Dean Fearing’s Tortilla Soup

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There are some recipes that are just so perfect there is absolutely no reason to change or modify them! Dean Fearing’s tortilla soup is one such recipe. This tortilla soup is so dang delicious, there is no reason in the world to change one single thing about his recipe. Added benefit, it is already super healthy, the only teeny tiny change I made was leaving out the cheese when serving.

This recipe can be found in Dean’s cook book, The Texas Food Bible, but as I know the recipe can look daunting, I decided to show it step by step and prove just how simple it is to make.

 

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Above are all of the ingredients you will need to make the soup “broth”

 

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups tomato puree
  • 2 cups onion puree (made by processing 2 large peeled and roughly sliced white onions in the food processer until smooth)
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 corn tortillas, cut into long strips
  • 5 ancho chilies, stems and seeds removed (I soaked mine in hot water for 10 minutes to rehydrate them, but I don’t think this is necessary as they will simmer in the soup for at least 45 minutes)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil (not shown)

 

 

Step by step Directions

 

Step 1

  • Heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat
  • Once oil is heated add the tortilla strips and garlic, cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly

 

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Step 2

  • Add the onion puree, cook for 10 minutes stirring frequently

 

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Step 3

  • Add the ancho chilies, chopped jalapeno peppers, tomato puree, chicken stock, cumin, coriander, cilantro, bay leaf and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and simmer for 45 minutes

 

 

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Step 4 (not shown)

  • Once soup has simmered for at least 45 minutes. Turn off heat and let soup cool a little bit. Transfer soup to your blender or food processor and process until smooth, you may have to do this in batches. Take proper precautions, as the soup is still hot

Step 5 – Make crispy tortilla strips

  • Cut 4 corn tortillas into strips
  • Heat oil (peanut or vegetable oil) in a cast iron pot. You want the oil to be about ½ inch high (enough oil that a candy/deep fry thermometer can measure the oil temp
  • Heat oil to 350 – 375 degrees
  • Drop tortilla strips into the hot oil and fry for about 2 – 3 minutes, until they are golden brown
  • Remove tortilla strips with tongs and set on a plate lined with paper towel and let cool

 

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Step 6 – Prepare your toppings

These are the toppings Dean includes in his soup, you can add them all or choose your favorites

  • 1 cup smoked boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced (you can get this from your favorite BBQ restaurant to save a lot of time)
  • 1 cup avocado, diced
  • ½ cup green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup red radishes, julienned
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno peppers, minced (more if you want an added kick)
  • ½ cup shredded white cheese

 

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Step 5 and 6 can be done while the soup is simmering

 

To serve

  • Evenly distribute the “toppings” between 4 large soup bowls. Ladle the soup over the “toppings” and garnish with the crispy tortilla strips and cilantro

 

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Ingredients

For the soup

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups tomato puree
  • 2 cups onion puree (made by processing 2 large peeled and roughly sliced white onions in the food processer until smooth)
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 corn tortillas, cut into long strips
  • 5 ancho chilies, stems and seeds removed (I soaked mine in hot water for 10 minutes to rehydrate them, but I don’t think this is necessary as they will simmer in the soup for at least 45 minutes)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil

For the “toppings”

  • 1 cup smoked boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced (you can get this from your favorite BBQ restaurant to save a lot of time)
  • 1 cup avocado, diced
  • ½ cup green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup red radishes, julienned
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno peppers, minced (more if you want an added kick)
  • ½ cup shredded white cheese

To garnish

  • 4 corn tortillas and peanut or vegetable oil to make crispy tortilla strips
  • Chopped cilantro

 

Directions

  • Heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat
  • Once oil is heated add the tortilla strips and garlic, cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly
  • Add the onion puree, cook for 10 minutes stirring frequently
  • Add the ancho chilies, chopped jalapeno peppers, tomato puree, chicken stock, cumin, coriander, cilantro, bay leaf and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and simmer for 45 minutes
  • Once soup has simmered for at least 45 minutes. Turn off heat and let soup cool a little bit. Transfer soup to your blender or food processor and process until smooth, you may have to do this in batches. Take proper precautions, as the soup is still hot
  • While the soup is simmering, prepare your toppings
  • To serve evenly distribute the “toppings” between 4 large soup bowls.       Ladle the soup over the “toppings” and garnish with the crispy tortilla strips and cilantro

 

Notes

  • If the soup seems too thick after you process it you can add more chicken stock
  • You can make the “soup” portion of this recipe ahead of time and keep in refrigerator and reheat when ready to serve

 

Makes 4 servings

 

 

Jenn Likover, RD

  
in Recipe Box, Uncategorized

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