I’ve had the recent good fortune of discovering Tortilla Soup. My first encounter with it was quite improbably here at Earls which is a mid-range trendy local chain. We did a “chef’s” table with some friends and this was the introductory course. My second and subsequent encounters with Tortilla Soup all happened in northern California where virtually every restaurant serves it. So I feel I can say with some low level authority that every Tortilla Soup I had the pleasure of tasting was very different.
My own version is completely different then the ones I had and I must say it was the best that I’ve tasted. Not very humble but the truth:) One thing I can say for those of us with particular diets – you can definitely adjust this recipe at will. For example, vegetarians can just leave out the chicken and for you lactose intolerant folks – just skip the cheese – for those of us who can eat dairy but only goat just use goat cheddar/feta.
And so without further ado – Tortilla Soup (My Way)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium jalapeño chile, seeded, veins removed and finely chopped. (I actually used peppers I had from an El Paso jar of pickled chilis – I used about 4 and it was fantastic.
You can use 4 cups chicken broth or homemade chicken stock but I used a good heaping teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon (Vegetarion) -as an aside – this bouillon is amazing.
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes undrained
salt to taste
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (optional)
1/2 cup of fabulous white wine (or more if you like)
2 tbs of tomato paste to thicken
1 ripe avocado sliced
1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or mild cheddar)
A handful of crushed tortilla chips per serving
Chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, cut into wedges
Heat oil in a large pan and add garlic and onions, cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped chile and cook for 2-3 minutes more, until the onions and chiles have softened. Add the broth (or water and bouillon), tomatoes, and salt. Increase the heat to high, heat until the soup begins to boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add wine and simmer for a few minutes. Then add tomato paste to thicken. If you are doing the chicken version add shredded chicken now and cook until heated its heated through.
To serve ladle in soup. Peel avocado and slice into 1 inch slices and garnish side of bowl. Crush tortilla chips (I used Que Pasa black corn) over top of soup, then add grated cheddar over top. (I used goat yogurt for my own). Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges and a glass of Sterling Pinot Gris.
Enjoy! This is my new fave! Sorry no pictures. I’m the worst photographer but next time I make it I’ll add it.