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Thread: Fantastic Tortilla Soup recipe to share

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Fantastic Tortilla Soup recipe to share

    I have tried numerous tortilla soup recipes since I moved to Texas and discovered how much I enjoyed it, but I hadn't been able to find one that was as good as I could get in my favorite restaurant. My search is over! I tried the Tortilla Soup in the Houston Junior League cookbook Stop and Smell the Rosemary (a cookbook I should really use more often, as everything I have tried out of it has been wonderful), and it was fabulous.

    The only change I made to this recipe was to halve the oil to 3 tablespoons. It was a good call - the recipe didn't need it one bit. I served this tonight with the broccoli apple slaw from September (also very good, and a nice accompaniment) and the Spicy Cheese Twists from CL Complete (just ok). We topped the soup with just a tablespoon or two of Monterey Jack cheese; you could also top it with chopped avocado and/or sour cream. It's so good - hope you enjoy it as much as DH and I did!

    Tortilla Soup
    6 tablespoons vegetable oil [I used 3]
    8 corn tortillas, chopped
    6 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
    2 tablespoons ground cumin
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    3 bay leaves
    6 cups chicken stock [I made broth using Penzey's soup base, then added 1 tsp of soup base to the pot]
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    4 to 6 cooked chicken breast halves, shredded (about 2 cups)

    Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add tortillas, garlic, cilantro, and onion. Saute 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes. Bring to a boil and add cumin, chili powder, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Return to a boil. Reduce heat. Add salt and cayenne. Simmer 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves and stir in chicken. Reheat. Garnish with monterey jack, avocado, sour cream, and tortilla strips

    Serves 6 (1.5 cup servings)
    5 WW points with reduced oil, not counting garnish
    We figured there was too much happiness here for just the two of us, so we figured the next logical step was to have us a critter.

    - H.I. McDunnough, "Raising Arizona"
    --------------------------------------------------
    Ask me about Kelly's Kids children's clothes!

  2. #2
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    Rebecca, thanks for the review. A friend gave me that book, but I don't think I have ever used it. Great looking recipes though. Glad to hear you have had good success with them, and I love tortilla soup. We'll have to give it a try (although I was too hot for soup this weekend -- still waiting for that cold front so we can feel like autumn again).

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Rebecca. what size tortillas did you use?

    Val

  4. #4
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    Did you think about starting off with the Mango Margaritas from the same cookbook?????? It's a great book--my sisters-in-law introduced me to it two years ago at the beach. This year they had the Atlanta (I think) Jr. League book--can't remember the name, but it has something to do with grits. Another great cookbook.
    Michele

    Garnett had long known. . . that God's world and the better part of daily life were full of mysteries known only to women.
    --from "Prodigal Summer" by Barbara Kingsolver

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by valchemist
    Thanks, Rebecca. what size tortillas did you use?

    Val
    Hi Val,

    Around here, corn tortillas mostly come in an enchilada size, about 6-7 inches across, maybe? I haven't really ever seen them in all the various sizes that I have seen for flour tortillas. Get the small ones, and you should be fine.

    Oh, and mcraig13, the Atlanta Jr. League cookbook is called True Grits. My dad has it, and it's great - most of the recipes were contributed by Atlanta area chefs.
    We figured there was too much happiness here for just the two of us, so we figured the next logical step was to have us a critter.

    - H.I. McDunnough, "Raising Arizona"
    --------------------------------------------------
    Ask me about Kelly's Kids children's clothes!

  6. #6
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    thanks, Rebecca. that is the size I have. for some reason I thought I had 12-inch ones. (now I realize I made a mistake in a post on the Smoky Turkey Mole. oops.)

  7. #7
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    I made this for dinner tonight and it is absolutely fabulous! I liked it even better than the Mexican Ham and Bean Soup from the October issue. I used Penzey's medium hot chili powder and I cut the cayenne back to 1/8 tsp. The soup was perfect that way (plenty spicy but not crazy spicy). I used 3 tbsp of oil as Rebecca did, but I think it could even be cut back to 1 tbsp.

    thank you soooo much for posting this recipe, Rebecca! The only reason I tried it was that I had leftover tortillas from the turkey mole and DH and I aren't huge mexican fans, so I knew I wouldn't be using them unless I purposely went out and found a recipe. But even though I'm not the biggest tex/mex fan in the world, I thought this soup was wonderful!

    Val

  8. #8
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    Another thanks for posting this, Rebecca! We also had it for dinner tonight, and loved it. Like you, I fell in love with the tortilla soups I got in some restaurants in San Antonio, but I was never able to find a recipe that was quite the same. This is it! I made a few minor changes - I didn't saute the cilantro with the onion, garlic and tortillas, I just added it with the other seasonings, and just before serving, I added some lime juice.
    Anne

    When you start to cook, as when you begin to live, you think that the point is to improve the technique until you end up with something perfect, and that the reason you haven’t been able to break the cycle of desire and disillusion is that you haven’t yet mastered the rules. Then you grow up, and you learn that that’s the game.

    Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

  9. #9
    Originally posted by beacooker
    I made a few minor changes - I didn't saute the cilantro with the onion, garlic and tortillas, I just added it with the other seasonings, and just before serving, I added some lime juice.
    I make a soup very similar to this, but I add cilantro and lime at the end, about 5 minutes before serving. It's one of my favorites.
    I also realized the last time I made it that the "Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes" are wonderful in it. I also add a few cans of enchilada sauce (I like the Hatch brand).
    Jennifer


    And in the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
    --Abraham Lincoln

    Write it on your heart that everyday is the best day of the year.
    --Emerson

  10. #10
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    Yay! Val and beacooker, I am so glad you liked it! I like the idea of adding lime juice at the end, I will definitely do that next time. I think that sauteeing the cilantro with the onion and tortillas just mellows the flavor a bit, which worked well for us since DH gets overwhelmed by cilantro pretty easily. I'll bet it was good added at the end, though!

    Val, when I made it I used Penzey's medium chili powder, and kept the cayenne the same, and I had the same impression as you, "plenty spicy without being crazy spicy."

    jjsooner, I thought about using the Fire-roasted tomatoes since I had some in my pantry, but as much as I love them I was afraid that they would overwhelm all the other flavors going on in this soup. I may try it next time, though.

    I had this soup for lunch all last week! It made great leftovers. I wonder if it would freeze well, though; I am guessing not, b/c I think that the tortillas would get all wonky when it thawed. Not really a concern for me, though, since it was gone by Thursday!
    We figured there was too much happiness here for just the two of us, so we figured the next logical step was to have us a critter.

    - H.I. McDunnough, "Raising Arizona"
    --------------------------------------------------
    Ask me about Kelly's Kids children's clothes!

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by RebeccaT


    Hi Val,

    Around here, corn tortillas mostly come in an enchilada size, about 6-7 inches across, maybe? I haven't really ever seen them in all the various sizes that I have seen for flour tortillas. Get the small ones, and you should be fine.

    Oh, and mcraig13, the Atlanta Jr. League cookbook is called True Grits. My dad has it, and it's great - most of the recipes were contributed by Atlanta area chefs.
    Maybe a dumb question, but do you use soft corn tortillas?
    “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed
    door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

    Helen Keller (1880–1968)

  12. #12
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    Not dumb at all, Lara!

    Yes, you use soft corn tortillas as opposed to tortilla chips. However, you can garnish the soup with tortilla chips, or strips of corn tortillas that you have fried yourself in some hot oil.
    We figured there was too much happiness here for just the two of us, so we figured the next logical step was to have us a critter.

    - H.I. McDunnough, "Raising Arizona"
    --------------------------------------------------
    Ask me about Kelly's Kids children's clothes!

  13. #13
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    Rebecca, this looks really good. I am going to try to get it onto the menu for next week. DH and I have been eating lots of soup now that the weather is cooling down. This looks like something that would be right up our alley.
    “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed
    door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

    Helen Keller (1880–1968)

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by RebeccaT
    I wonder if it would freeze well, though; I am guessing not, b/c I think that the tortillas would get all wonky when it thawed.
    I have been watching this thread for a while and what I don't get is why the addition of tortillas at the beginning? Don't they get all soggy sitting in the soup? Even chopped they couldn't possibly stay crisp. I have made lots of tortilla soup but have never seen a recipe using this method, just find it odd!
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  15. #15
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    Sneezles, I had no idea that you could add tortillas at the beginning, but in about half the recipes I looked at (the ones from more "tex-mex" sources), they had you add them at the beginning. Which makes sense; if they are only added at the end, as a garnish, then it's really just chicken-tomato soup with tortillas!

    In the soup, they seem to act as a thickener; about half of them dissolve, adding body to the broth, and the other half stay intact but are more like noodles, for lack of a better comparison. I was skeptical, but this method was also how Rick Bayless made it, so I gave it a try (this recipe used more "normal" items that I had on hand, and also had chunks of chicken, which Bayless' did not). It tasted so much more like what I have had in many restaurants, that I began to think that this was the key difference between this and recipes I had tried before that I hadn't been that impressed with.

    It's all a matter of taste, or course, but this was so good that I have to recommend that you give it a try!
    Last edited by RebeccaT; 10-14-2002 at 11:35 AM.
    We figured there was too much happiness here for just the two of us, so we figured the next logical step was to have us a critter.

    - H.I. McDunnough, "Raising Arizona"
    --------------------------------------------------
    Ask me about Kelly's Kids children's clothes!

  16. #16
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    This sounds great. Can't wait to try it.

    I also have a Tortilla Soup recipe that I make in the crock pot. It is really simple and I will post it if anyone wants it. It is mostly a dump kind of recipe where you dump chiles, salsa, etc. into the crock pot and let it cook away. It doesn't have any tortillas IN it but you garnish with them.

    Looking forward to trying this one, though!
    visit www.thebreastcancersite.com to donate mamograms...it's free!

  17. #17
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    Rebecca,
    I have used masa for the corn seasoning in recipes rather than tortillas.
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  18. #18
    Originally posted by lovemybeetle


    I also have a Tortilla Soup recipe that I make in the crock pot. It is really simple and I will post it if anyone wants it. It is mostly a dump kind of recipe where you dump chiles, salsa, etc. into the crock pot and let it cook away. It doesn't have any tortillas IN it but you garnish with them.

    Recipe, please! I'm always looking for new crock pot recipes.

  19. #19
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    Rebecca-

    I am gonna make this for dinner some time this week. I am probably going to put green chili's in it, and maybe a handful of frozen corn mostly for color. I was wondering if it was a thick soup or a watery soup? You mentioned the tortillas being used to thicken it. Just wondering?
    ~~~Diane~~~
    I lift up my eyes to the hills-
    where does my help come from?
    My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
    Psalms 121:1,2

  20. #20
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    Originally posted by Alaina76


    Recipe, please! I'm always looking for new crock pot recipes.
    I second this request!!

  21. #21
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    Question:
    Can you use chicken broth instead of chicken stock??

    Thanks,
    Terri

  22. #22
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    Alaina - I will be sure to post this when I get home from work. It's easy and my hubby loves it. I love the crock pot. I have a Cola Pot Roast in it as we speak!!!
    visit www.thebreastcancersite.com to donate mamograms...it's free!

  23. #23
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    Re: Rebecca-

    Originally posted by dcornelius
    I am gonna make this for dinner some time this week. I am probably going to put green chili's in it, and maybe a handful of frozen corn mostly for color. I was wondering if it was a thick soup or a watery soup? You mentioned the tortillas being used to thicken it. Just wondering?
    Diane, the soup is pretty thick, although not thick like a chowder. It's a rather opaque broth, and it about the consistency of chili, without the beans, if that makes any sense. I don't know how your family does with spicy foods, but we like things hot, and this soup was plenty spicy for us. So if you add some green chiles, you may want to consider cutting back on the cayenne. Adding the corn is a good idea!

    originally posted by TLee4
    Can you use chicken broth instead of chicken stock??
    Yes! Like I said in my original post, I used Penzey's soup base. I would think that any good, low sodium chicken broth would be fine.
    We figured there was too much happiness here for just the two of us, so we figured the next logical step was to have us a critter.

    - H.I. McDunnough, "Raising Arizona"
    --------------------------------------------------
    Ask me about Kelly's Kids children's clothes!

  24. #24
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    Thanks Rebecca!!

  25. #25
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    I also got all the ingredients for this soup and plan to make it sometime near the end of the week or weekend. Sounds great! Thanks.

  26. #26
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    Thanks Rebecca!

    I don't do real hot stuff well so I may end up cutting back on some of the hot stuff myself. I guess I'll just wing it. I am getting pretty good at knowing where and how much to cut back to preserve my sensitive taste buds!
    ~~~Diane~~~
    I lift up my eyes to the hills-
    where does my help come from?
    My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
    Psalms 121:1,2

  27. #27
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    Yum!

    I made Rebecca's recipie today. It's wonderful. I made the following changes. I added one chopped chipotle chili and only a dash of cayenne (mine is very hot). I also added a small can of green (mild)chilies, a handfull of chopped carrots and chopped yellow squash. I couldn't find my bay leaves, so I skipped them. I'm not a huge fan of bay leaf anyway!

    It's just the right amount of heat (for me)!
    So many recipies, so little time....

  28. #28
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    Thanks Rebecca -

    We loved your soup! It was zippy - my dh adn I were sweating! Yum Yum! Defintely I will make it again!

    Suzi

  29. #29
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    Another great big thumbs up for Rebecca's Tortilla Soup. I made it last night and it was really tasty. My changes were, I roasted 3 chicken breast halves and got WAY more than 2 cups of shredded chicken, so I made a note of that. I also cut back the cayenne to 1/8 tsp. (I had 1/2 tsp. in the spoon and looked at it and thought, I have NEVER added that much cayenne to anything!) and it was plenty spicy for us. Also, I omitted the salt and it didn't seem to matter. Very very good. In fact, I have cancelled tonight's dinner plan in favor of seconds on the soup! Have a good day all. Martha

  30. #30
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    Originally posted by memartha
    I roasted 3 chicken breast halves and got WAY more than 2 cups of shredded chicken

    was DH happy with the chicken soup?

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