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Tortilla Soup Question

chef chicklet May 31, 2008 07:37 AM

I'm making a batch of tortilla soup from a recipe that I found in a magazine. After researching a few other sources it looks like I'm going in the right direction.
The recipe I started with, called for the usual suspects; dark chili powder, chicken broth, vegetables, and 6 corn tortillas. Ok Im good. I made the base soup last night and of course I can't ever leave well enough alone, I started to look at other recipes.

Ok I am a dork. Is this soup to be blended or left chunky? I don't think I've ever orderd it out.I've had albondigas many times but it is always chunky.

Another little brainstorm, I have had a can of diced yellow tomatoes for sometime now. Getting my sons to eat tomatoes in stews and soup, well forget it. so I used them in soup base for the tortilla soup. Last night the middle son came in and sampled the soup in the still chucky state and I heard those wonderful sounds. "mmmmmm this is really good mom!" ...... Ha. He would never of touched it before.

So.. do I use the boat motor?

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  1. hannaone RE: chef chicklet May 31, 2008 08:03 AM

    I've had both the blended and chunky versions in different restaurants. The chunky is usually better in my opinion. There's just something about those islands of flavor in the sea of soup.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hannaone
      chef chicklet RE: hannaone May 31, 2008 09:59 AM

      haha! Yes I know, and then there is that wonderful snowfall of pungent yet tangy Mexican cheese.
      sold h1, I'll not mess with it.
      I made a pesto of all the cilanto that was left, and its stems, scallions, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and a little chicken broth to get to move around a bit. Added that to the soup, omg, heaven.
      yippee! I'm off to bake seasoned corn tortillas!

    2. Sam Fujisaka RE: chef chicklet May 31, 2008 04:26 PM

      I use the boat motor on a lot of soups. Tortilla soup is NOT one of them.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Sam Fujisaka
        Veggo RE: Sam Fujisaka May 31, 2008 04:42 PM

        Totally concur. Distinguishing the flavor components of tortilla soup is part of its elegance and uniqueness. Discernible flavors. Fresh cebolla, scallion, and the texture of those baked tortilla strips, added when plating so that they are not part of a soggy mess, and a few wedges of aguacate, is the essence of it. You haven't mentioned chicken; I hope you have sufficient shredded pollo in there, also. Naturally, float some cilantro leaves as you serve it.

        1. re: Sam Fujisaka
          Gio RE: Sam Fujisaka May 31, 2008 04:44 PM

          I don't think I've ever had Tortilla Soup. But I did love the movie.....

          1. re: Gio
            Sam Fujisaka RE: Gio May 31, 2008 04:49 PM

            I invite the five of us to my house tomorrow night for tortilla soup. We can all cook!

            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
              Gio RE: Sam Fujisaka May 31, 2008 05:10 PM

              Would that I could.... in a heartbeat!

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                chef chicklet RE: Sam Fujisaka Jun 1, 2008 10:53 AM

                You are on!!!!

                Well so I had a huge stack of corn tortillas. I cut them up, seasoned them and baked them. Today, I put them in the bottom of a nice big bowl, and ladled hot soup on top. I added the chicken last I didn't want to take the flavor away. Then I topped with a little crumbly Mexican cheese, cilantro and avocado - and a squeeze of lime.
                It was GREAT! I could eat this blended or not, it has the best flavor. Using earthy chili powders really made this soup rich. It is not soupy, has a bit of body, and then the tortillas really help thicken it .
                Where have I been? I can't believe that I've never made this before.
                I kept staring at the stack of corn tortillas in the fridge, and that's what prompted me to search a recipe other than enchiladas... YEY!!!!

              2. re: Gio
                Veggo RE: Gio May 31, 2008 08:08 PM

                Gio, I may get slammed for the borrow, but a good tortilla soup is equal to a good stuffed manicotti.

                1. re: Veggo
                  Gio RE: Veggo Jun 1, 2008 05:09 AM

                  Then it sounds as if I have to get my tortilla soup research goggles on, and try making it myself. Thanks Veggo!

            2. jodymaryk RE: chef chicklet May 31, 2008 05:15 PM

              I prefer some texture to mine but have made it before where I puree part of it in the blender then add it back in. It helps thicken the soup a bit but still leaves texture. I also do this sometimes when I make mexican beans, creamy but still has whole beans in it.

              Glad your son likes the soup. Hope the other one does also!

              11 Replies
              1. re: jodymaryk
                kkak97 RE: jodymaryk May 31, 2008 08:16 PM

                I couldn't agree more jodymaryk, as I posted on this very topic the other day; Several upscale restaurants here in Texas blend the tortilla soup and often result in a delicious, rich, almost creamy texture, with an explosion of fresh flavors. Dean Ferring of the Turtle Creek Mansion has the most unbelievable soup that is this very texture. Wonderful!!

                1. re: kkak97
                  chef chicklet RE: kkak97 Jun 1, 2008 10:59 AM

                  kk- I did a search first before I posted, hoping to find some recipes, I didn't see your post or if I did, I didn't see the answer to my question.
                  I can imaginethat the blended version must be excellent. I sort of lean towards blended soups for some reason, then I what I like to do is add fresh cold ingredients to the hot soup. Weird I know,but it really does it for me... I will be trying this soup blended.
                  I wrote down my steps and ingredients as I was working, would you like the recipe I came up with?

                  1. re: chef chicklet
                    kkak97 RE: chef chicklet Jun 1, 2008 05:29 PM

                    Chef chicklet,

                    That would be appreciated more than you know!

                    Thanks so much.

                    1. re: kkak97
                      chef chicklet RE: kkak97 Jun 2, 2008 11:26 AM

                      Tortilla Soup
                      This is my recipe for making Tortilla soup, you may change it to suit your likings or needs

                      In a 2 qt pot add about 2-3 T oil –whatever kind
                      1 finely small diced medium onion
                      2 carrots small dice
                      2 ribs finely chopped celery
                      2 T New Mexico chili powder- or a mix of your choice
                      2 T cumin
                      1 cup of fresh corn or frozen
                      ½ jalapeno –small dice –I prefer 1 whole but, the family complains…
                      Sauté all till veggies are soft
                      Add 1 ½ cup chicken broth
                      1 can diced tomatoes or 2 fresh diced/juice seeds and all
                      3 cups water
                      2T knorr chicken bouillon

                      Separately blend – 1 cup cilantro-stems ok too, 4 cloves garlic
                      4 scallions, a little oil, about ½ cup chick broth to get it going, salt and pepper

                      Taste the soup, as it cooks season with salt and pepper if you need it.
                      Once the veggies are too your liking, then add the herb pesto
                      A little at a time.
                      You can leave the veggies whole or blend the soup.

                      You can make it strictly vegetable, or stir in chicken after blended to warm through. ( I find cooking it with the chicken breaks it down too much)

                      Corn tortillas –
                      Bake at 360 for 20 minutes – cut the tortillas into strips, toss with a little oil, season with chili powder and sea salt. Bake until crisp.

                      Take about 6 tortilla strips place in the bottom of the bowl, ladle hot soup over the chips. Crumble more chips for the top sprinkle with cotija cheese, and a fair amount of cilantro

                      1. re: chef chicklet
                        chef chicklet RE: chef chicklet Jun 2, 2008 01:58 PM


                        Here it is, unblended version, pretty tasty stuff!

                        1. re: chef chicklet
                          kkak97 RE: chef chicklet Jun 2, 2008 05:48 PM

                          Thank you, thank you!!! I'll be trying this tomorrow and I'll report back.

                          1. re: chef chicklet
                            Sam Fujisaka RE: chef chicklet Jun 2, 2008 06:00 PM

                            Beautiful. Mine is very similar but redder in color.

                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                              chef chicklet RE: Sam Fujisaka Jun 2, 2008 09:33 PM

                              So it looks ok to you??? I wasn't sure on flickr there are sure a lot of different looks to this soup. I used the yellow tomatoes and I also made a pesto so that gave it a different color.
                              Do you use more chili powder???

                  2. re: jodymaryk
                    BellaDonna RE: jodymaryk May 31, 2008 08:19 PM

                    Do not blend the soup. Most tortillas soups are NOT blended. Also, by introducing tomatoes in its recognizable form, maybe your sons will realize tomatoes aren't so yucky after all.

                    1. re: BellaDonna
                      kkak97 RE: BellaDonna May 31, 2008 09:13 PM

                      I'd say do whatever you prefer. as it isn't at all uncommon for tortilla soup to be blended.

                      1. re: BellaDonna
                        chef chicklet RE: BellaDonna Jun 2, 2008 11:31 AM

                        We have had this tomato battle for some years now. They are now too old to baby (20s). I think it's just when they see a hunk of tomato in the soup, they complain.

                        My answer is this, "Whatever. Pick around it if you don't like it."
                        I'm not about to change the way I cook at this stage of the game.
                        Now the 2 year old I have, he will eat anything...bless his little heart.

                    2. p
                      Pampatz RE: chef chicklet Jun 2, 2008 10:49 AM

                      Your soup sounds terrific and typically tortilla soup is unblended.

                      I had a really nice one a couple of weeks ago in Morelia. They added cubes of Gouda cheese to the hot broth and the queso fresco on top with tortilla matchstick strips, avocado and a big splash of lime. The gouda, partially melted, was wonderful in this soup.

                      BTW, many menus Tortilla Soup also goes by the name Sopa Azteca.

                      1. g
                        gfr1111 RE: chef chicklet Jun 2, 2008 11:07 AM

                        I agree that unblended is generally better. The blended versions which I have had which were quite tasty generally were only partly blended, with, perhaps, chunks of chicken, vegetables, and tortilla strips added later, along with, surprisingly, cream. Totally pureed tortilla soup just isn't that good. Also, the partially blended soup, to me, is good but no longer tortilla soup. The clarity of the broth is gone. It's something else, which can be tasty, but something is lost in the blending. Having some "chew" is very satisfying, I think.

                        1. chef chicklet RE: chef chicklet Jun 4, 2008 11:24 AM

                          Just a little fyi, I should of probably gone to flickr.com first. If you do a search by "tags" and enter in tortilla soup, you will see wonderful photos of tortilla soup. The dark red spice ones with sour cream and avocado, a few tortilla strips and cilantro, are very appealing to me. I could eat this with chicken, witout, veggies only. It is truly satisfying, and the next time I'm making it with more ground chiliis....

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