Tortilla Soup

In by Toni PLeave a Comment

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Tortilla Soup
1994, the Los Angeles Times was delivered to our houses, every single day. If the guy who delivered it didn’t throw it, literally into the sprinklers, we clomped outside in the early hours in our bathrobes to 'grab the paper’. One day of the week they had a special food section with the ads of the week for the sales at the grocery stores, coupons and sometimes, GREAT recipes! One such day (August 18th of 1994), there was a recipe for the Tortilla Soup from the Bel-Air Hotel. Sounded yummy and I gave it a whirl. It has become a family heirloom. To this day, I pull out the yellowed cutting from the paper to remind me what I need to do. I have made about 50 copies of this yellowed piece of the paper, sent it to people, scanned it numerous times into my files for safe keeping, even taken a photo of the page, to have it handy. This is my adjusted version of the recipe, but it is pretty darn close. The original said to strain and chill and then add the chicken, and fixings, but these days we just use it with all the goodies that gave the broth taste, and pass on the straining. I have lost count of how many times we have enjoyed this bowl of comfort. #huginabowl
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cut tortillas into strips about 2 inches long and ¼ inch wide. Heat oil in large skillet. Add tortillas strips and fry until golden. Remove and drain on paper towels. (this can be done ahead of time)
  2. To the hot oil, add fried tortillas (reserving a small bowlful for garnish), chili powder, cayenne, paprika, cumin, shallots, bay leaves and ½ of the chopped cilantro.
  3. Cook over low heat, stirring for about 10 minutes. The mixture will get very dark and that is good. Add onion and cook 10-12 minutes longer.
  4. Add fresh chopped tomatoes and crushed tomatoes from the box along with the broth or stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 90 minutes on low. You can cool and refrigerate at this point.
  5. When ready to serve, prepare bowls with the chicken, cheddar cheese, cilantro, and any other toppings you might like. Serve the basic soup and people can add the toppings of their choice. I have included jalapenos as that is a favorite, although red pepper flakes go nicely too.
  6. I have used various kinds of tortillas, from the traditional corn, to the artisan blends of corn and flour, to the grain free cassava flour. They all work well, just have a different texture when done. Here are some examples that have worked beautifully!

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