I’m going to come clean right away. By the time I had the idea to post this recipe, I was sitting at my kitchen table, nearly done eating all the leftovers, and I
was too lazy to go get the camera didn’t think the dregs left in the bowl by that point would make for an appealing photo.
This recipe is quite flexible, so feel free to adjust the spices to your taste. Don’t like heat? Use mild chili powder. Like a thinner soup? Omit the tortilla pieces. Think cilantro tastes like soap? (I used to!) Don’t use any, or substitute with parsley for some colour. You can even make a vegetarian version by leaving out the chicken and using vegetable stock.
This recipe makes about 4 large meal-sized servings or 6 smaller portions. Try it before some enchiladas or tacos for a full, homemade Mexican meal.
KP's Tortilla Soup
2 tsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Spice mixture (see below)
6 cups chicken stock
1 14-oz/398 mL can Italian tomatoes (I like Pastene)
3 bay leaves
4 corn tortillas, cut into small pieces
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2-1 cup shredded chicken breast
2 tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. hot chili powder (if your chili powder isn’t hot, add 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground coriander (or freshly crushed whole coriander)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Crushed tortilla chips
Fresh chopped cilantro
Avocado slices or small chunks
Sour cream or Mexican crema
- Heat olive oil on medium-high heat in a large pot on the stove until it shimmers but before it smokes.
- Add the onion and lower heat to medium. Cook until onion softens slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Add minced garlic and spice mixture and cook for another few minutes.
- Add stock, tomatoes, bay leaves, tortilla pieces, and salt.
- Simmer for about 20 minutes, crushing the tomatoes against the sides of the pot occasionally to help them break down.
- Add chopped cilantro and simmer another 15 minutes with the cover on.
- Taste and adjust seasonings – you may want to add more salt at this point.
- Add juice of 1/2 lime and shredded chicken.
- Serve with as many optional toppings as you like – or none. It’s flavourful and satisfying on its own.