Monday, February 02, 2009

Monday night soup night: Tortilla soup

Monday night has been soup night for a long, long time here at the Raising Five house (you can see the way I plan-not-to-plan our family's weekly menus here). Last night for the Superbowl, I tried an INCREDIBLE RECIPE. I am SO glad I doubled it so we can have it again for our Monday Night Soup Night tonight.

It's a recipe from The Mansion on Turtle Creek, one of the finest restaurants in Dallas, famous for its Southwest (note: NOT Tex-Mex) cuisine. I've only eaten there once (someone else paid the exorbitant tab), but it was enough for me to buy the former executive chef Dean Fearing's cookbook. (You can also find the recipe here).

The Mansion on Turtle Creek's Tortilla Soup (serves 8-10)

3 tablespoons corn oil
4 corn tortillas -- coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic -- finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh epazote -- chopped (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro - I used the cilantro)
1 cup fresh onion puree (I used one onion in the blender)
2 cups fresh tomato puree (I used one 14.5-oz. canned diced tomatoes and blended in the blender)
1 tablespoon cumin powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 whole bay leaves (I left these out - don't care for bay leaves)
4 tablespoons canned tomato puree (I also left this out)
2 quarts chicken stock

Since this was a "main dish," I also diced one carrot and put in some frozen corn for interest.

salt -- to taste
cayenne pepper -- to taste (also omitted for Little People's sake)
1 cooked chicken breast -- cut in strips (I used two and shredded them)
1 avocado -- peel, seed & cube
1 cup Cheddar cheese -- shredded
3 corn tortillas, cut in strips -- fried crisp (I used store-bought tortilla chips)

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute tortillas with garlic and epazote (or cilantro) over medium heat until tortillas are soft. Add onion and fresh tomato puree and bring to a boil. (Start lighting candles early, because YOU and YOUR WHOLE HOUSE will reek of garlic after this).

Add cumin, chili powder, bay leaves, canned tomato puree, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil again, then reduce heat to simmer. Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes. Skim fat from surface, if necessary.

Strain and pour into warm soup bowls (I just poured it through my colander to strain out the chunks of now-very-soggy tortilla).

Garnish each bowl with an equal portion of chicken breast, avocado, shredded cheese, and crisp tortilla strips. Serve immediately. (I put the chicken right into the soup pot. Then we ladeled the whole thing over a few chips in the bowl, and topped with the garnishes.)

Soup may be made one day ahead and gently reheated before serving with garnishes.

Chef's Note: This soup has been on the menu at the restaurant at The Mansion on Turtle Creek since it opened in 1985. According to executive chef Dean Fearing, “When Tortilla Soup is ordered, it is brought to the table in a tureen for individual service by the waiter, who garnishes each bowl according to the customer's desire.”

Obviously, this soup is a little more labor-intensive than my usual throw-it-all-into-the-pot Monday night soups (when was the last time you strained YOUR soup?).

But OH. MY. GRACIOUS. if you can make the time, it is WONDERFUL!

Let me know if you make it, and what you think!

Do you have a favorite soup recipe to share?


mholgate said...

We had soup last in the crock pot last night too! :) Ours was cheesy nacho chicken soup. So easy to make!

3-4 frozen chicken breasts
1 can nacho cheddar soup
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 small can green chilis
dash of pepper & salt
dash of garlic powder
dash of onion powder

Place chicken in crock pot
Sprinkle with spices
Pour other ingredients on top

Cook on low 8-10 hours -OR-
Cook on high 4-6 hours

Shred chicken and serve in bowls with tortilla chips to scoop the soup! :)


Sherri@NoiseOverload said...

Easy, easy, easy and a hit EVERY time.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 lbs. Shredded chicken (cooked)**
1 onion (optional)
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can ranch style beans or Texas Beans
1 can ranch style beans with jalapenos (jalapenos optional)
2 cans water or chicken broth (I use water)
1 can hominy or corn
1 package of taco seasoning
1 package of hidden valley ranch
1 can of rotel

Heat in Crock Pot or on the stove top until heated through.
We add carrots and celery for the last 30 minutes so they are crunchy.

Serve with green onions, sour cream, cheese and tortillas.

** Sometimes we just use the whole roasted chicken from the grocery store. Other times I just boil some chicken breast and then shred it.

Come see me and I'll fix it for you or Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas - we had those tonight!


Ginger said...

mmmmmm! I can't wait to try it! Here's a favorite of ours and many other families around our neck of the woods.

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup - from Celia Lubisich

1/4 cup veg. oil
2 Tbs. chicken base
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 cup Masa Harina
8 cups water (divided)
1 cup crushed canned tomates
1/4 pd. processed American cheese, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 pds. cooked, cubed chicken

In a large pot place the oil, chicken base, onion, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Saute until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

*In a bowl combine the masa harina and 4 cups water. Stir until all the lumps are dissolved. Add to the onion mixture and bring to a boil. Once the mixture starts to bubble, continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. This will eliminate any raw taste from the masa.

Add the remaining 4 cups water along with the tomatoes. Return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cheese and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, till the cheese is melted.
Add the chicken and cook until heated through. Serve topped with your choice of tortilla chips, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and cheese.

*I like to boil my chicken and then roughly chop it (with my pampered chef food chopper), so it kind of falls apart and isn't so 'cubed-looking'. Then I use the water that I boiled the chicken in for the 4 cups water to mix with the masa, and then again also for the remaining 4 cups of water.
You can find the Masa in the ethnic hispanic food section of the grocery store (it's in a bag, like flour).


Anonymous said...

Thursday night is my soup night. I just throw stuff together. I will try this on a weekend when I have plenty of time to devote to putting it all together. Thanks for posting it.


momaof4 said...

Thank you for sharing!! Can't wait to try it.