Chef Rene Ortiz serves modernist Mexican dishes at La Condesa in Austin. His smoky, tomatoey tortilla soup is a bit simpler and more classic than many of his recipes, but it still has an innovative touch: It’s enriched with butter, not tortillas.
Slideshow:More Delicious Chicken Soups
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, halved
4 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, seeded and coarsely chopped
8 cups chicken stock
Canola oil, for frying
6 corn tortillas, halved and thinly sliced
1 stick unsalted butter, diced
4 cups shredded chicken, from one 2 1/4-pound rotisserie chicken
Crumbled queso fresco, dried chile and cilantro leaves, for garnish
How to Make It
In a saucepan, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened and starting to brown, 8 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, chipotle chiles and stock and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are very soft, 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat 1/4 inch of canola oil. Add half of the tortilla strips and fry over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the strips to paper towels. Season with salt. Repeat with the remaining strips.
Carefully ladle half of the soup into a blender and add half of the butter. Puree until smooth. Pour the pureed soup into a large saucepan. Repeat with the remaining soup and butter. Stir in the shredded chicken and gently reheat the soup. Season with salt.
Serve the soup in bowls, garnishing with queso fresco, chile, cilantro and tortilla strips.
Not all soups call for a wine pairing, but this smooth, buttery one is sensational with a lively, full-bodied white wine, like Chardonnay made with little to no oak. Try one from France or northern California.
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