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Chris Hennes

[Modernist Cuisine at Home] Tortilla Soup (p. 267)

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Has anyone tried to make the Tortilla Soup variation from Modernist Cuisine at Home? I'm making it for dinner tonight and I've got a question.

 

At the top of the page, it lists a blanket set of directions for all of the soups on this page:

First, combine all the ingredients except the noodles. Then stir, cover, remove from the heat, and allow to infuse for 2-3 minutes. Finally, strain the broth, add the cooked noodles, and serve.

 

The ingredients for the tortilla soup are chicken stock, canned tomatoes, onion, tortilla chips, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, and cumin seeds. It seems strange to me to use these ingredients (particularly the tortilla chips) solely as an infusion, then serving the soup as a plain noodles-and-broth affair. Has anyone had success with this?

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Well, I went ahead and made the recipe as written (mostly: I added chicken to the soup). Here are the ingredients for the infusion:

DSC_2389.jpg

 

And the finished soup:

DSC_2407.jpg

 

I used the Masa Harina pasta recipe and cut it into ~5cm squares. Personally I'd have like quite a bit more cilantro flavor from the infusion, and wouldn't have objected to some additional textures in the soup itself. I think actually this would have been more intriguing served as a broth alone, without the noodles or chicken, because the broth did taste like tortilla soup on its own, which was kind of neat. 

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. . . .

 

I used the Masa Harina pasta recipe and cut it into ~5cm squares. Personally I'd have like quite a bit more cilantro flavor from the infusion, and wouldn't have objected to some additional textures in the soup itself.

Any chance the recipe was designed more as a point of departure, than a full-on end result? Especially in McAH, several of the recipe strike me as (intentionally) spare and minimal (not that I've beenable to actuallydo anything with it, yet, given my current situation, so this is pure hypothesis).

 

I think actually this would have been more intriguing served as a broth alone, without the noodles or chicken, because the broth did taste like tortilla soup on its own, which was kind of neat.

 

Now you just need to spherify it ;)

 

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Maybe serve it as a sort of caviar on top of tortilla chips: I know you were joking, but now the wheels are turning...

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Maybe serve it as a sort of caviar on top of tortilla chips: I know you were joking, but now the wheels are turning...

Or maybe a single larger sphere of it served warm on top of a tortilla chip. Sort of a Mexican soup dumpling.

 

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I was picturing a single gigantic bowl-sized blob of spherified soup, with the noodles draped over the top like hair.

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Hah! Not quite what I'm going for, but I could do a riff on the Shanghai Soup Dumplings on MC 5•253. Those are sort of inverted soup dumplings, where the soup is encapsulated and a thin sheet of pasta laid over the top.

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This whole idea makes me want to throw up.  Geez.  Just because you call an elephant a cigar, doesn't make it a cigar.

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This whole idea makes me want to throw up.  Geez.  Just because you call an elephant a cigar, doesn't make it a cigar.

It's a variation on a theme, not a replacement for the original. Would you find it less offensive if they called it a consommé based on tortilla soup?

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This whole idea makes me want to throw up.  Geez.  Just because you call an elephant a cigar, doesn't make it a cigar.

 

Which part of the recipe bothers you? The ingredients aren't particularly unusual, though straining the solids back out is, I admit. The idea of self-encapsulating isn't that outlandish, I don't think, just opens up fun new ways of serving the broth. Even encapsulated I think it's hard to argue that it's not a tortilla soup, the taste is spot on.

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Maybe serve it as a sort of caviar on top of tortilla chips: I know you were joking, but now the wheels are turning...

 

Not joking, really; I think it could be kind of cool, texture-wise, maybe as caviar to scoop up with tortilla chips (but they'd have to be pretty firm).

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