My kids love tortilla soup. I love not wasting food. This soup is our solution to the problem of 10,000 partially used packages of corn tortillas that regularly wind up in the back of our fridge.
Yesterday I pulled a turkey breast carcass from the freezer and popped it in the slow cooker with a couple of handfuls of pinto beans, covered with water, added some bay leaves and let it cook on low for 4-5 hours. When the beans were almost tender I removed the bones and picked off the last bits of meat for the soup. You could also skip this whole process and just start with broth, any variety and canned beans if you want. You can leave the beans out too if you don’t groove on the frijoles.
Then I sauteed up some carrots, onion and green pepper in a bit of olive oil. Once soft I added some cumin and chili powder to the pan. Heating the dried spices helps the flavor come alive. Then I added a ladleful of stock to the pan and swirled it around to help dislodge all of the yumminess and added it to the broth in the slow cooker. Tasted it and added some salt (if using pre-made broth, you won’t likely need to add any more salt).
Here’s where the magic happens: I tore up a bunch of forgotten corn tortillas and put them in my blender, added some of the stock to cover along with a crushed clove of garlic and let it sit there for a while to soften. Then I whizzed it all together and added it to the soup. This helps thicken the soup and give it an awesome, corny flavor and depth. Served it with avocado, chopped red onion, clilantro, cotija cheese, corn chips and hot sauce (of course!) on the side. Easy to make vegetarian or vegan, just leave that meaty stuff out and use vegetable stock.