The tortilla soup was not my idea but rather that of one of my mini-tour-mates, Sheena, who requested a more brothy soup versus the tortilla soups of the North that seem to be pureed within an inch of their lives. The tortilla soup was the challenge... so I hit the books. I read a great number of recipes and decided on what I liked and didn't like about each of them. Then, I surveyed Sheena for her "key components."
(Sheena's) Tortilla Soup
1 medium onion (I used a sweet yellow onion... chopped)
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon oil (canola or vegetable or whatever works for you)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 chipotle peppers (more or less depending on your inclination for the warmth)
2 cartons/2L chicken stock (either homemade or store bought... though you'll get points in most people's books for making it yourself... not to mention the added flavour)
4 tablespoons tomato paste
4 chicken thighs from your previous meal or cooked specifically for the soup (meat removed from the bones, then shredded)
Salt and pepper
Now, depending on how chunky or brothy you would like your soup to be, tweak the vegetable quantities accordingly. What I list here will give you a still broth-based soup but lots of chunks of veg...
2 small cans of black beans
1 large sweet potato (cubed... yields about 3 cups)
2 small cans of corn
1 medium zucchini (cubed)
*You could also use diced tomatoes.. peppers.. whatever you like.
Garnish with lime wedges, cilantro, avocado chunks, sour cream, fresh tomato...
Cookin' music... A good friend and stellar musician... Dan Mangan and his ever popular Robots.