Friday, December 2, 2011

Tortilla Soup

It's a bit chilly here in Mississippi and I am loving it.  Me and hot weather just don't get along well.  Give me mittens and gloves and scarves and soup.  Give me lots and lots of soup. 

I first saw this recipe a couple of years ago on one of my favorite blogs, Big Mama.  (Have you ever read her?  She keeps me in stitches.)  This recipe comes from The Mansion at Turtle Creek, but, like most recipes, it's been adapted, and now I am adapting it again because this is what works in my kitchen.

I made this last night for my crew and it is one of our very favorite soups.  Ever.  I haven't been able to make it this season until now, because I always make it when I can get good avocados and cilantro and I haven't been able to find either at the same time until this week.

Here are my notes:

-I always go the extra mile when I make this soup and put out an array of toppings--shrimp, chicken, sour cream, cheese, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, diced avocado, and the most important part, fried tortilla strips. I just think the toppings make this soup, although the broth is excellent on it's own.

-I usually cook up a couple of chicken breasts with some butter and blackened seasoning in a cast iron pan, and I do the shrimp the same way.  I know that blackened seasoning is cajun and this soup is Mexican, but the flavors are fine together for us.

-I think what makes the broth so flavorful is processing the onion and tomatoes into a puree.  That's what originally caught my eye about this recipe.

-I use fire roasted tomatoes, but regular ones would be fine too.  I have a freezer full of frozen fire roasted tomatoes in little bags equivalent to the amount in a can.  Remember when I was all awesome back in the summer by putting up tomatoes?  Yeah, I'm glad I did that.  *Pats self on back for the 30 millionth time*

-Those diced tortillas will soak up the oil fast, so just cook them for a few minutes.  Some of the other recipes I've looked at say to cook the tortillas until they start to crisp, but there is not enough oil in the pan, so I just cook them for a few minutes, then add the broth.

-The tortillas will start to break apart in the soup, but this is a good thing.  It thickens the soup and provides flavor.

-I love avocados with this soup.  One of my favorite toppings.

Tortilla Soup
(Adapted from the Mansion at Turtle Creek)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 corn tortillas, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
8 cups chicken stock or broth, or 8 cups water and 8 chicken bouillon cubes
2 (15-ounce) cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Toppings:  chopped avocado, fried tortilla strips, cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro, lime juice wedges, cooked shrimp, cooked chicken

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot until hot.  Add the diced tortillas and garlic and cook until soft.  Add the cilantro, cumin, and chili powder and stir to evenly coat.  Add broth. 

Process the tomatoes and onion in a blender until smooth.  Stir into soup.  Bring to boil, then let simmer for about 30 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle soup into bowl, then add whatever toppings  you desire.

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  1. Years ago I worked for the Mansion's sister property in Houston. Without a doubt they served the best tortilla soup, ever. Period. Maybe this is their recipe too? I'll find out because I'll be giving this a try very soon. Beautiful photos as usual. Yum!

  2. This looks delicious. Would love for you to share this with us over at

  3. This is my first time to your blog- beautiful photography! I love the diced tortillas in the soup- usually I only see people use crispy tortillas as toppings. Can't wait to try it!

  4. I adore chicken tortilla soup, especially the version from California Pizza Kitchen. Going to have to try your recipe out on the boyfriend soon!

  5. Mmm, nothing better than a good, soul-warming soup with some crispy-crunchy tortilla strips on top to cure the winter blues :)
    This looks absolutely delicious. Will definitely be adding it to my winter-meals-to-make list.

  6. I love the way you used cut tortillas within the soup. Definitely trying with shrimp, avocado, sour cream, and fried tortillas...Can't wait!