily the case--

              1. re: Donna Gresh

                Yep, just sprinkle it on at the end along with the crisp tortilla strips and the sliced avacado.

                1. re: Monty

                  Yes. I used to stir it in just before serving so it stays fresh & flavorfull but lately since some of my friends have strongly dislike cilantro, I've started putting it on the side with the toppings.

                  1. re: Pssst

                    oh well-- I made it this morning, and since the only place cilantro was mentioned was before the stock, that's when I added it (the recipe from Madison also added it early).

                    Guess I can add some fresh as a topping. It does taste very good-- thanks!

              2. re: Pssst

                I made this soup last night (the night before I made my first chicken stock from scratch -- no Better Than Bullion added!), and it is delicious. Thanks for such a great recipe!

                1. re: eLizard

                  What size can of tomatoes did you use?

                2. re: Pssst

                  I made this two weeks ago - I messed up and added too many tomatoes - but it was really good anyway. I had a lot of chicken, and threw it all into the pot, but there was plenty in each bowl. I froze the leftovers, and thawed this weekend, and I think it may have been even better. This recipe is a keeper!

                3. it's probably sacrilege, but I like a really tomato-y tortilla soup, rather than a brothy one, so for anyone who may read this looking for that version, I'll post a link to the Wolfgang Puck soup that I make as soon as the first corn comes out in the spring...

                  1. I use Deans recipe except I use caned tomato's to save time. It is hands down the best I have ever had . I also rarely use the chicken in it we just like it best with out meat.