Since we moved back to Atlanta (and most times we visited prior) one of our favorite restaurants to go to is Houston’s. And besides the ribs…and fries…and house-made veggie burger…and anything else on the menu, our absolute favorite is their chicken tortilla soup.
We have always tried to find a recipe similar to their recipe, which has a warm, smoky flavor and bisque-like texture. After lots of trial and error, we finally found a copycat recipe online that came pretty close from NOLA.com, a New Orleans newspaper. We’ve tweaked it to make it our own, so give it a shot!
2 Tbsp of butter
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onions
1/2 tsp garlic powder
4 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can Ro-Tel tomatoes, diced
1 (1.25-ounce) packet taco seasoning
10 small soft flour tortillas
12 oz. cooked chicken, shredded or diced
8 oz. shredded Monterey jack cheese, divided
1 cup milk
Fried flour tortilla strips
Melt butter in a large soup pot, adding chopped trinity (carrots, celery, onions) and garlic powder. Saute for 15 minutes over medium low heat, adding S&P to taste (about a tsp each should help bring out flavors.)
Add chicken stock, taco seasoning, and 7-10 flour tortillas ripped into small pieces. Raise heat to high and bring to boil for 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and use immersion blender to blend vegetables and tortillas to make a bisque-like texture.
Raise temperature to medium and add tomatoes and Ro-tel (with their juices), and shredded chicken, cooking for about 5 minutes.
-Turn off heat and allow to cool slightly. Add about half of the shredded cheese, stirring constantly*
*If you add cheese to a very hot soup, it will separate and make for a less than pretty mess of a beautiful soup :) Let it cool!
Ladle soup into bowls and top each bowl with some of the reserved cheese and tortilla strips.