You’d think leftover tortillas would be easier to get rid of. Unfortunately, once they’ve started to go a bit stale, their usefulness in Tex Mex dishes is a curve approaching zero. Tacos and burritos are definitely out. Quesadillas are OK, but they take a lot of cheese and oil, two foods I’m not enthusiastic about right now. Enchilladas are really best with fresh or day old tortillas. Four or five days out, they’re not flexible enough to wrap around fillings and they absorb the sauce poorly.
Enter tortilla soup, a recipe that actually works better the older and dryer your tortillas. And while most recipes call for corn tortillas, this one use flour (mostly because it’s all I’ve got), giving the fried chips a wonderful nutty taste.
Vegetarian tortilla soup
I make both chicken stock and vegetable broth ahead of time and then freeze it, so I have a homemade base for soups whenever I need it. I just throw the frozen soup into the recipe and let the ice blocks melt. Canned broth and powdered bouillon also work wonderfully here. If you want, you can add pre-cooked shredded chicken or ground beef at the time that you add the vegetables. If you’re counting calories (like me), you can coat the tortilla strips with olive oil and bake them instead of frying them.
2 flour tortillas, cut into 1/4″ strips (cut them in half, and then into quarters)
2t vegetable oil
1c chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2c chopped bell peppers (optional)
1/2c corn (optional)
2 cups chicken or vegetable
chili powder to taste
2T grated cheddar cheese
- Heat 1/2″ to 1″ oil in a frying pan and fry the tortilla strips until chrispy and golden. It takes about 90 seconds. Drain them and set them aside.
- In a medium-sized pot, heat oil, then add onions.
- Cook onions until translucent, then add garlic, bell peppers, and corn.
- Once the garlic is cooked (no longer sharp when you taste it), add chicken broth and tomatoes. Cover pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Check the consistancy of the soup. Add water (up to 2c) if necessary, and simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Add spices. I’m not kidding about the salt.
- Split the tortilla strips between two bowls, reserving about 6 strips. Pour soup over strips. Serve with cheese, sour cream, scallions, and/or remaining strips.
Servings: 2 bowls of soup
Serving size: 1/2 of recipe | Calories: 383| Fat: 2.8g | Carbs: 39,6g | Fiber: 5.1g | Protein: 7.7g
Note: nutrition information calculated without corn or sour cream.