I’ve gotten into quite a habit of choosing a savory recipe when it’s my turn to choose for Project Pastry Queen and this time is no different. It hasn’t really been soup weather around here lately but as I was flipping through The Pastry Queen this Texas Tortilla Soup jumped out at me and I knew it was the one.

I don’t love tortilla/taco/whatever soups but this one excited me because it was brothy instead of creamy. A nice, light soup sounded absolutely perfect to me! It’s a very simple soup that I threw together in no time after I got my chicken cooked (I did a whole chicken so I could knock out the meat and the stock in one go).

We really loved this! My husband stirred a ton of sour cream and cheese into his and then used it as a dip for tortilla chips which was pretty genius. It would be a fun way to change up the leftovers. If you have any, of course!  Garnish as you wish – I used a really sharp cheddar instead of Monterey Jack and it was delicious melted on top.

Two years ago: Bacon Cheeseball

Texas Tortilla Soup

from The Pastry Queen

Ingredients

For the soup:
8 plum tomatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-size yellow onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper diced
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 cups chicken stock
1 dried ancho chili pepper
1 (15-ounce) can peeled tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cooked, shredded chicken breasts
3 ears fresh corn or 1 (8-ounce) package frozen corn (optional)
Garnishes
2 ripe avocados, peeled and sliced
tortilla chips or strips
2 plum tomatoes, diced
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
sour cream (optional)

Instructions

    To make the soup:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Slice the tomatoes in half. Spread 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on a baking sheet or pizza pan and arrange the tomatoes on top, skin side up. Drizzle the tomatoes with another 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Roast the tomatoes for 25 – 35 minutes, until the skins wrinkle and the tomatoes are slightly brown around the edges.
  2. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy-bottomed, 4-quart soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper and saute about 5 minutes, until the vegetables become soft. Stir in the chili powder and cumin and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and ancho chile. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover, decrease the heat, and simmer about 15 minutes, until the ancho chile softens. Remove the chile from the soup and pull off and discard the stem. Cut the chile in half and discard the seeds, if desired. (Leaving the seeds in makes for a spicier soup.) Place the softened chile, the canned tomatoes with their juices, and the roasted tomatoes (including as much of the juices and the browned tomato bits as possible) in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Puree the chile-tomato mixture about 1 minute. Transfer the chile-tomato mixture to the soup and continue simmering, about 1 hour. Add salt nd pepper to taste, along with the cooked chicken. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels from the cobs, add the corn to the soup, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. To garnish the soup:
  4. Ladle the soup into medium bowls. Lean 3 to 4 slices of avocado against the edge of each bowl, partially sticking out of the soup. Arrange the tortilla chips or strips in a similar way. Sprinkle each bowl with a handful of diced tomatoes, some cilantro, and 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese. Top with a spoonful of sour cream. Serve immediately.
http://fakeginger.com/2012/01/08/project-pastry-queen-texas-tortilla-soup/

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