Monday, February 6, 2012

Tortilla Soup


One of the nice things about writing this blog is that it makes it easy for me to find my go-to recipes without having to sift through piles of recipe cards or magazine pages. A lot of times, after writing a post, I'll throw away my hard copy of the recipe, especially if it was hastily scratched out on a scrap of paper, most likely the back of a piece of junk mail or an old receipt. But there are a few recipes that, no matter how many times I've made it or how easy it is to look up on this blog, I will always make the extra effort to find in print. This recipe is a perfect example. My copy of it is written out on an old piece of plain paper, not one that came out of a cheap ream of white printer paper, but out of a small box of nice paper for writing letters. It is written very carefully in my mom's beautiful cursive with a felt-tip pen (with a tiny correction in Nana's distinct handwriting in black ball-point). It is a recipe that I treasure, not because it is so delicious (it is!), but because it was written with love and care many decades ago. And I assure you that after I publish this post, I will still make the effort to find it every time I make Tortilla Soup.

Tortilla Soup
I'm typing this exactly as written by my mom with any clarification in parentheses.

1/2 cup chopped onion
1 4-oz can green chilies
2 cloves garlic (minced)
3 3/4 cups water*
1 1/2 cups tomato juice
1 small can tomato sauce (the smallest size)
1 medium tomato, peeled and chopped (I never peel it!)
1 teaspoon beef bullion granules
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2-4 drops tobasco
10-12 corn tortillas, fried and cut into strips (I just use the little tortilla strips that you garnish salads with)
1 cup shredded monterey jack
peeled and sliced avocado
sour cream
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (I probably use at least 1 extra cup of chicken)

In a little oil in a dutch oven, saute onion, chiles, garlic. Add water, tomato juice, tomato sauce, tomato, bullion, cumin, chili powder, worcestershire sauce, pepper, and tobasco. Stir and cover. Reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. Add chicken. Serve in bowls with avocado, sour cream, and tortilla strips (and cheese).

*may need up to 2 extra cups water (I have never added any extra water)

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  1. I wonder... could this recipe be made vegetarian by replacing the chicken with some kind of vegetable (maybe cabbage?) or beans? Hmmm... thanks for the recipe! I might have to play around with it a bit, it looks good!

    1. Hi Jenna. I think this could easily be a vegetarian soup. I'm thinking beans or potatoes would be good. Let me know if you try it!

  2. This really sounds good. Is that one can of green chilies that you use?


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