Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tortilla Soup Quest roundup #3 (&Tortilla Soup #8 from ATK)

tortillasoupchallengegirlichef

Thanks so much to everybody who joined in on my quest to find the ULTIMATE Tortilla Soup since I started this challenge...I have found so many amazing and varied versions!  Each one has made my mouth water, in turn...and there's still half a year to go.  This is the third roundup in the series...check out these delicious versions from the past couple months of the quest!  Simply click on title of soup in photo caption to go directly to each Tortilla Soup post and recipe!

Wendy from Around My Family Table warmed up from some crazy storms with her Chicken Tortilla Soup.  She says... "We love this soup. It is so quick and easy to put together, even at the last minute because I usually have everything on hand. I love those type of dishes, don't you?" Why yes, yes, I do.
Chicken Tortilla Soup from Around My Family Table
I'm not sure why I'd never thought to make a Tortilla Soup in my slow cooker, but once I saw that Kim from The Ungourmet post her slow cooker version, I knew it was in my future! This was her "first attempt at tortilla soup and I have to say, it was pretty darn good." Indeed.
Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup from The Ungourmet
The Soup queen herself, Deb from Kahakai Kitchen included her quick & easy blender version of Tortilla Soup in her Souper Sundays: Year in Soup post using her VitaMix.  Of this version...and she's tried others...she says, "Simple, fast and full of great flavor.  It is amazing how quickly the blender makes a satisfying, tasty soup."  I want a VitaMix---and this soup!
Quick & Easy Blender Tortilla Soup from Kahakai Kitchen
Christy from Fudge Ripple tried her first Tortilla Soup at a Mexican tourist trap once upon a time, and since she "can't just hop a plane to Mexico when a craving hits..."  she makes her own version "which closely resembles my memory of the perfect tortilla soup.  Now if I could just conjure up a spell that could mimic the fresh sea breeze....life would be perfect."  Ah yeah, yours and mine both, my friend ;-)...because I'd totally make you share that spell with me!
Fudge Ripple's Favorite Tortilla Soup
When Alex from A Moderate Life conjures up memories of Tortilla Soup from her favorite Mexican restaurant and heads into the kitchen, results are fabulous with her creamy version of this classic...she says "The soup is a cream based bisque with a few shreds of tortilla sprinkled across the top. It is simply amazing and defies description. All I know is when I taste it, and by the way, they gave us a free taste the first time we came in for dinner, as they obviously know it will sell itself 10 times over, but I digress, when I taste it, my heart opens up and my soul says “Ya baby!”." I concur.
A Moderate Life's Creamy Tortilla Soup

Although she gives her daughter credit for this recipe, it was Brenda's big bowl of tortilla soup with chicken over at Sense of Home that had my mouth watering!  She says..."This soup is so amazingly fresh and tasty, it wakes up your taste buds.  What is really great is this takes so little time to make you can easily make this after work.  The key is to plan ahead so you have the fresh ingredients on hand."  I'm pretty sure I could eat this version any meal---any day!  I'm all about planning ahead.  Sometimes.
Chicken Tortilla Soup from Sense of Home

Debbie from The Friday Friends brings her second submission to my challenge with this delicious Black Bean Tortilla Soup...and it was a bit "healthified" compared to her previous attempt. She says, "I was prepared not to like it.  Not to like it at all...until, the Handyman said, "this is really good", So I tasted it and guess what?  I liked it too!  It had a great taste.  A great broth and some fresh chilies and lime.  We both had seconds."  Sheesh, after that, I just wish I had firsts!
Black Bean Tortilla Soup from The Friday Friends
Of her super simple Tortilla Soup, Audrey from Homemaking On A Whim says "I love this recipe. Seriously, it's just about my favorite recipe ever. It's delicious, and better yet, EASY. I always have the stuff to make it on hand, and I usually have at least a couple of the toppings on hand as well. " Personally, I was intrigued by the use of Italian Dressing and Tomato Sauce in her version...go check it out!
A super simple Tortilla Soup from Homemaking On A Whim

Although she didn't include a picture in this post, Katie from Mexican Wildflower totally had my mouth watering with her delicious Sopa de Tortilla Verde...a green version...sure to become a fast favorite!


Using some Pace Picante Sauce that I (Heather from girlichef) received as a product to try and review, I made a Spicy Southwest Tortilla Soup that was simple, tasty, and definitely worth making again.
Spicy Southwest Tortilla Soup from right here at girlichef

I am convinced that the Madison House Chef is on the same wavelength as me, because using leftover turkey and turkey stock from Thanksgiving was totally swimming around in my mind when I opened up her post in which she used both in her version of Tortilla Soup...yum!
The Madison House Chef brings us a Tortilla Soup w/ turkey

Thanks so much for joining me everybody!  Don't forget, the quest continues for another six months, so keep 'em coming!!
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Here's the latest version I tried...good...but not the best...

Tortilla Soup
makes ~9 c.

tortilla strips
8 (6") corn tortillas, cut into ½" wide strips
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
salt

soup
4 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs (~1¼ lbs.), skin removed and well trimmed of excess fat
8 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1 very large white onion (~1 lb.), trim, peel & quarter
4 medium garlic cloves, peeled
2 sprigs fresh epazote
salt
2 medium tomatoes, cored & quartered
½ medium jalapeño
1 chipotle chile in adobo, plus up to 1 Tbs. adobo sauce
1 Tbs. vegetable oil

garnishes
lime wedges
avocado, peel, pit & dice
monterey jack, diced
fresh cilantro leaves
jalapeño chile, minced

For tortilla strips:  Adjust an oven rack to middle position; heat to 425°F.  Spread tortilla strips on a rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with oil and toss until evenly coated. Bake until strips are deep golden brown and crisped, ~14 mins, rotating and shaking pan halfway through.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and transfer to paper towel lined plate.

For the soup:  While the tortilla strips bake, bring the chicken, broth 2 onion quarters, 2 garlic cloves, the epazote, and ½ tsp. salt to a boil over med-high heat in a large saucepan; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until chicken is just cooked through, about 20 mins.  Transfer chicken to a large plate.  Pour broth through a fine-mesh strainer; discard the solids in the strainer.  When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite-size pieces; discard the bones.

Purée tomatoes, remaining onion and garlic, jalapeño, chipotle chile, and 1 tsp. of adobo sauce in food processor until smooth.  Heat oil in Dutch oven over high heat until oil shimmers.  Add purée & 1/8 tsp. of salt, and cook, stirring frequently until mixture has darkened, ~10 mins.  Stir in strained broth and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer to blend flavors, ~15 mins.  Taste and add more adobo sauce if desired.  Add shredded chicken and simmer until heated through, ~5 mins.

To serve, place tortilla strips in bottom of bowl, ladle in hot soup, and pass garnishes.
*(speaking of the soup queen...) I'm sending this soup over to my friend, Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sundays this week!





*Be sure to enter my Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook & Cookie Gift Pack Giveaway by Sunday Dec. 12...it's good stuff...keep it or check someone off your holiday shopping list!*