This recipe has been adapted from a relatively well known restaurant’s recipe. I have looked online to see if anyone had successfully adapted the actual recipe on one of the copycat sites, but so far they are completely wrong about what’s in it. It’s a fairly simple soup, and while it turns out very well at the restaurant, it turns out even better with the adaptations that I have done to it.
Of course the ingredients are in restaurant quantity, starting with a gallon of water, and the end result is 1 3/4 gallons of product. We won’t be using those measurements, because that’s a lot .Also, I changed the method a fair amount. Large restaurant cooking is fairly institutional, and misses very important flavor building steps. You can of course alter the amounts of any ingredient to suit your taste. All the timing is a matter of my own experience, your stove might differ, your location (altitude) might change how fast or slow things finish, and you will of course, adjust it to your preference.
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
One Yellow onion diced 1/2 pieces
Garlic-about four cloves diced finely
One can of tomato paste
2 tablespoons chipotle puree or paste
10-12 cups of chicken stock (I use Better than Bouillon)
1-2 tablespoons of jalapeno pickling juice
2 tablespoons lime juice (fresh or bottled)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
Two bay leaves
1 teaspoon white pepper
Four or five boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces
Two large potatoes diced 1/2 pieces
Two large carrots diced 1/2 pieces
One large yellow squash diced 1/2 pieces
One large zucchini diced 1/2 pieces
One yellow bell pepper diced 1/2 pieces
One red bell pepper diced 1/2 pieces
One orange bell pepper diced 1/2 pieces
Heat your vegetable oil over medium heat, and add your chopped onion
Saute for three to four minutes before adding garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes more.
Add both the tomato paste and chipotle paste, stir and saute to roast and bring out the flavor. About a minute. Be careful to stir often, don’t let it burn to the bottom
Add all of your spices to this mixture, and continue to roast for another minute or so. This will deepen the flavor of the spices and make the depth of the soup much better
Pour in your chicken stock, and mix well so nothing is left on the bottom to burn
Add jalapeno juice and lime juice, adjust amounts to taste, but the fine tuning will be done later
Add the chicken, the potatoes, and the carrot
Bring to a boil, and then reduce it to simmer
Cook about fifteen to twenty minutes, but keep a close eye on your vegetables. The texture is important here. You are looking for them to be a little more than half cooked to your desired doneness.
Once this is achieved, add the yellow squash and zucchini and cook for another ten. Squash and zucchini cook fairly fast, so be check to make sure that they are not over cooking.
When they are about seventy percent done, add the bell peppers. These will cook really fast, so again, be vigilant.
When the peppers are about done, you are going to be fine tuning your finished product. Taste and adjust your seasoning, add salt, pepper, more lime juice, more jalapeno juice, or whatever other flavor you want to bring out.
Once your peppers are done, and you have adjusted it to taste, shut the heat off.
This soup is best served with some tortilla stips on top, and some shredded monterey jack cheese sprinkled over it. Another suggestion would be to add sliced avocado, and cilantro or mint to the top
That’s it, that’s the tortilla soup. It’s fairly basic, and how it turns out has a lot to do with you, and how you tweak it as you go.