Sometimes I just need to have a bowl of tortilla soup. For this recipe, I decided to prepare it with a 1-pound tri-tip steak I had. It was not worth firing up the grill for so little steak, so it was a nice addition to this soup. Many tortilla soup recipes will add the fried tortilla strips to the soup after the soup is done. But I like to fry my tortillas and incorporate them into the soup base as it cooks. It adds a great corn flavor and thickens the soup slightly.
Yields up to 6 dinner-size servings
For the Beef:
2 tablespoons olive oil or canola
1 pound beef (steak) your choice, sliced into small thin strips (I had tri-tip steak)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
For the Soup Base:
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
8 corn tortillas, diced
1 small white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 chile de arbol
1 serrano pepper or jalapeño, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
1 stalk celery, finely diced
3 tomatillos, diced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1 to 1½ cups roasted, diced green chiles in a can
7 cups low-sodium beef broth
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Garnish:
Diced red chiles, Fresno peppers or cherry peppers
Light sour cream
Fried tortilla strips (how to make them: http://hispanickitchen.com/crispy-tortilla-strips)
1. In a large heavy pot, preheat the 2 tablespoons of oil to medium/high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the beef and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook, stirring often until nicely seared and browned. Remove beef from pot onto a plate and set aside.
2. In that same pot, add another 2 tablespoons of oil and heat to medium. Add the diced tortillas and cook until slightly crispy. Add the onions, garlic, chile de arbol, chile serrano and poblano. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
3. Add the remaining ingredients. Add the beef back into the soup. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, taste for salt and pepper. Cook at a low simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring now and then. Yields up to 6 dinner-size servings. Don’t forget to garnish!!