When we are in Mexico I try tortilla soup in almost every restaurant we eat at just to find the very best version.
Some are great, some are okay and some are down right like dirt water.
The best versions we've tried are flavorful and bright, not too heavy and full of this wonderful melty but still firm cheese that we are not 100% sure what the name of it is.
We've made lots of our own versions as well. But this version was pretty right on in closeness to some of our favorites tried in Mexico. The blended tortilla strips make all of the difference.
We use Panela cheese because we can find it easy here and it seems super similar to the kind we've had there. But not sure if this really is what they use.
We fill our bowls with small cubes of cheese.
Then add shredded rotisserie chicken. It works so much better when you don't actually put the chicken in the soup but rather ladle the soup broth over the shredded chicken.
It's definitely comfort in a bowl South of the Border style. Top with some chopped avocado and baked tortilla strips. (Ours burnt this night so we had to use some crumbled tortilla chips...too salty.)
- Tortilla Chicken Soup:
- 6 tablespoons cooking oil
- 8 6-inch corn tortillas, halved and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 large cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 1/2 quarts canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
- 3 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (one 28-ounce can)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup lightly-packed cilantro leaves plus 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
- 1/2 cup cubed Panela Cheese
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- 1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Heat over to 300 degrees. Slice tortillas into into thin strips. Spread out on baking. Bake until golden & crisp (watch closely time depends on your oven.)
- Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onion, garlic, and spices; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, salt, cilantro leaves, if using, and one-third of the tortilla strips. Bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes; remove the bay leaves.
- In a blender, puree the soup in batches; pour it back into the pot. Fill individual bowls with a few tablespoons of cubed cheese and shredded chicken (eyeball it.) Ladle broth into each bowl
- To serve, add some chopped avocado and put the remaining tortilla strips in bowls. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro, if using, and serve with the lime wedges.