Ever since I first tasted it on a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico in 1999, I have maintained a special place in my heart for tortilla soup. Since then I’ve had good and no-so-good tortilla soup at restaurants and enjoyed a decent version in the Middlebury College dining halls. Over this past Christmas holiday my mother made a tortilla soup from a New York Times recipe convincing me to give this soup a try myself.
I went into my soup planning to generally follow the New York Times recipe, with the addition of chicken and corn, but ended up deviating quite a bit with good results. As well I usually just use corn tortilla chips rather than frying or baking flour-tortillas. This saves a bit of work and makes for very easy left-over eating.
This recipe should serve 4 as a main course and leftovers are great frozen.
- A few tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 medium onion – chopped
- 1 chicken leg or breast, cut into small (less than 1-inch) pieces
- 6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of chili powder
- About a quart of frozen tomatoes or a 28oz can of tomatoes
- 2 quarts of chicken stock
- 3/4 cup frozen corn
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons of lime juice
- 1 large bag of tortilla chips
In a large pot…
- Sauté the onion and chicken in olive oil until the onion starts to get translucent and the chicken isn’t raw.
- Add the garlic and chili powder and cook for another few minutes, but not so much as to brown or scorch the garlic.
- Add the tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes until the tomatoes reduce a bit.
- Add the stock and frozen corn. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30-45 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender, pulse the blender a few times to grind up the larger chunks of chicken, tomatoes, and onion, but not so much as to puree all of the corn. A variety textures from purée to small chunks is what I aim for.
- Add the chopped cilantro, salt to taste, and stir.
- Put soup in bowls, top with broken tortilla chips.
- Optionally, add crumbled queso fresco or other cheese.