Tortilla Soup


Long hours at the office remain a recurring theme these days.  We stretched out the short ribs leftovers for Monday.  Tuesday dinner was quickly defrosted salmon fillets with salad.  Wednesday, additional fridge foraging with salad.  By Thursday, I needed a hot, gut warming meal but didn’t want to slave over the stove or cutting boards for too long.  I decided to channel my inner Nigella and rummaged through the kitchen to see what I could open, empty out, and go while remaining somewhat ‘brilliant!’.  Here’s what I found

  • The potentially stale remains of an open bag of tortilla chips
  • Almost a full quart of chicken stock in the fridge
  • Sour cream that smelled okay
  • Canned chicken and tomatoes
  • Cilantro from Sunday’s market

Tortilla Soup!

Tortilla soup recipes vary so much.  Some people think that garnishing a chicken soup with a couple of fried tortilla chips makes tortilla soup.  I used to think like that until I tasted the soup at a local taquería (Lupe y Pepe on Winston Churchill, for the local and curious).  It was more like a porridge than a soup.  The wilted down torillas impart a lot of creaminess to the soup. If you are a fan of polenta or grits, this could also become a favorite.

I don’t advocate fully relying on canned chicken breasts, but that night, it was a life saver.  Of course, poaching your own would have yielded tastier results.  Ditto for making stock from scratch.

GF360 Tortilla Soup

Add the following ingredient in order to a 3.5 quart sauce pan.  On seasoning, base the amount of salt added on the tortilla chips you are using.  I completely skipped it, but anyone using uncooked tortillas or lightly seasoned chips might have to add a little.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (warm for about a minute in medium heat)
  • 1 small onion, diced in 1/2″ to 1″ pieces (cooked until soft)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (cooked with the onions)
  • 1 tablespoon ground chipotle in adobo (add to onions and cook one minute; adjust according to taste or heat tolerance)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes undrained
  • 1 12.5 oz can cooked chicken breast undrained (deglace any brown bits with liquid from tomatoes/chicken)
  • 1 quart chicken stock (bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer)
  • A few handful of tortilla chips (push down with spoon and continue simmering for at least 10 minutes)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves (set aside some for garnishing)

Serve in bowls and top with your favorite garnishes.  We used extra cilantro and sour cream but a little grated cheese would have been tasty too!  DH enjoyed it very much, so I think this one will be going into regular rotation.  I will also definitely try it poaching the chicken myself later.

Tags: , , ,


Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

One Response to “Tortilla Soup”

    February 27, 2011 at 2:49 am #

    I love tortilla soup too! It’s such a satisfying soup. Yours looks yummy.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: