Quick and easy tortilla soup will become one of your favorite year round soups. Make it lighter in summer and heartier in winter!
Years ago, I took an old friend (literally, she was in her late 80s) to Santa Barbara for the day.
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We went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch, and the entrees all came with Tortilla Soup or an Iceberg lettuce salad as a starter. Well, I have to admit, at that time, I was ignorant about Tortilla soup; I thought it was made with tortillas–YUCK! However disgusting I thought it would be, it was the lesser of the two evils in my opinion, because you’d have to pay me to eat iceberg lettuce!
So, I ordered the tortilla soup and out it came, and it looked quite lovely: a light orange colored broth with a few cut veggies and long, thin strips of fried flour tortillas adorning the soup. “Interesting,” I thought, then I took my first taste; I was hooked! It was so unexpectedly delicious, as was the cheese! On the bottom of the bowl, hidden by the veggies and crisp tortilla strips was some sort of wonderfully gooey cheese!
Another soup with gooey cheese: French Onion Soup
It was love at first spoonful, and in fact, to this day, I remember asking the waitress to box up my entire entrée as I didn’t want to spoil the taste of the soup (and it had actually filled me up quite nicely).
The following recipe is my version of the soup which I had in Santa Barbara. I have made it for lots of company, and actually brought Trader Joe’s Truly Handmade Tortillas (my favorite) to England, and made the soup for about 10 relatives!
Everyone seems to enjoy this soup (almost) as much as me! Plus, it’ll take you longer to read my long-winded intro, than it takes to actually make the soup!
Christina’s Quick and Easy Tortilla Soup
- one medium onion, cut into quarters
- 2 or 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 or 3 medium Roma tomatoes (or about 3/4 cup tomato puree)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 cups water plus 2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon (or 5 cups chicken stock)
- 2 small potatoes (or one large)
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 small zucchini (courgettes)
- olive oil (to fry the tortillas)
- fresh, flour tortillas (corn tortillas may be used for gluten free diets)
- grated mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese
- Tabasco (or your favorite brand) hot sauce
First, put the tomatoes, onion and garlic in a blender. Hit BLEND or whatever button will do the business, and puree the heck out of those veggies! It will look like a pasty salmon color, and should not have any chunks.
Put the 3 tablespoons olive oil in a pot and turn the heat onto medium high. Next, pour the puree into the hot oil in the pot. Stir and let simmer for about 3 or 4 minutes. It will turn a bright red color.
Next, add the water, bouillon (or stock), about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Let the soup simmer for about 5 minutes, while you chop the veggies.
Add the veggies to the soup and let simmer until the potato is cooked. Check for salt, and add if needed. That’s it–soup’s done!
I never measure anything when I make this soup, because you really can’t mess it up. In summer, I use less tomato and onion and more water to make a broth-ier soup. In winter, I like it heartier, so I use more veggies and less water to thicken the consistency. You can add some hot sauce to the pot if everyone’s game, if not, just pass it around.
Crispy Tortilla Strips
My favorite tortillas are Trader Joe’s Truly Handmade. If you don’t have a TJ’s nearby, just make sure the tortillas don’t have tons of chemicals and artificial ingredients.
Finally, fry the strips (I use a pizza cutter to cut them easily and quickly) in a small amount of olive oil, then drain on a paper towel.
Pour into a bowl, sprinkle a little mozzarella or your choice of cheese, and top with freshly fried tortilla strips, and hot sauce if desired.
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