At lunch one afternoon, my fiancé and I met at Houston’s Restaurant on Park Lane in Dallas since it was a favorite spot for both of us and centrally located to our offices at that time. For an appetizer, I sampled the soup of the day which happened to be tortilla soup. I had never heard of tortilla soup before and thought that it sounded like an interesting concoction, so I ordered a bowl. Since then, I’ve had tortilla soup at a number of restaurants and never had anything close to Houston’s version.
Houston’s Restaurant Tortilla Soup:
- 1 (2 1/2 to 3 lb.) chicken, cut-up and skin removed
- 2 ribs celery, cut into chunks
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1 large carrot, quartered
- 2 sprigs parsley
- 2 T. chicken soup base
- 1 tsp. lemon-pepper seasoning
- 1 large clove garlic or granulated garlic, to taste
- 1 1/2 lb. potatoes, peeled
- Combine the first seven ingredients in a large stockpot and cover with water by about 2 inches. Bring to a rapid boil; lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 1 hour until chicken is tender and falling off the bone.
- Strain and reserve the broth. Tear pieces of chicken into small pieces. Set aside.
- In 4 cups of the reserved chicken broth, boil the potatoes until tender. Remove from heat. Do not remove the broth. Mash the potatoes and add the following:
- 1 large can creamed corn
- 1 (10 oz.) can Ro-Tel tomatoes, crushed
- 1 1/2 C. half and half
- 2 to 4 T. minced cilantro
- Add enough of the reserved chicken broth to thin out the soup to the desired thickness.
- Simmer on low for about 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and correct seasoning. Be careful of adding too much salt.
Moments before serving, stir in:
- 1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Reserved cut-up chicken
- 4 to 6 corn tortillas, cut into
Continue to simmer until cheese is melted and chicken is heated through.
To serve, ladle soup into deep bowls. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, chunks of avocado dipped in lemon juice, slices of black olives and a small handful of thin corn tortilla strips that have been deep fried.
“Comer con gusto!”