Thursday, March 27, 2008

Texas Tortilla Soup

The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather and alison oresman has this Texas Tortilla Soup that is out of this world! Okay, I bought avocados at Costco. . .dumb me. . .they ALL got ripe at the same time so I tried to make the slices extra thick for the garnish (WHICH the recipe DOES call for =D, only thin slices) and I figured it would be a great way to use up a couple of avocados, but if you make this soup. . .don't do it! To hard to cut up with a spoon. The recipe called for 3 cooked, shredded chicken breasts but I went and bought a garlic seasoned rotisserie chicken. I actually ate one of the legs off of it before I got to the shredding of the chicken. It used to bug the heck out of me that my grandma would stick her fingers in everything and taste (not a spoon. . .her fingers) before assembling whatever she was making and here I am ripping the 'ol chicken leg off and munching. I almost feel so guilty! I haven't blogged in days because I am having a little trauma with my teenage, only child, daughter and I just can't concentrate. She is such a sweetheart but high school can be rough and I guess I am a little over protective. What Mom isn't, right? So that is why I have been away for a few days. . .that and my chirping kitty. She wandered into our lives on a cold, stormy, rainy night as a kitten with no age and starving. She is now a no age, plump kitty and I made an appointment to get her fixed and nature kicked in and now I have to wait a month. Let's just say she does this chirping thing NON-STOP for the last two weeks and I am seriously thinking about resorting to a squirt bottle if she doesn't at least keep it to 15 minute increments instead of hours on end. She is adorable but OMG!

Okay, back to this awesome SOUP! I used my homemade stock but purchased chicken stock will work almost as well. I am so proud of myself for making my own stock that I just had to say that =D. The dried ancho chile is simmered in the stock before pureeing and when I made this soup, I deseeded the whole chili before pureeing. Next time, I will leave some of the seeds so that there is at least minimal heat. This soup is gorgeous because the garnishes have so much color and added flavor. . .which this soup doesn't need but only increases the attraction.

Texas Tortilla Soup


8 plum tomatoes

4 T. olive oil

1 Medium-size yellow onion, diced

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 t. chili powder

2 t. ground cumin

4 c. chicken stock, preferably homemade

1 dried ancho chile pepper

1 (15-ounce) can peeled tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 cooked, shredded chicken breasts

3 ears fresh corn or 1 (8-ounce) package frozen corn (optional but oh so worth it)


2 ripe avocados, peeled and sliced

Tortilla chips or strips

2 plum tomatoes, diced

1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro

1 c. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

Sour Cream (optional)


To Make the Soup: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the tomatoes in half. Spread 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on a baking sheet or pizza pan and arrange the tomatoes on top, skin side up. Drizzle the tomatoes with another 1 tablespoon of the olive oil Roast the tomatoes for 25 to 35 minutes, until the skins wrinkle and the tomatoes are slightly brown around the edges.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy-bottomed, 4-quart soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper and saute about 5 minutes, until the vegetables become soft. Stir in the chili powder and cumin and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and ancho chile. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover, decrease the heat, and simmer about 15 minutes, until the ancho chile softens. Remove the chile from the soup and pull off and discard the stem. Cut the chile in half and discard the seeds, if desired. (Leaving the seeds in makes for a spicier soup.) Place the softened chile, the canned tomatoes with their juices, and the roasted tomatoes (including as much of the juices and browned tomato bits as possible) in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Puree the chile-tomato mixture about 1 minute. Transfer the chile-tomato mixture to the soup and continue simmering, covered, about 1 hour. Add salt and pepper to taste, along with the cooked chicken, If using fresh cor,m, cut the kernels from the cobs, add the corn to the soup, and simmer for 5 minutes.

To Garnish the Soup: Ladle the soup into medium bowls. Lean 3 to 4 slices of avocado against the edge of each bowl, partially sticking out of the soup. Arrange the tortilla chips or strips in a similar way. Sprinkle each bowl with a handful of diced tomatoes, some cilantro, and 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese. Top with a spoonful of sour cream. Serve immediately.


Deborah said...

I just may have to make this! I actually just made my first batch of homemade chicken stock that is waiting patiently in the freezer to be used.

Good luck with your daughter - high school is a crazy time, especially for girls.

shawnda said...

This is my husband's favorite soup. We were making it every weekend last fall and living off of the leftovers :)

Bellini Valli said...

This soup does sound incredible.I love the flavopur combinations here as well as the shortcuts. Highscool is a very trying time for young girls. There is so much pressure on them and lets face it girls are really mean to each other. My daughter is 21 now and survived and so did I:D

Shandy said...

deb, You made your first batch of chicken stock. . .great feeling of accomplishment isn't it? I couldn't quit peeking in the freezer after my first, second . . .okay, I still peek =D
BTW, high school is crazy and we are both trying to survive it

shawnda, I can see why you both were living off the leftovers, I absolutely love the flavors too!

bellini valli, I am glad to hear you and your daughter survived all the emotional trauma. . .I think ours is just beginning and there have been many tears. . .for both of us =)

On a happier note, the soup is delicious and I am looking forward to making another pot this weekend. =D