A master of Southwestern cuisine, Dean Fearing is known for many dishes, but perhaps none is more iconic than his chicken tortilla soup, a recipe that's been served at his restaurants since 1981. Unlike many tortilla soups that fall flat, Fearing's version layers flavor after flavor so that they sing in perfect harmony. It's really the only recipe for this Southwestern classic that you'll ever need.
Serve with jalapeño bacon cornbread.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves
2 corn tortillas, cut into strips
2 1/2 ancho chilies, dried and diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 cup onion puree
2 cups tomato puree
3 cups chicken stock
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Lemon juice, to taste
Salt, to taste
1 smoked chicken breast, shredded
2 tablespoons green cabbage, shredded
2 corn tortillas, cut into strips and fried
1/2 tablespoon jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1 1/2 tablespoons red radish, julienned
1/2 avocado, diced
1/4 cup white cheddar, shredded
- Add the oil, garlic, and tortillas to a small stock pot or dutch oven set over a medium heat. Sauté until the tortillas just start to crisp up and the garlic starts to brown slightly, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add ancho chilies, jalapeño, cumin, coriander, cilantro, and bay leaf; cook for a few minutes. Add onion puree, tomato puree, chicken stock, and cracked black pepper. Bring mixture to a boil and then bring the soup to a simmer and let simmer for 40 to 45 minutes. Skim fat from the surface of the soup as necessary.
- Garnish each soup bowl with smoked chicken, green cabbage, fried tortilla strips, jalapeño pepper, red radish, avocado, and white cheddar.
- After soup has simmered, finish flavoring soup with cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and salt. Process mixture in a food mill or blender until smooth. If the soup is too thick, thin with a little bit of chicken stock.
- Pour hot soup over garnish, and serve immediately.
- North American
- Serves 2