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Tortilla Soup with South-of-the-Border Flavors Recipe


Tortilla soup

A classic tortilla soup recipe that is full of flavor from Chef Dean Fearing of Fearing’s Restaurant in Dallas, Texas.

Serve this soup along with Chef Fearing’s Frito Pie for a south-of-the-border-themed Super Bowl party.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 corn tortillas, cut into long strips    
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 cups fresh onion, puréed     
  • 4 cups fresh tomato purée        
  • 5 dried ancho chilies, fire roasted and seeded*
  • 2 jalapeños, chopped  
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder   
  • 1 tablespoon fresh epazote, chopped, or substitute 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 large bay leaf           
  • 1½ quarts chicken stock
  • Salt, to taste
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 smoked chicken breast, skinless, boneless, and diced small, for garnish
  • 1 large avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut into small cubes, for garnish
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese, preferably Boyacá, a Latin cheddar, for garnish
  • 4 tablespoon green cabbage, small dice, for garnish
  • 3 tablespoon red radish, small dice, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced, for garnish
  • 4 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips, for garnish

*Note: Using a pair of kitchen tongs, hold each chile directly over open flame. Lightly roast each chile on all sides for about 30–45 seconds. Be careful not to blacken or burn chilies. When chilies are cool, remove seeds and stem. This same process can be done in a preheated 400 degree oven. Cook chilies for about 2–3 minutes, rotating until the chilies are toasted.


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add tortillas and garlic and sauté until tortillas are crisp and garlic is golden brown, about 4–5 minutes. Add onion purée and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until reduced by half. Add tomato purée, roasted chilies, jalapeños, cumin, coriander, epazote, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for approximately 40 minutes. Skim fat from surface, if necessary. Process through a food mill to attain the perfect consistency or use a blender (if the soup becomes too thick, thin it out with additional chicken stock). Season to taste with salt, lemon and cayenne.

Pour soup into warm soup bowls. Garnish with smoked chicken breast, avocado, shredded cheese, green cabbage, red radish, jalapeño pepper, and corn tortillas. Ladle an additional 8 ounces of soup over the garnish. Serve immediately.