At lunch one afternoon, my fiancé and I met at Houston’s Restaurant on Park Lane in Dallas since it was a favorite spot for both of us and centrally located to our offices at that time. For an appetizer, I sampled the soup of the day which happened to be tortilla soup. I had never heard of tortilla soup before and thought that it sounded like an interesting concoction, so I ordered a bowl. Since then, I’ve had tortilla soup at a number of restaurants and never had anything close to Houston’s version.
Houston's Restaurant Tortilla Soup
- 1 (2 1/2 to 3 lb.) chicken, cut-up and skin removed
- 2 ribs celery, cut into chunks
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1 large carrot, quartered
- 2 sprigs parsley
- 2 T. chicken soup base
- 1 tsp. lemon-pepper seasoning
- 1 large clove garlic or granulated garlic, to taste
- 1 1/2 lb. potatoes, peeled
Combine the first seven ingredients in a large stockpot and cover with water by about 2 inches. Bring to a rapid boil; lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 1 hour until chicken is tender and falling off the bone.
Strain and reserve the broth. Tear pieces of chicken into small pieces. Set aside.
In 4 cups of the reserved chicken broth, boil the potatoes until tender. Remove from heat. Do not remove the broth. Mash the potatoes and add the following:
- 1 large can creamed corn
- 1 (10 oz.) can Ro-Tel tomatoes, crushed
- 1 1/2 C. half and half
- 2 to 4 T. minced cilantro
Add enough of the reserved chicken broth to thin out the soup to the desired thickness.
Simmer on low for about 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and correct seasoning. Be careful of adding too much salt.
Moments before serving, stir in:
- 1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Reserved cut-up chicken
- 4 to 6 corn tortillas, cut into
Continue to simmer until cheese is melted and chicken is heated through.
To serve, ladle soup into deep bowls. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, chunks of avocado dipped in lemon juice, slices of black olives and a small handful of thin corn tortilla strips that have been deep fried.