Tortilla Soup Made by a Northerner
Since we live in the Northeast, Tortilla Soup is not a big thing here.
My friend Suzanne is a transplant from Houston, and now lives in Georgia.
She is a real Southern cook. She always made great biscuits and introduced me to a restaurant in Dallas called The Mansion at Turtle Creek.
She always made the executive chef Dean Fearing's Tortilla Soup, and it was always so delicious. Fearing has since moved on to be the head chef at The Ritz Carlton in Dallas, but his soup lives on!
I am sure everyone has their own version, using fresh tomatoes, canned chilies, different garnishes, etc. It's all good.
Here is the original Mansion recipe. I made some changes to the recipe and will note them.
Mansion at Turtle Creek's Tortilla Soup:
3 tablespoons corn oil
4 corn tortillas, coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh epazote (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro)
2 onions, chopped
2 cups fresh tomato puree (I used 2 cans of 14 oz. of fire roasted tomatoes w/ juice)
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 bay leaves
2 quarts chicken stock
I added a cup of frozen fire roasted corn from Trader Joe's
Salt to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste (I used a chili in adobo sauce)
1 cooked chicken breast, cut into strips
garnishes: (use as many as you like!)
1 avocado, sliced or cubed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 corn tortillas, cut into strips and fried crisp (I used Tostitos lime flavored tortilla chips!)
squeeze of fresh lime juice
In a heavy dutch oven, cook your onion, chopped corn tortillas & garlic with cumin, chili powder & chili in adobo sauce. Cook until onion is softened.
Now add your can of fire roasted tomatoes, chicken stock, corn, bay leaf & cilantro.
Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add your cooked chicken at the end.
Garnish with fresh cilantro, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, some tortilla chips, avocado or cheese (or whatever YOU like!).
* This soup has been on the menu at the restaurant at The Mansion on Turtle Creek since it opened in 1985. According to executive chef Dean Fearing, “When Tortilla Soup is ordered, it is brought to the table in a tureen for individual service by the waiter, who garnishes each bowl according to the customer's desire.”