Tortilla soup, one of my guilty pleasures. Surprised? Once you have had a great tortilla soup, you will be preparing it year round, even in the middle of the summer! And that’s how it happened. If you break it down, Sopa Azteca or tortilla soup is prepared with just a few simple ingredients, but if you did not know any better you would think it was more complex and involved because it’s that delicious. Ok, I have to admit, I am a sucker for those fried tortilla strips. I often add them to many of of soup, stew or chili recipes.Try adding them to you salads. They will make that fresh green salad pop! There a few variations on preparing Sopa Azteca, but it basically comes down to fried tortilla strips, a light tomato broth, onions, garlic, chile, epazote, oregano and lime. And you cannot forget those signature garnishes. Anything else that you add would be chefs choice. I was lucky enough to have some leftover smoked chicken that was already cooked and shredded in my freezer. That took this recipe over the top for me. The smokiness of the chicken with the smoky flavors of the chile pasilla with hints of lime, tasty! This version is also a more traditional version that you would find in Mexico. The hardest thing for me with every new blog post is deciding which pictures to share. with you all. I loved taking pictures as a kid and I still love it to this day!
Sopa Azteca~Sopa de Tortilla
On the first day……mmmmmmm
On the second day….Tasty!!!
And on the third day, added more chicken broth. Darn, it’s all gone! On the last day, I also added a little cilantro and some crushed chile piquin.
Sopa Azteca-Sopa de Tortilla(Tortilla Soup)
- 6 Roma tomatoes I used more than most recipes, I used a variety from the farmers market this day
- 1 medium sweet onion sliced into thick rings
- 3 large cloves garlic skins on
- 1 serrano pepper optional
- 4 chile pasilla stems and seeds removed
- Olive oil
- 6 to 8 cups chicken stock or broth for a thin broth, add 2 more cups
- 2 to 4 teaspoons Knorr tomato bouillon/chicken or chicken base optional
- 1 teaspoon mexican oregano crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried epazote or a small handful of fresh epazote if you can't find epazote, use cilantro or parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
You will also need
- 5 to 6 cups of fried tortilla strips
- 6 to 8 ounces queso panela or queso fresco diced
- 1 avocado diced
- Mexican crema or sour cream
- Lime wedges or key limes sliced in half
- Line a large skillet or comal with foil paper and preheat for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, onions, garlic and serrano. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, turning as needed. Remove the garlic after 15 minutes and let cool.
- While the tomato mixture is cooking, preheat 1/4 cup of olive oil to medium heat for 2 minutes. When ready, add the dried chile pasilla and cook just for about 25 to 30 seconds. They should bubble up slightly and become aromatic. Remove from oil onto a plate lined with paper towels, set aside. Reserve pan with oil.
- Once tomato mixture is ready, remove from heat. Remove skins from garlic.Transfer all of the ingredients to the blender, including 2 of the chile pasilla and 2 cups of stock or broth. Blend on high until smooth, strain into bowl with a wire mesh strainer. Cut the remaining chile pasilla into small pieces, set aside.
- Pour half of the oil left in the pan from cooking chiles into a soup pot. Preheat to medium for a few minutes. Once it's hot, add the strained tomato/chile mixture in. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat and continue cooking for 25 to 30 minutes, until it reduces and becomes thick.
- When ready, add the bouillon, oregano, epazote, bay leaves and 4 cups of chicken stock/broth to the pot with tomato mixture. Stir well to combine. If you would like a more clear and thin broth, add the remaining 2 cups of broth now. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes. Taste for salt. To plate, add tortilla strips and shredded chicken to the bottom of bowls. Ladle soup base over halfway up to tortilla strips. Squeeze in fresh lime, garnish with queso panela, crema, avocado and chile pasilla pieces. Yields 6 to 8 servings.
Tips~Variation on preparing the broth is to add the toasted chiles directly with the roughly chopped fresh tomato, onion and garlic and blend. You would still strain in and finish cooking it. But, I just love the results more when the ingredients are roasted first.
Tips~ I typically would use only Roma tomatoes, but I had these beautiful yellow and orange tomatoes that had to be used up.
Tips~You can use a variety of dried chiles, like chile ancho or guajillo, but the one I see most often used is chile pasilla. If using chile ancho, use only 2 for entire recipe as they tend to be quite large
Tips~It takes about the same time to roast the ingredients on the stove top as it does in the oven. Line your pan or comal for easy clean up.
Tips~ The chile pasilla becomes quite crispy and brittle when fried in the oil. But once it hits that warm soup it becomes soft. Adds a great smoky flavor without alot of heat.
Tips~ The roasted tomato mixture with chile pasilla and broth is delicious as is. But the strained sauce is worth the trouble, believe me. Add less tomatoes for a thinner broth.
Tips~ Here is the soup base for the Sopa Azteca while it’s reducing. This is before you add more chicken broth. It will become thicker. If you would like a more clear tomato broth, add more chicken broth.
Tips~ To plate, add the chicken and fried tortilla strips to the bowl. Only do this when serving directly, or you can let your guest build there own bowl of sopa azteca at the table.
Tips~ Then ladle in the broth, as or as little as you like.
Tips~ The most traditional garnishes for Sopa Azteca are avocado, queso panela, crema, fried chile pieces and lime.
Tips~ I am sure I have mentioned this before, but key limes are so much tastier if you can find them!
Tips~ If you cannot find Mexican crema, you can use sour cream.
Tips~ For fried tortilla strips: Leave 15 to 20 corn tortillas out of the package and let them dry at room temperature overnight. Preheat 2 cups of canola oil to medium heat for 10 to13 minutes. Fry in several batches until crispy. Drain onto plate or pan lined with paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with salt while they are still warm. Click onto picture above for more Chicken Tortillas Soup Recipes right on site.
And then I had to prepare it again and again!!!!!!!!!!