Why are the fancy pants chefs always trying to complicate things?!
Here’s a tip: You don’t always have to do it their way. Especially when it comes to making a pot of tortilla soup. Roughly chop vegetables just to put them in the food processor, cook them separately from the broth, and then puree the whole thing together? Why?!?!?! Just put it all together and be done with it already.
This is a very scientific experiment, by the way. I’ve made it three times in the last month, and each time, the husband assured me it was just as good as he’d always remembered it. (I did not tell him about my shortcut methods.)
So the next time you have a hankering, use this recipe (below) instead of Wolfgang’s. Your dishwasher will thank you!
- 3 ears fresh corn, shucked
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 jalapeno chili, stemmed and seeded (or 3-4 small garden peppers)
- 6 or 8 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 14 ounce can San Marzano diced tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- ¼ cup masa harina
- 12 cups chicken stock
- 2 corn tortillas
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 large whole chicken breast, cooked, boned, and skinned 6 skin-on chicken thighs
- ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- ¼ cup sour cream
- Minute 1: Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
- Minute 5: Using a large, sharp knife, carefully cut the kernels off the corncobs. Set the kernels aside and reserve the cobs.
- Minute 8: In a large soup pot, heat the oil over low heat. Add the chopped corn, onion, jalapenos, and garlic and sauté just until the vegetables are coated with the oil, about 1 minute. Do not let them brown.
- Minute 10: Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and cumin and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is very aromatic, about 10 minutes.
- Minute 20: Pour the stock into the vegetable mixture, add the corncobs and masa harina, and simmer over low heat until the soup is reduced by one third, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Minute 25: Cut the tortillas into thin strips and arrange on a small baking sheet. Put them in the oven. Then peel and dice the avocado. Cut the chicken crosswise into thin strips.
- Minute 35: Check on the tortilla strips. Remove from oven when the edges are crisp.
- Minute 40: Remove and discard the corncobs. In a high speed blender (we use a Vitamix), puree the soup in batches until smooth, taking care to avoid splattering. At this point, if you’d like a finer consistency, you can pass the soups through a fine strainer. Return the soup to the pot and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Minute 50: To serve, add the chicken and avocado to the soup and rewarm over low heat. Ladle the soup into 8 to 12 warmed soup bowls and garnish with the baked tortilla strips, cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, and sour cream. Serve immediately.