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Tortilla Soup


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Does anyone have a good recipe for Tortilla Soup? I am cooking for friends coming in this weekend (from New Jersey of all places) and they asked for Tortilla soup? I can look it up on recipe web sites, but thought someone might have a proven recipe.

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The following link gives a basic tortilla soup recipe (in my opinion the more basic the better):

click for Tortilla Soup recipe

Myself, I favor Sopa de de Lima (Lime Soup) which is generally made in a simalar manner to Tortilla Soup, but the tomato is chopped/diced as opposed to blended into the base.

I've used the following recipe adapted from Mexico: The Beautiful and find it quite satisfying...very much a Mexican Chicken Noodle/Pho type of thing (IMO):

2 bone-in chicken breasts (about 12 oz each)

10 cups water

3 cloves garlic

1/2 onion

3 sprigs cilantro

1 Tb salt

5 day old corn tortillas (CORN, and that's 5 individual day-old tortillas not 5-day old tortillas. Let them sit out 1/2 day to overnight, you may want to place them between a couple of plates, or at least turn every few hours, to avoid excessive curling as they dry)

oil for frying

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1-inch stick canela (if using cinnamon, use 1/2 this)

1 clove

1 tsp dried Mexican oregano (1/2 tsp if not Mexican)

1 tsp oil/lard/fat

1/2 cup chopped onion (your variety of choice)

1/2 cup finely chopped Poblano chile pepper (can sub Green Bell or Anaheim)

2 cups peeled and chopped tomato (if using canned drain before measuring)

juice of 2 limes (do not use bottled)

Bring chicken, water, garlic, onion, cilantro and salt to a boil.

Cook covered over low heat 35-40 min or until tender. Strain, reserve stock, shred chicken and set aside.

While this is cooking cut your CORN tortillas into 1/2 inch wide long strips, heat 1/2 inch of oil in a skillet and when hot fry the tortilla strips in batches w/o crowding until lightly browned. Turn the tortilla strips throughout cooking, it should take around 3 minutes. Remove the fried tortilla strips and drain.

Toast cumin, canela, clove and oregano in a small skillet over low-medium heat...don't burn, you should just smell some of the fragrance of the spices being released. Puree the toasted spices w/ 1/2 cup of reserved stock.

Saute onion in the oil/lard/fat just until transparent, add chile pepper and saute another couple minutes, then add tomatoes and cook on med heat for 6-8 minutes stirring constantly to prevent sticking or burning.

Add remaing stock and pureed spices and crank up the heat, when boiling add the lime juice and chicken, cover and cook for up to a half hour over medium heat.

To serve toss a small handful of the fried tortilla strips in a bowl and top with the soup.

You can (and should) pass with condiments of lime quarters, chopped cilantro, chiles of choice and extra fried tortillas strips.

Sliced avocodo can also be available to garnish, if you like.

Another particularly nice garnish (gives a bit of crunch and heat) you can use is lightly fried 1/2-inch wide rings of dried Pasilla.

good stuff...

...I thought I had an appetite for destruction but all I wanted was a club sandwich.

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I had a nice version of this at the Mansion In Turtle Creek. It is one of their more famous dishes...Dean Fearing is the chef at the restaurant there. Maybe a search on google could get you the recipe... I will see if I can find the book... I know I have it... But so many of my books get borrowed.. I tried looking.. and have not been able to see it.. will continue the hunt.

Jaymes any ideas???

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If you think his version is good, that it must be very good.   I went to the Hotel’s web site and the recipe is listed there.  Sometimes they make it too easy for us.

Dean's recipe

It seems easy to make so I will try Dean’s recipe.

Thanks!

His version was very nice at the restaurant and actually, even better in room service.:wink: Can that happen? It did for me.

I hope the recipe is acurate to what is created by the chef and hotel. Recipes are not always acurate.

PS: At lunch with Caroline Rose Hunt, I was told rather graciously that it was she that discovered the recipe. I have felt lucky ever since that 3 day meeting with her. She is quite a inspirational person.

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Isn't tortilla soup sort of like chicken soup -- a bazillion variations on a theme?  Jaymes, any thoughts?

Hola. Just got here.

Yes, Snow, you are right. Although I have seen versions of Tortilla Soup that call for beef, by FAR it is basically chicken stock (with a Southwestern bent) and tortilla strips.

Like most soups, how good yours is has a great deal to do with how flavorful your stock is. Some recipes call for very little, if any, chicken meat, so it's a good recipe to make with a leftover roasted chicken carcass. In fact, it's my number-one recipe to make with a leftover chicken carcass.

I've looked at the recipes posted here so far and know they would be absolutely wonderful. I could do no better. In fact, have followed the Mansion's recipe before, myself.

People do often garnish with lime wedges (lime is just so good with corn) and avocado slices, and the ubiquitous (down here) bowl of sliced pickled jalepenos and/or fiery salsa alongside for people who like it hotter.

Here's another recipe that I got a long time ago -

Tortilla Soup

1 onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 4-oz can whole green chilies (tear into pieces), 8-oz chopped fresh tomatoes (or 1 8-oz can stewed tomatoes), 2 tbls butter

Put all this in Dutch oven or stockpot and saute till "mushy."

Add 2 C chicken broth, 1 C beef bouillon.

In skillet, fry 1 t cumin, 1 t chili powder, 1/4 t black pepper til aroma releases. Add to pan.

Add 2 tsp Worsty and taste for salt and pepper.

Simmer one hour.

Cut 4 corn tortillas into quarters, then 1/2" strips. Fry in hot oil until crisp and drain. Add fried strips to pot and heat through.

Ladle into bowls and top with shredded Jack/Cheddar mixture.

Garnish with avocado slices and lime wedges.

Now - This is a perfectly respectable recipe for tortilla soup. And, I only gave this recipe because it doesn't have any chicken in it. So, you can readily see that the secret to this soup is good, flavorful stock. And you can make the soup as easy or as difficult as you wish (and as you have time for).

Actually, it has always seemed to me that tortilla soup is kind of a Southwestern version of Egg Drop Soup. Start with a flavorful broth, and you've got it.

Most people do put some chicken meat in it, but you don't want a lot. The broth and tortillas should be the star. So, if you're not stewing up a carcass (my favorite way to do it), then stew a chicken breast or two to get your meat.

Now - risking great derision I know - here's a recipe for when you're running home and it's cold and rainy and you step in a puddle and your feet are wet and you're getting the flu and you don't have time to create a wonderful, rich, nuanced stock, and you don't have days to let your tortillas go stale:

Quicky Tortilla Soup

1 "family size" can chicken & rice soup

1 jar Herdez Salsa Casera (or other store-bought salsa that you like)

1 small can white chicken meat

1 package tortilla chips (like Tostitos or other brand - cheaper is better)

grated cheese (laugh if you want, but I use Parmesana Reggiano)

Combine soup, salsa & chicken meat. Heat through. Ladle into bowls. Crumble tortillas over. Sprinkle generously with cheese.

PS - If you think this is just ghastly - well, fine - Keep it to yourself - I don't want to hear it.

:laugh:

Edit: By the way, if you don't know how good lime is with corn - buy yourself a packet of tortilla chips and sit down with it and a lime and a shaker of salt. One by one, pick up the chip and squeeze a little lime on it and sprinkle with salt and eat. YUUUMMMMMM.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I once combined a number of recipes for tortilla soup/Mexican lime soup into something like this; instead of tortilla strips added at the end, you make dumplings with blue corn flour.

Cook a lot of very thinly sliced onions in corn oil slowly until they just started to brown. Add chopped garlic and chopped serrano peppers and cook under medium heat for a few minutes. Add a tomato, seeded and chopped and cook for a minute more. Add stock, a skinned chicken breast, salt and pepper and simmer for a while. (When I made the stock, I added some corn cobs (corn kernels cut off) to the stock to increase the corn flavor.) When chicken is just cooked, remove it, pull meat off bone into shreds, put back in soup. Add a lot of lime juice.

Meanwhile, make the dumplings by combining 1 cup blue corn flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt; then cut in 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening as for pastry dough. Beat together 1 egg and 1/2 cup milk and add some chopped cilantro. Stir egg-milk mixture into the flour mix; add only enough to moisten the dough.

Once you've shredded the chicken and added it and the lime juice back to the soup, drop the dumplings by tablespoons into the simmering broth. Cover pot and steam for about 15 minutes. Add more lime juice and chopped cilantro at table.

As I remember, it looked a little weird -- the blue corn turns sort of grey and cement-like in appearance, but it had a more delicate texture and flavor than tortillas, and the dumplings were very light.

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Here is a stupid question..........

In the recipe from Manson on Turtle Creek, it calls for one cup of fresh onion puree. Does this mean I simply put one cup of onion in food processor and let it get to a paste like consistency? I have never seen the term onion puree before.

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Here is a stupid question..........

In the recipe from Manson on Turtle Creek, it calls for one cup of fresh onion puree.  Does this mean I simply put one cup of onion in food processor and let it get to a paste like consistency?  I have never seen the term onion puree before.

Yes, David.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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By the way, if you don't know how good lime is with corn - buy yourself a packet of tortilla chips and sit down with it and a lime and a shaker of salt.  One by one, pick up the chip and squeeze a little lime on it and sprinkle with salt and eat.  YUUUMMMMMM.

I'll second that. There was a short-lived taco chain (Maui Taco) that opened up a place on my old college campus a few years ago. I used to get a few tacos and a giant plate of chips & salsa. Only I would pass on most of the salsa and grab a handful of fresh lime wedges from their salsa bar. Mmmm....

Nifty News & Decent Deals - where I'm always listing more kitchen stuff than average people want to see...
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Lime and corn taste great and taste great together! :wink:

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Never had tortilla soup - Are the tortillas a garnish like croutons or do you cook them in the soup.  

johnjohn

either and/or both - depends on the recipe

Typically, though, strips of fried corn tortillas are dumped in a bowl than topped w/ the soup or added at the very end of cooking to just warm through - the tortillas end up having a pasta-like texture.

A few recipes call for fried tortilla strips to be added while the soup is cooking (this basically acts as a masa thickener) and then topped w/ additional tortilla strips upon service.

Additional fried tortillas strips may be passed to further garnish in any preparation.

...I thought I had an appetite for destruction but all I wanted was a club sandwich.

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tortilla soup rocks. i don't have time to look closer at the suggested recipes posted here, but thanks for this thread. what a way to heal a cold & spirit!

just in case anyone here is ever in brownsville, texas, the palm court restaurant has got the best tortilla soup recipe i've ever tasted.....it's a very treasured recipe from a grandmother in garde manger there.

another good one in the valley is at antonio's, a chain mexican restaurant there that's got a couple of decent things on the menu.

thanks to tejanos for creating this phenomenon to use day old tortillas.

anyone want to trade recipes for chilaquiles??? ummmm.....

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anyone want to trade recipes for chilaquiles??? ummmm.....

I've posted my "old standby" recipe for chilaquiles in the Mexico board. Make them ALL the time. Real comfort food, that.

EDIT: The chilaquiles discussion is in the "Regional differences in Mexican food" thread. Sorry, but don't know how to do a URL. Besides, it's a very interesting thread, so you might enjoy the perusal. (At least that's what I'm telling myself to avoid feeling guilty about my non-helpful, non-techie self :biggrin: )

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Never had tortilla soup - Are the tortillas a garnish like croutons or do you cook them in the soup.  

johnjohn

either and/or both - depends on the recipe

Typically, though, strips of fried corn tortillas are dumped in a bowl than topped w/ the soup or added at the very end of cooking to just warm through - the tortillas end up having a pasta-like texture.

A few recipes call for fried tortilla strips to be added while the soup is cooking (this basically acts as a masa thickener) and then topped w/ additional tortilla strips upon service.

Additional fried tortillas strips may be passed to further garnish in any preparation.

Awesome, Sladeums, and right you are.

Houston's recipe for tortilla soup (they won't give the exact proportions) is cooked white chicken meat, pulverized or finely chopped tortilla chips, fresh chicken stock, onions, bell peppers and fresh garlic.

Seasonings are cumin, chili powder and black pepper. They add a small amount of masa and butter to thicken, but most thickening is done with the pulverized tortilla chips.

They garnish with cilantro and grated cheese.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Here's a beef one:

Menger Tortilla Soup (For those of you that don't know, the Menger is THE old hotel in San Antonio. It's where Teddy Roosevelt recruited his Rough Riders, and General Sherman Lee once rode a horse through its lobby.)

1/2 lb lean ground beef

3/4 C chopped yellow onion

1 poblano chile, chopped

1 green chiles, like Anaheim, chopped

1 1/4 C diced tomatoes

1/2 C tomato paste

3 quarts chicken stock

1/2 to 3/4 tsp ground cumin

4 sprigs cilantro

1/2 t garlic powder

S&P to taste

deep-fried tortilla strips

Grated Jack & Cheddar cheeses

Brown beef in bottom of Dutch oven or stew pot, drain off fat, then add onion, chiles and tomatoes and cumin. Saute til just tender, then add tomato paste, sauteing lightly, being careful not to let paste burn. Stir in stock, garlic powder, S&P and cilantro. Bring to boil; then simmer 45 minutes. Skim off fat and adjust seasonings.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with tortilla strips and cheeses.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Regional Differences in Mexican Cooking

Check the above thread for Jaymes famous recipe for Chilaquile.

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Suvir, you stinker!! - I didn't say it was FAMOUS! I said it was "my old standby" which is an ENTIRELY different thing!!!!

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Thanks, Suvir. I hadn't looked at that thread in some time. Jaymes, stellabella, and Toby all have great posts there.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Thanks, Suvir. I hadn't looked at that thread in some time. Jaymes, stellabella, and Toby all have great posts there.

I am assuming they are all three women. For not many men can write with such passion and sensitivity. Wow... If we had more women sharing their thoughts in public forums, this world would be a much happier place.

Jinmyo I agree that these 3 great eGulleteers have shared amazing bits of personal recipes and thoughts in making that thread and much of their eGullet posting a treat for the rest of us.

And then we have you.... Your pearls of wisdom are happily scattered around the site.

Now India wishes she too could get some in her lap.... :wink:

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