This recipe for tortilla soup requires a few ingredients that you might already have in your pantry if you like cooking Mexican meals. It is quite easy to make and absolutely exquisite.
We will be making a chicken stock to start this recipe for tortilla soup. If you want to use store bought chicken stock go ahead. I would like to encourage you to make the stock if you have time. It will make a difference in the flavor as you will know exactly what is in it and you will be able to control the amount of salt that you add.
In this recipe I also fry my tortillas and make the chips. However, you can definitely go ahead and use store bought tortilla chips for this without any problem.
Although I used chicken breast for this you can easily make this with thighs as well. You will have to cool down the stock and remove the excess fat before you finish your soup if you do use thighs or your soup will be excessively greasy.
Here’s is what you are going to need:
1 whole chicken breast
4 scallions (2 cut in half for the stock and 2 for garnish)
6 garlic cloves ( 2 smashed and 4 finely chopped)
1 celery stalk with leaves
1 small carrot, peeled
1/2 bunch cilantro (1/2 of it minced for garnish, the other 1/2 whole)
8 cups water
2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup grated Monterrey cheese
8 corn tortillas, cut into strips*
Salt & Pepper
WHEW! Seems like a lot, huh? Well, let’s start with the chicken stock. Wash and pat dry the chicken breast. Put it in a stock pot with the scallions, smashed garlic, celery, carrot and the whole cilantro. Add the water and season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cook stock for 1 hour, making sure to skim off the foam from the top.
While the stock is cooking, heat a large frying pan with about 1 inch high oil. Make sure it gets really hot. Working in batches, deep fry the tortilla strips separating them so they don’t stick. When browned remove them form the frying pan and place them on paper towels to drain the excess oil. Sprinkle with salt.
*If you would rather purchase tortilla chips from the grocery store knock yourself out. Simply replace the tortillas for a bag of tortilla chips. No problem!
Heat some oil in another pot. Add the onions and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the jalapeno peppers, cumin and oregano. Mix well and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and blend – or, if you have a hand blender, go ahead and blend it in the pot. You can skip this step if you want. I like to blend the tomatoes so my soup is creamier but it is not absolutely necessary.
Remove the chicken from the stock and shred it. Discard all the veggies and add the stock to the tomatoes. Add the tomato paste and make sure it dissolves well. Add the corn. Cook for 15 more minutes.
Serve the tomato soup in a bowl. Add the shredded chicken and garnish with chopped scallions, cilantro, shredded cheese and diced avocados. Top with your tortilla chips and serve with lime wedges! Enjoy!