Tortilla Soup

by NICHOLAS AMMATURO on April 27th 2010

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Anytime I see “Tortilla Soup” on a menu it immediately catches my attention and I must order it. I have never had one that taste like the other, everyone has their own unique twist. I first tasted it at California Pizza Kitchen in the King of Prussia Mall when I was going to college in the area. Since then, I have been making it myself, testing out recipes, altering it into something that I feel it much better than the original I tasted 8 years ago.

I had a few go-to-recipes that I was mix and matching and I omitted most of what was overpowering the soup itself. Now what I make, is more of a bath for the salted tortilla strips,avocados and Monterrey Jack cheese. It’s very basic and can be thrown together in 20-30 mins. This is certainly a week night, come home from work late soup, but it taste likes it been cooking for hours. I typically use chicken for this, but have been known to use the leftovers from my 6 hr slow roasted pork pernil. Sometimes I bake a couple of chicken breasts in the oven, then shred them with a fork and other times, I boil the chicken right in the broth, then remove and shred.

Tonight, I am running home from work and just feel like eating, so I purchased a store roasted whole chicken. I think every grocery store is equipped with their own rotisseries now and while I am diligently working all day, these little guys are slow rotating on a spit, waiting for me to eat them. The great thing is they only cost $5 to $7 dollars.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and embrace is at one of your own and adapt it to your likings.

This recipe will make 4 dinner servings and approx 6 if this is just an appetizer or a side to a main course.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded chicken or pork
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 48oz can of chicken broth (6 cups)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz) with the juice
  • handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 TBLS Vegetable Oil ; 2 TBLS for the soup and 2 TBLS for the tortilla strips
  • 3/4 cup corn (fresh/frozen/canned) (optional)
  • coarse salt (sea salt or kosher)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (optional)

Toppings

  • 16-8 oz Package Soft Corn Tortillas (just grab like 10 of them out of the package)  follow cooking instructions below
  • 2 Ripe Avocados, diced
  • shredded Monterey jack Cheese
  • Lime
  • Sour Cream (optional)

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F and line a rimed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Meanwhile place 10 or so corn tortillas on a cutting board, cut in half and then cut into strips.

View Baked Corn Tortilla Strips

Scatter the strips onto the baking sheet, drizzle with 2 TBLS of the vegetable oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Work everything together with your hands, to make sure the oil and salt get on as many strips as possible.

DSC_0019Place these in the oven and bake for approx 20 minutes, keep an eye on them and move them around a few times, because the outside edges tend to cook quicker. You just want to get the strips golden brown and crispy. I usually place these in the oven first and then continue on with making the soup, by the time the strips are done, your soup will be ready as well.

Here is what they should look like when they are done.

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Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 TBLS Vegetable oil in a large saucepan over med-high heat. Add the minced garlic and saute for a min or so.

DSC_0005Next, add the can of diced tomatoes with their juice, corn, the can of chicken broth and the shredded chicken or pork.

View Adding ingredients into the soup

Raise the heat and bring to a boil, cover partially and reduce the heat to medium, cooking for 10 mins. Stir in a palmful  (approx 3 TBLS of fresh chopped cilantro). Continue cooking for another minute or so. Here is where you can taste it and add salt as needed. I rarely add salt because of the salt on the tortilla strips. Remove the soup from the heat and ladle into bowls.

Add a spoonful of diced avocado, a handful of the freshly baked tortilla strips and sprinkle with some Monterey jack cheese. You can add a scoop of sour cream on top as well. Serve with Lime.

View Tortilla Soup

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