Lake Isle Press

Sopa De Tortilla

Warm up with this delicious tortilla soup from Chef Jose Garces.

Sopa De Tortilla


  • 1 Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • SOUP
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp (4 to 6 cloves) Roasted Garlic
  • 1 Spanish onion, halved, charred, and chopped
  • 3 beefsteak tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lb), charred and chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup pasilla Chile Paste
  • 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo, with sauce
  • 2 qts Chicken Stock
  • 8 to 10 tortillas home-fried into chips, preferably stale
  • Kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 qts vegetable oil, for frying
  • 4 to 6 small (about 6-inch) corn tortillas
  • Kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup Mexican crema
  • 1/4 lb grated queso fresco (1/2 cup)
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges


TO POACH THE CHICKEN, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the onion, bay leaf, and 3 to 4 tablespoons salt. Add the chicken and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until just cooked through. Lift the chicken out of the water, drain it, and allow it to cool. Shred it by hand into bite-size pieces. (Discard the cooking water.)

TO MAKE THE SOUP, heat the oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, and tomatoes and cook until softened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato paste, chile paste, and chipotle chile with sauce and cook for 10 minutes more. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

TO MAKE THE TORTILLA STRIPS, heat the oil to 375°F in a stockpot, using a candy or deep-fry thermometer to monitor the temperature. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to slice the tortillas into strips about 1/4- inch wide. Fry the strips briefly, 30 to 60 seconds, just to crisp them. Use a slotted spoon to carefully transfer the strips from the oil to the baking sheet to drain.
Stir the tortilla chips into the soup and cook for another 5 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and use a handheld immersion blender to purée the soup until it is very smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and season to taste with salt. (At this point, the soup can be cooled and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.)

TO SERVE, rewarm the soup over medium heat, stirring often. Garnish each serving with crema, cheese, avocado, shredded chicken, cilantro, lime wedges, and tortilla strips, or pass the garnishes at the table.

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