Tortilla Soup is something I always, ALWAYS crave! Warm chickeny broth with a hint of lime……lots of chicken…….chunks of avocado……and crunchy tortilla strips! As Ina always says, what’s not to LOVE? This is “the recipe” I go to year round when I’m craving that wonderful comfort food. In fact, Spring and Summer are the times I most crave this soup.
It’s funny, most people think that Southern California is always sunny and warm, but ironically, when the rest of Southern California heats up, the beach cities get pretty cool. O.K. sooooooo……let’s be clear…..I’m NOT complaining AT ALL! It’s nothing like winter cold, it’s just “ya, soup sounds perfect”, kinda cool, damp weather! I know….I know…..I truly am a WIMP!
Some recipes for Tortilla soup have a heavy tomato flavor. While those tomatoey …. yes, I’m sure tomatoey is a word….. versions make a delicious soup, its just not what I consider the “Classic Tortilla Soup”……the one I crave! Most recipes fry the tortilla strips. Now, I have to say , that of course, is the classic approach. I’ve discovered over the years I’ve been making this delicious soup, however, that the baked strips are real dang good. I have to say that honestly, they don’t seem to come out quite as crispy, but for me personally, that small sacrafice is totally worth the calories savings I gain so I dont feel quite as guilty adding a big ol’ handful of shredded cheese to my bowl! To each their own I guess! 🙂
Don’t skip the step of adding the spices to the pan and cooking them before you add the broth. This really intensifies their wonderful flavors, allows them to marry a bit and gives the broth more complexity.
My Favorite Tortilla Soup
- Olive Oil - 2 Tablespoon
- Yellow Onion, Chopped - 1
- Garlic, Finely Chopped - 1 1/2 Tablespoons
- Poblano Pepper, Seeded and Chopped - 2
- Jalapeno, Seeded and Chopped - 1
- Salt - 3 Teaspoons
- Ground Cumin - 3 Teaspoons
- Ground Coriander - 1 1/2 Teaspoons
- Tomato Paste - 2 Tablespoon
- Chicken Stock - 12 Cups
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Halves, Cut Into 1/2 Cubes - 4
- Fresh Cilantro, Chopped - 1/2 Cup
- Fresh Lime Juices - 1 Tablespoon
- Stale Corn Tortillas, Sliced Into 1/4 Inch-Thick Strips - 12
- Avocado, Sliced - 2
- Jack Cheese, Shredded - 2 Cups
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a large, heavy bottomed Dutch oven, cook the onion, garlic and peppers over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or just until they begin to soften. Add the salt, cumin and coriander and continue to cook for 5 minutes longer so spices become nicely fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
3. Add chicken broth to Dutch oven and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add chicken to Dutch oven and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Add cilantro and lime juice and stir.
4. Meanwhile, spread tortilla strips out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet (you'll probably need 2 baking sheets.) Spray tortillas evenly with nonstick cooking spray. Bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until they are just starting to slightly brown and are crispy. Sprinkle hot strips with salt and pepper.
5. Serves soup and garnish each bowl with avocado, cheese and tortilla strips as desired.