Crisp juicy bursts of sweet corn, savory soft crunch of sauteed onions, mild bursts of peppers, rich savory bursting tomatoes, creamy cheese, rich, grainy, full black beans… should I go on?
Tortilla Soup is a Texas Tradition.. like mild winters, jalapenos, chili and boots.
Tortilla Soup is rich and warm like a soft sweater on a cool winter’s day, a burst of slow, simmering warmth from a potbellied stove or the sharp sweet smokey scent of a mesquite fire.. Tortilla Soup, it is comfort.
Every Tortilla Soup recipe is a bit different and since I’ve been making it for about 12 years … it’s just a given that when Fall rolls around on our calendar, my tastebuds start tingling for the rich tomatoes, savory garlic and onions and the unique tang of cilantro and peppers that are only found in Tortilla Soup.
I warn you now.. this is not a side dish soup. Give Tortilla Soup it’s proper due. This is a meal.. to be eaten topped with lime juice, tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream and avocado slices. It is a soup that deserves a moment of appreciating silence.
Be still and take a deep breath, savor the smells and anticipate the impending tonguegasm.
**Printable Recipe Below**
- 2 cans Black Beans (large)
- 1 can niblet corn (large)
- 2 cans diced tomatoes (large)
- 1 yellow onion, chopped (yes, there are 2 pictured… I changed my mind)
- 8 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, chopped
- 1 poblano pepper, chopped
- 2 (4 oz) cans green chilies
- 2 whole chickens (cooked, cooled and shredded)
- 2 Tbsp chili powder (+1 for chicken)
- 2 Tbsp oregano
- 2 Tbsp Cumin ( + 1 for chicken)
- 3 Tbsp Garlic Powder (+1 for chicken)
- 2 Tbsp Chipotle Chile Powder
- 2 Chipotles in Adobo Sauce, chopped
- 3 large tomatoes, chopped
- handful of fresh cilantro leaves
- 6 Bay Leaves
- 3 C fat free chicken stock
- 1 C water
- lime, for juice
- tortilla chips
- shredded cheddar
- Sour cream
Boil a large pot of water and add two whole chickens, 1 Tbsp Chili Powder, 1 Tbsp Cumin, 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder, 6 Bay Leaves
Boil the chickens for about 10 minutes, turn off heat, cover and set aside.
While the chicken is cooking, chop all other ingredients.
In a large stock pot, over medium-high heat drizzle some olive oil, add in chopped garlic, onion and poblano pepper… cook, stirring occasionally, about 6 to 10 minutes or until fragrant and just translucent.
Add in chopped tomatoes, cook, stirring occasionally about 5 minutes.
Remove Chickens from pot, strain and set aside to cool
Dump in all other ingredients. Stir, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer.. cover and cook.
When the chicken is cool enough, pull the meat from the bones and add it to the pot.
Continue simmering for AT LEAST 4 hours, tortilla soup.. like chili and many other sauces and soups gets better with time. The longer they cook, the richer the flavors and the better they blend. ( Day 3 of this, is my favorite day)
Serve this soup with crushed corn tortilla chips (or get fancy and use corn tortilla strips) a squeeze of lime, avocado slices, sour cream and shredded cheddar.
This is one of those recipes that makes enough to eat for a week and freeze enough for another week.
Give some to a friend or neighbor and you’ll have an ally for life.
This recipe has just enough heat that it simmers within you, warming you with a slow glimmering heat.. but not lighting the fire. It is rich, savory, filling, creamy… basically everything you can ask for in a soup. Perfect fall food.
Trust me, I’m a Texas Girl :-) I made this on Wednesday and have eaten it every day since. It is THAT good.