My daughter Julia asks for this soup nearly every day. Patrick and I first tasted tortilla soup in Puerto Vallarta on our honeymoon. For several years, I looked for a recipe, gave up, and finally developed one of my own. If you don’t have time to make the tortilla strips, you can substitute store-bought chips.
1 Tbs. Butter
1 yellow onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 small can green chilies
1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes
1 can black beans, drained (You may also use red kidney beans)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup shredded chicken
1 Tbs. Taco seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
12 yellow corn tortillas
¼ cup peanut oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups shredded jack cheese
Sour cream, for serving
Sauté onions and garlic in butter in a large soup pot over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add chilies, tomatoes, beans, corn, chicken stock, chicken and taco seasoning. Stir through on high heat until soup boils. Reduce to low. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer one hour.
With a sharp knife, cut tortillas into ¼ inch strips, stacking them four at a time to save time. Place all tortilla strips on a cookie sheet. Top with oil and salt. Toss the tortillas gently with your hands until they are all coated and the salt is evenly distributed. Spread in an even layer. Place in a 350 degree oven for thirty minutes until slightly brown and crisped. Remove and let cool.
To serve: Ladle soup into bowls. Top with a dollop of sour cream, a handful of jack cheese. Place a haystack of tortillas on top. Makes eight servings.
Conversation starter: Tell a knock knock joke, the cornier, the better.