Cookbook Profile

Rustic Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soupby Kate Heyhoe

Serves 4


I love all kinds of soup, but my husband is a bit more picky. This, though, is the one soup he readily requests and subsequently enjoys to no end. No wonder, for this savory meal consists of boiling hot chicken broth, aromatic with cumin, chile, and laced with lime, ladled over a mound of crisp fried tortillas, cheese, chicken, tomatoes, and avocado. The ingredients are just barely cooked by the hot broth, allowing their pure flavors and natural textures to be tasted separately and distinctly from the rest of the soup.

This is a festive soup to serve to guests, and much of it can be done in advance. The raw ingredients can be chopped (preferably in large, coarse chunks) and set aside, then sprinkled into soup bowls just before serving. Be sure to bring the ingredients to room temperature before use. The chicken broth and its ingredients can be prepared the day before, then reheated before pouring into the bowls. Pass extra chips on the side to round out this satisfying meal in a bowl.

Corn tortilla chips, about 4 large handfuls or more
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup cooked chicken meat, shredded
2 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 ripe avocado, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, sliced into thin rings
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground red chile
2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
2 limes, halved
2 green onions, green and white parts chopped
Fresh cilantro sprigs

1. Before cooking the soup, prepare the soup bowls with the raw ingredients. In each of 4 deep bowls, place a handful of tortilla chips; you may use store-bought ones, but the flavor is better if they are freshly fried. On top of the chips, place 1/4th of each of the following ingredients, in this order: grated cheese, chicken, tomato, and avocado.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic, cumin, and chile, and cook another 2 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock. When it is boiling hot, squeeze in the juice from the limes.

3. Ladle the chicken broth and onions over the ingredients in each bowl. Top with green onions and sprigs of fresh cilantro and serve immediately, while passing additional chips on the side.


Buy the Book!


A Chicken in Every Pot
Global Recipes for the World's Most Popular Bird
by Kate Heyhoe
Photos and Styling by Thomas Way & Kate Heyhoe
Capital Books
$24.95; Paperback
ISBN: 1931868328
Recipe reprinted by permission.


A Chicken in Every Pot
Global Recipes for the World's Most Popular Bird



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This page created November 2003