We sell the best corn tortillas that make amazing Mexican tacos, but what do you do with any that are left over? In Mexico, they make tortilla soup. Tortilla soup in Mexico is as common and well-loved as French onion soup is in France. With a base of pasilla chillies and a touch of smoky chipotle, it's warming, comforting and certainly lifts the spirits on a cold day.
You will see variations of this soup in Mexico, shredded cooked chicken is often added, as I've done here, or you can leave that out and make it vegetarian or add in some cooked beans. I think the tortillas are the real star though and with some tasty garnishes of diced avocado, crumbled feta, sour cream and fresh coriander, it's got everything going for it.
Prep time: 30-45 minutes
Washing up: 3 pans plus a food processor
Allergens: Lactose (only in the feta and sour cream)
Ingredients for Mexican Tortilla Soup
For the soup base
2 skinless chicken breasts, poached and shredded
2 onions, roughly chopped
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
4 pasilla chillies, seeds removed and lightly toasted
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon chipotle chilli paste
1 400g tin of plum tomatoes
1.5Ltrs chicken stock
1 cooked corn tortilla, broken into pieces
2-3 tablespoons of Fussels cold pressed rapeseed oil
2 teaspoons of salt
For the soup toppings
5-6 corn tortillas, sliced into 1½cm strips
200ml Fussels cold pressed rapeseed oil for frying
1 ripe avocado, diced
100g feta cheese, crumbled
6 tablespoons sour cream
1 lime, sliced into 6 wedges
½ bunch fresh coriander, chopped
Poaching is generally not a cooking technique for chicken that initially springs to mind - grilling, roasting and barbecuing is far more British. However, poached chicken is common all round the world and it's a fantastic way to have juicy, succulent chicken whilst also giving you some nice tasty cooking stock. There is really only one rule when poaching chicken and that's not to boil it too hard, this can potentially dry out the meat. The trick is to heat the liquid just so you can see a few bubbles and make sure it doesn't go any further than that.
1. Start by placing the chicken breasts in the stock and heat until you start to see just a few bubbles appearing. Gently cook for 8 minutes, then turn the heat off and leave the breasts in the hot stock for a further 8 minutes.
2. Rip up the pasilla chillies, toast them in a pan for about 30 seconds, place in a bowl and add some of the hot chicken stock to cover. Soak them for around 15 minutes before blitzing to a paste in a food processor.
3. Fry the onions in the oil and sweat for around 10 minutes, then add the garlic, the ripped up tortilla, oregano, tinned tomatoes, chipotle chilli paste, the pasilla chilli paste (that you made) and the salt. Continue cooking for a further 5 minutes, add in the rest of the chicken stock and keep simmering for a further 10-15 minutes.
4. Once the chicken breast are cooked, remove from the stock, leave to cool for a few minutes and then shred into smallish strips. Keep to one side.
5. In a saucepan, heat the oil to fry the tortilla chips. When it's shimmering hot, fry the tortilla strips for around 30 seconds, until they are slightly golden and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon to kitchen paper to dry.
6. Blitz the soup in a food processor until it's beautifully smooth, the corn tortilla that you added will help it thicken whilst adding a lovely extra flavour. Place it back in the pan and simmer for a further 5-10 minutes
7. Finish getting the other toppings ready - dice up the avocado, crumble the feta and chop the coriander.
8. To serve, place some shredded chicken and a few of the crispy tortilla strips in the bottom of each bowl, ladle over the hot soup and then top with some diced avocado, feta cheese, coriander a spoonful of sour cream and a few extra crispy tortilla strips.
Enjoy! And foodies don't forget to tag us on your social feeds, or leave a review here when you cook this at home. Ben
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