I am a soup girl. I usually make about two pots of soup every month. Not only does soup warm and satisfy. It can be a cost effective way to feed a family or large group. I have been searching for a better tortilla soup recipe, one that is easy to make and delivers big, authentic “sopa de tortilla” taste fast. I found and tested a recipe recently printed in one of my favorite sources, Cook’s Illustrated. You will find a “GourGanified” variation of their recipe here.
They first suggest making your own fried tortilla strips, and while this is a flavorful way to go, I think a good organic store bought chip can be crushed and added as a garnish. So here goes the recipe for the soup. I will also add a recipe for fried tortilla strips, in case you want to go that route.
2 (12 ounce) bone-in split chicken breasts or 4 (5 to 7 ounce) bone in chicken thighs (remove the skins and trim off any excess fat)
If you find boneless thighs or breasts, they are fine, too just may impart a little less flavor
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 large white onion, peeled and quartered
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 large sprigs fresh epazote if you can find it. I could not so I used the alternate 8 to 10 sprigs fresh cilantro
1 dash dried Mexican Oregano
1 dash salt (to taste)
1 tomato (cored and quartered)
1/2 jalapeno pepper chopped
1/2 jar GourGanics (spicy is great here)
1 tablespoon veggie oil
1 chopped avocado
8 ounces cotija (authentic) or Monterey Jack or Mexican Cheddar blend Cheese
Mexican crema (authentic) or sour cream
Here’s how to make this easy soup:
Step 1. This takes about :20 minutes:
Bring broth, chicken 2 onion quarters and 2 cloves of garlic herbs and 1/2 teaspoon or so of salt to a boil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Reduce to low, cover and simmer. This should take about 20 minutes. Pull out the chicken with long togs and set it aside. Pour the broth through a fine-mesh strainer throw away the “floating stuff”. When it is cool enough to handle, pull the chicken off the bone and cut into nice, bite sized pieces. If using boneless breasts, just pull the poached chicken breasts apart by
hand or cube them.
Step 2. takes another :30 minutes or so.
Puree tomatoes, salsa, remaining onion, garlic and herbs in the food processor until smooth. Heat oil in your Dutch oven over high till it shimmers. then add the puree above and stir constantly until you get a rich, warm brown color. This should take :10 minutes.
Stir the strained broth into this dark mixture and boil for :5 minutes, then reduce the heat for :20 minutes and allow to slowly simmer as flavors meld. Add shredded chicken and warm till heated through.
Step 3. Garnish, serve and eat.
Place a small portion of crushed tortillas or homemade strips (see recipe) in a bowl, ladle in soup, add lime wedges, finely chopped chunks of avocado, cheese and herbs on top.
To make gluten-free homemade tortilla strips you will need:
8 (6 inch) corn tortillas cut into strips (about 1/2 inch wide)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
salt to taste
Adjust your oven rack to the middle position and heat to 425 degrees
Spread tortillas and rimmed sheets, drizzle with oil, toss evenly till coated.
Bake until strips are deep golden brown and crispy. (13 minutes or so)
rotating pan and shaking strips to redistribute halfway through baking time
Season to taste and transfer to a plate line with paper towels.