Monday, September 9, 2013

Tortilla Soup

MGG and I spent the weekend looking at an investment property.  

We found a massive house/mansion tucked inside a hill high above the valley.  Oh the views...and oh the STAIRS!  87 to be exact.  87 slippery, tall, concrete steps leading to the front door.  Since the garage was at the bottom, and the only access are those lovely steps, you have no choice but to get some exercise.  

I couldn't imagine carrying two arms full of groceries in the rain, let alone moving furniture up those steps. Holy cow, what a workout!  But once there, the view....oh my!

Let me tell you, fixing up a property won't be a pretty task.  The shape that this house was in was shameful.  Beautiful marble floors worth salvaging, but the ceilings and walls had holes and structural damage from earthquakes.  Man, it's sad what a mess this house was left in.  So it's giving us something to think about.  A large money investment that would have a huge payoff, and a large time investment to fix it.

So, I came home to make a soothing soup that was not so much of an investment.  This is a soup that I made before in one of my Williams-Sonoma cooking classes.  Spicy and satisfying, just what we needed after taking in that house!  This isn't your average tortilla soup as it starts out with a chili and spice paste/puree which is added as the base of the soup.  So delishhhh!  It takes a little bit of time, but is well worth the effort.

Enjoy an investment in this wonderful soup!

Tortilla Soup


  • 5 dried ancho chilies, soaked in boiling water, drained, seeded and chopped
  • 4 fresh Anaheim chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cups chopped peeled tomatoes
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 7 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 2 corn tortillas, torn into pieces
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1⁄2 lb. cooked chicken, cut into 1⁄2-inch dice
  • 2⁄3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus leaves for garnish
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • 6 corn tortillas, cut into strips 2 inches long
  • 6 oz. crumbled queso fresco or shredded jack cheese
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced


In a large bowl, combine the ancho and Anaheim chilies, the tomatoes, onion and garlic, and the two corn tortilla pieces. Working in batches, coarsely puree in a food processor. Transfer to another bowl.

In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the canola oil until almost smoking. Add the chili mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Stir in the stock and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the chicken and chopped cilantro.

Meanwhile, in a deep fryer, pour in vegetable oil and heat to 375°F according to the manufacturer's instructions. Working in batches, fry the tortilla strips until crisp, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Garnish with the tortilla strips, cilantro leaves, cheese and avocado slices and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Source:  Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.


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