I think I've found the best tortilla soup EVER. And the Handyman thinks it is the best EVER. He even said the words "this is REALLY good soup." He said it more than once! That's a pretty good compliment since he usually rolls his eyes and sighs when I say "I'm making soup" (although when I said I was having a tortilla soup showdown of my very own for Girlichef's year long Tortilla Soup Round-up, in her quest to find the perfect Tortilla Soup, he did ask me to space them out, since we ended up eating this particular Tortilla Soup 3 days in a row for dinner, lunch and eatwhateveryoucanfindbecauseI'mnotcookingtonight).
I love to make soup. I think soup is one of the easiest meals you can make. Even tho most times there are lots of chopping, dicing, stirring, adding, waiting..... but I enjoy all that. I think I love to make soup because there are so FEW DISHES TO CLEAN UP. It's a one pot meal. I mean, what are a few knives and a cutting board and a measuring cup or two? It's one pot....a couple of bowls and a couple of spoons, some nice warm homemade bread (rolls, muffins, cornbread, etc) with real butter, a glass of wine (or whatever you enjoy with your soup), and you have heaven on earth.
I meandered away from my main subject yet again.... The Best Tortilla Soup EVER! And here is where I inject a secret. I don't think I've ever had tortilla soup before. Shhhhh......don't tell Heather....shhhhhhh.
Seriously tho, this soup was really, really, really good. I could have eaten it for 3 more days... mmmm,mmmm good. (and it wasn't even Campbells').
Having said that.....I think this is a replica of "Houston's" Tortilla soup. I think it's very well known....Houston's soup that is..... Except by me, who never has had Tortilla Soup and am now in love with Tortilla Soup.
Just forgive me if I'm using a recipe that is KNOWN worldwide as a good Tortilla Soup (I can hear you all now saying ---geez, she's original, sheesh!") But don't say it. PLEASE. I am new to the Tortilla Soup World, and I carpetbagged on a good thing. Is ignorance bliss? I thought so, until I googled Houston's Tortilla Soup and saw how popular it was.
You know what? Never mind....I don't care, cuz this soup is really good. I have wide shoulders, I can take being shunned (well....really I can't. Please, please dont' shun me,) laughed at behind my back (but don't do that either please--I'm very sensitive you know.) Just consider me an infant in the Tortilla Soup world.
And then, if you've never tried "Houston's Tortilla Soup" do it soon, because this is... So. Damn. Good.
I have 4 more recipes to try, so stay tuned as I join Heather at Girlichef, in her quest for the perfect tortilla soup.
And then, I'm just going to keep going and try all your recipes for this soup too. And maybe even open a restaurant called "The Tortilla Soup Factory" and serve all your soups. Hmmm....well, okay, I'm not going to do that, but it wouldn't it be fun?
My Recipe for Houston's Tortilla Soup
1 2 1/2 lb chicken, cut up, skin removed
2 ribs of celery cut into chunks
1 med. onion-quarterd
2 sprigs parsley
2 Tbs. chicken soup base
1 tsp lemon pepper (aha! I didn't have any lemon pepper, so I made my own using lemon zest and black pepper)
1 large clove garlic-minced
Combine all of the above in a stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer and cook for one hour until chicken is tender and meat falls from the bones. Strain and reserve broth. Tear meat off the bone and set aside.
1 1/2 pounds potatoes
1 lg can creamed corn
1 10oz can of Rotel
1 1/2 cups half and half
In 4 cups of the reserved broth, boil about 1 1/2 pounds peeled potatoes (I had a 10lb-bag....the math was horrible for me ) until tender. Remove from heat. Mash up the potatoes in the broth and add; 1 large can of creamed corn, 1 10oz can of Rotel tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups half and half, 2-4 minced Tbs of cilantro.
Add reserved stock and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Before serving stir in 1 cup of both cheddar and jack cheese, and the chicken, 4-6 corn tortillas which have been cut into strips. Cook until cheese is melted.
Ladle into bowls--garnish with a dollop of sour cream, chunks of avocado dipped in lemon juice, slices of black olives and tortilla strips that have been deep fried.
I am sending this to Heather for her Tortilla Soup Challenge and to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sundays.