I have seen plenty of recipes for chicken tortilla soup and seen it on plenty of restaurant menus, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen beef tortilla soup. So I wanted to change that. I had a freezer full of beef stock that I’d just made as well as some cooked shredded beef and I thought I could turn that into a delicious tortilla soup.
What I came up with turned out to be really simple and didn’t take much time at all to prepare. I was able to keep the chopping to a minimum by using pre-shredded carrots that I happened to have on hand. So after a little chopping and sauteing, I just stirred everything into the pot and let it simmer. I added a little heat to the soup with a canned chipotle pepper and adobo sauce. Then while the soup simmered, I was able to quickly make the tortilla strips. I just took some corn tortillas, cut them into strips, tossed them with a little oil and then baked them until they were crispy.
The end result was very good. The beef gives the soup a deep rich flavor and the chipotle pepper gave it just the right amount of heat. The tortilla strips gave it just the right amount of crunch. This soup will definitely be in my rotation now!
Beef Tortilla Soup
For the soup:
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup shredded or chopped carrots (I had some pre-shredded on hand)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 2 quarts beef stock
- 1 1/4 lb (about 2 cups) cooked, shredded beef
- 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained (I used low sodium)
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
- 1 tsp adobo sauce or more if you want it spicier
- salt and pepper
- lime wedges for garnish
For the tortilla strips:
- 4 corn tortillas
- 2 tsp olive (or vegetable) oil
Chop bell pepper, onion, garlic and cilantro.
Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add peppers, onions and carrots, saute for about 5 minutes until onions are translucent and the veggies are starting to soften. Add garlic and season with salt and pepper, saute for about another minute until garlic is fragrant.
Stir in tomatoes, beans, beef stock, beef, cilantro, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for at least 15 minutes to let the flavors develop.
While soup simmers, prepare tortilla strips. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tortillas first in half and then cut crosswise to make small 1/2 inch strips. Toss with about 2 tsp olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
Ladle soup into bowls and top with tortilla strips. Serve with lime wedges if desired.
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