I am fairly new to the whole tortilla soup thing. As a matter of fact, I've only recently had my first ever bowl. (recently means....within the past year.) So you'd think, being so new and all, that I'd stick to the rules.
When I looked in my freezer for dinner ideas, I found a big ole bag of beef broth and a beef tenderloin. Both needed to be used pretty quickly. Now mind you, I normally wouldn't use a beef tenderloin for soup.....but I was in the beginnings of a yucky head and chest cold. I needed soup. That I could taste. And with all the flavors and spices and heat in tortilla soup....it fit the bill.
What threw me for a loop was....when I Googled 'beef tortilla soup'...all I found were recipes that used ground beef.
I don't know about you....but the idea of ground beef in my soup did not appeal to me in the least. Maybe if they were made into meatballs or something.....but my mind was set in "shred" mode. So...I closed Google. Referred to My Tortilla Soup recipe for guidance and went for it.
Fever and all.
Results? Wonderful! Lots of flavor that even my congested-self could enjoy.....and it totally hit the spot. It was just what the doctor ordered.
What I have below is an extensive recipe...not hard. But the extra steps, I believe, add an incredible depth to the soup itself. There are some short cuts that you can use. If that's what you prefer, than I totally encourage you to do so. I'd rather you take a few short cuts and enjoy the soup than not at all. After I give the how-to's, I'll tell you how-to cut the steps down.
Well...let's start with the beef. If I had a roast, leftover or otherwise, I totally would've used it. But I didn't. What ever cut of beef you have on hand (about 2 lbs is enough)...make a rub as follows:
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 TB garlic
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp Mexican oregano (or regular oregano)
Mix together, rub all over the meat and cook as appropriate for the cut. Keep in mind that the above measurements are not exact or set in stone. Alter according to your own taste.
Once the meat has cooled enough to handle, use a fork to shred
Shredded Beef Tortilla Soup
1 large onion (I used vidalia) cut into large chunks
6 roma tomatoes cut in half
2 jalapenos (left whole)
1 poblano chili (left whole)
Salt and Pepper
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder or ground pasilla (I used ground pasilla)
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano (or regular oregano)
8 cups beef broth
1 - 14 oz can diced tomatoes
Juice from 3 limes
2 corn tortillas, cut into strips
1 cup corn (or a 14 oz can of whole corn kernels, drained)
1 - 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed.
2 lbs shredded, pre-cooked beef
Recommended garnishes: avocado, cheese, fried tortilla strips or chips, chopped onions, sour cream or Crema Mexicana, cilantro
Preheat your oven to 400' F. Place the onion, roma tomatoes, jalapenos, and poblano chili on a cookie sheet. Drizzle some oil over the veggies, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper and roast for about 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle.
Puree the tomatoes in a food processor and set aside.
Remove the stems and seeds from the jalapenos and poblano. Chop roughly, along with the onions.
In a large, heavy bottomed pot, heat about 2 tsp or so of oil and saute the jalapenos, poblano, onions, and garlic.
Add the cumin, chili powder and oregano. Continue to saute for another minute or so, stirring often so as not to burn.
Pour 1 cup of the broth into the pot, stir to de-glaze. Pour in the remaining 7 cups of broth, along with the can of diced tomatoes, the pureed tomatoes (that you set aside earlier), lime juice and tortilla strips. Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes.
If you have an immersion blender, put it use and puree the crud out of what's in the pot. Otherwise, work carefully as you puree it in batches with a blender.
Add the corn and beans, and heat through.
Now you're ready to serve it. Place the meat in the bowl, spoon the soup over the meat and garnish as desired.
Enjoy the heat. The layers of flavors...the smokey, the spicy....and everything that screams South of the Border....all in one bowl of delicious goodness.
And nooooooow...I promised a few short cuts for those of you who are not interested in spending the day in the kitchen or who just don't have the time.
Skip the whole roasting of the veggies section. Just saute them in the pan. If you don't want to saute the 6 roma tomatoes....then just add another can of diced tomatoes. That right there cuts out about 45 minutes of time. Use leftover beef. You know how hard it can be to figure out what to do with that leftover roast. Just shred it up.
Tip: If you can't find (or don't like) the store bought tortilla strips (they usually have them in the crouton section of your supermarket) then slice up some corn tortillas and deep fry them until crispy. It's one of my favorite garnishments for tortilla soup.
This recipe is being shared with Heather at Girlichef.com for the final days of her year long quest to explore all the different variations of Tortilla Soup
And last but not least...I'm sharing this with Deb over at Kahakaikitchen.blogspot.com for her Souper Sunday extravaganza (which will post this coming Sunday).