Hope y’all had a wonderful Mother’s Day and got to spend time with your families. We missed having my recently deceased mother-in-law with us but it was a perfect day otherwise. One of the best parts was having dinner catered at our house. My husband outdid himself to arrange a trouble-free day for all the moms. The food was really good–I’m already trying to duplicate a couple of the recipes in my mind to share with you. I couldn’t resist making two desserts when I had so many people to help eat them. They were both “Tuesdays with Dorie” selections from her book entitled Baking. One was a Quick Classic Berry Tart (up this Tuesday) and the other was Dried Cranberry and Cherry Butter Bread Pudding which I will post on May 18th.
Because of all the activities this weekend, I pulled out a recipe I’ve been saving for awhile. There is just enough time for one more soup recipe before the weather gets too hot. However, I could eat this soup all year-round.
Tortilla soup comes in so many forms. Unless you’re a repeat customer, you never know what you’ll get when ordering at a restaurant. It might be tomato based, broth based, thick, thin, with or without avocados, with or without vegetables such as zucchini or corn, etc., I personally have cycled through various stages with tortilla soup. This is my newest favorite.
By virtue of its name, all tortilla soups contain corn tortillas. However in this one, part of the tortillas are chopped and sauteed with the onions. They don’t get crispy. Instead they are cooked in the broth and become a thickening agent in the soup making it hearty and filling with the best flavor imaginable. Of course, you still need the requisite crispy fried tortilla strips to flavor and garnish.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 corn tortillas, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 3 bay leaves
- 6 cups chicken stock (I boil the bones of the rotisserie-baked chicken listed below)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Chicken from one rotisserie-baked chicken, shredded or cubed
- Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 1-2 avocados, cubed
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 corn tortillas, sliced and fried crisp (actually, we need more than this because we like to eat them plain)
- Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped tortillas, garlic and onion. Saute 2-3 minutes. Add cumin and chili powder. Saute additional minute to bring out the flavor of the spices (and make the house smell good). Add tomatoes, bay leaves and chicken stock and pepper. Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt if necessary depending on saltiness of stock.
- While soup simmers is a good time to fry tortillas for garnish. Preheat ½-3/4 cups of vegetable oil in a small skillet. Cut tortillas in strips. When oil is hot enough to bubble when tortillas hit the oil, put in enough strips to cover the bottom. Strips are done when they start to turn a golden brown color. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and repeat process with remaining strips.
- Remove bay leaves and stir in chicken. Reheat.
- Garnish soup with shredded cheese, avocado and tortilla strips. Sour cream is optional.
Adapted from Stop and Smell the Rosemary, published by the Junior League of Houston.
If you like Tex-Mex, you may want to check these out: