Tortilla Soup


"I got this recipe while visiting friends in Houston. It comes from a much loved but out of business restaurant called Crumly Cogwheels."
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  1. 1 large bunch cilantro, washed well (leaves only)
  2. 4 garlic cloves
  3. 1 small onion, chopped
  4. 2 fresh Serrano peppers
  5. 1 (10-ounce) can tomatoes with green chilies
  6. 3 quarts chicken stock
  7. 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  8. 2 or 3 teaspoons ground cumin (cominos)
  9. 1 to 2 teaspoons salt
  10. 2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in a small amount of water
  11. Corn tortillas (about 20), cut into thin strips
  12. Vegetable oil
  13. 2 cups shredded grilled or poached chicken breasts (about 2 ounces per serving)
  14. 1 to 1 ½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 1 ounce per serving)
  15. 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced
  16. Purée cilantro, garlic, onion, peppers and tomatoes with green chilies in a blender or food processor. Heat stock and add puréed mixture with tomato sauce, cumin and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 1 hour.
  17. Stir dissolved cornstarch into stock.
  18. Fry tortilla strips in oil until crisp; drain well. Divide tortilla strips among 10 to 12 bowls. Top with chicken and ladle the stock over top. Garnish with shredded cheese and 2 or 3 avocado slices


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