VAQUERO TORTILLA SOUP
Updated: Jul 2, 2019
*I am always tweaking my recipes, and adding the Poblano and Vegetable Stock made such a difference I had to share. So, if you've made this recipe before, I encourage you to give it another try. This version allows for a great summer soup, as well...
After a long, chilly day on the ranch, this warms you through and through. It's spicy and hearty, chunky and crispy, creamy and rich, a little bit of Texas meets Mexico...just call me Chef de Vaquero Newton!
6 T Cooking Oil
4 6-inch corn tortillas, halved and cut crosswise into ¼ inch strips
8 6-inch corn tortillas, chopped
1 Sweet White Onion, chopped
4 Lg Garlic Cloves, smashed
1 Poblano Pepper, diced
1 T Paprika
1 t Ground Cumin
3 t Chili Mix* *For Chili Mix, use your favorite blend. Check out Pendry’s in Ft Worth, TX. Their Sierra Madre mix works perfectly for this hearty, flavorful soup!
2 Quarts Chicken Broth
2 C Vegetable Broth
3 C Canned Crushed Tomatoes (28 oz can)
1 Can Rotel Original Tomatoes
2 Bay Leaves
2½ t Salt
½ C Cilantro Leaves, plus 3 T Chopped Cilantro
1¾ lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into ¾-inch pieces
1 Lg Avocado, cubed
¼ lb Grated Cheddar/Monterrey Jack Cheese
2 Lg Jalapenos, sliced (larger Jalapenos aren’t as spicy, adjust to taste)
1 Lg Lime, cut into wedges
1. In large pot, heat oil over moderately high heat. Add the Tortilla strips and cook, stirring, until light golden, about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low, add Onions, Garlic, Poblano and Spices; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
3. Add Chicken & Vegetable Broth, Tomatoes, Bay Leaves, Salt, Cilantro Leaves, and the 8 Chopped Tortillas; bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. REMOVE THE BAY LEAVES.
4. *Omit this next step if you want a brothier soup. The tortillas will cook down. If you’d like a thicker, creamier soup, proceed with the stick blender. Using a stick blender, puree soup until smooth.
5. Add Chicken (this is a great recipe for using leftover smoked, grilled or baked chicken. Reconstitute chicken in chicken broth before adding to soup), and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add Jalapenos and simmer until Chicken is cooked through, about 5 more minutes.
6. In serving bowl, layer desired amount of Tortilla Strips, Cheese, and Avocado; pour Soup gracefully around “mound” and top with additional Tortilla Strips, Cheese and Chopped Cilantro. Serve with Lime wedges.