Travel Bites

By Gwen Ashley Walters


Tortilla Soup

The Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort
6 Servings


A good friend of mine taught me how to cook the moistest chicken breasts. Lay the chicken breast in a single layer on a sheet pan with at least 1/2-inch sides. Pour 2 to 3 cups of half-and-half over the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 25 minutes. You won't believe how incredibly moist and tender the chicken is, perfect for this recipe as well as for chicken salad.


2 cups cooked and cubed chicken breast, about 4 breasts
2 cups diced avocado
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
4 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips and fried crisp in 1/4 cup oil

Tortilla Soup:
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/2 onion, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and veins removed
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 each, corn tortillas cut into 1-inch squares
1/8 cup tomato paste
3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 quarts homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and pepper


1. Prepare all the garnishes and set aside.

2. In a food processor, mix the garlic, onions, jalapeño and tomatoes by pulsing 10 times or continuously for 10 seconds. It will look a little like mush. Set aside.

3. Heat the peanut oil in a heavy bottom stock pan and when hot, cook corn tortilla 1-inch squares until crisp.

4. Add the garlic mixture to the tortillas and stir in the tomato paste and cumin. Cook 4 to 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring often.

5. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until liquid is reduced by 1/3, about 20 to 30 minutes.

6. Strain and adjust seasonings with salt, black pepper and cumin.

7. To serve, ladle 6 to 8 ounces of soup in bowl and top with chicken, avocado, cheese, cilantro and fried tortilla strips.


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Copyright © 2001, Gwen Ashley Walters. All rights reserved.

Gwen Ashley Walters is cookbook author, cooking teacher, food writer and Certified Culinary Professional with a degree in Culinary Arts. Gwen's travel guide/cookbooks, The Great Ranch Cookbook, (1998) and The Cool Mountain Cookbook, (2001) were published by Pen & Fork Communications.

This page created September 2001