Sopa Di Tortillas
Sopa Di Tortillas

Sopa Di Tortillas

This is quite a typical and delicious soup in Mexican homes, served with tortillas which are fried, then lightly salted. Epazote leaves are also widely used in Mexican dishes and have a unique flavour. If you can’t get hold of them, use bay leaves.
Total Time
2 Hours 18 Minutes
6 chicken wings (600g), trimmed if necessary
2 tsp of coarse salt
1 small onion, halved
2 garlic cloves, peeled & left whole
1 carrot, peeled
1 celery stalk
1 small bundle of parsley
2 bay or epazote leaves
6 peppercorns
1 or 2 stripped corn cobs (optional)
2 tbsp of sunflower oil
½ onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
4 or 5 ripe tomatoes (about 550g), skinned & chopped
1 bay leaf
2 chipotle chillies in adobe (from a jar), cut into 3 or 4 pieces
750ml of caldo de pollo (see above)
6 flour tortillas
Sunflower oil
1 heaped tsp of crema espesa or sour cream per serving
1 heaped tbsp of crumbled queso fresco or feta per serving
1 ripe avocado, peeled & sliced
1 handful of coriander
4 lime quarters
Coriander (optional)
Step 1

For the broth, rinse the chicken wings and put them into a large pot with 2.5 litres of water and the salt. Bring to the boil, then skim any scum off the surface with a slotted spoon. Lower the heat, add the rest of the broth ingredients and simmer, partly covered, for about 2 hours, adding an extra 250ml of water half an hour from the end. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary to get a flavourful broth. Strain it (keep the chicken for shredding into a taco). Leftover broth can be kept in the fridge to be used elsewhere.

Step 2

Heat the oil in a wide pot and sauté the onion. When golden, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, then add the tomatoes, bay leaf and chipotle chillies. Add just a little salt for now (about ½ teaspoon) and simmer for about 10 minutes, covered, then remove the bay leaf and blend to smooth – a few bits here and there are fine. Add the caldo de pollo and bring up to a boil, then lower and simmer uncovered for 5 or 10 minutes until it thickens a little. Taste to see if it needs any more salt or other seasoning.

Step 3

While the sopa is simmering, fry the tortillas. First cut them into strips of about 2cm. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and gently fry the strips in batches, turning them over to cook evenly. When golden, remove to a plate lined with paper towel. Scatter with a little salt and turn through. Carry on frying the rest, topping the pan up with a little more oil when necessary.

Step 4

Serve the soup into bowls. Break up a few tortilla strips per serving andadd to the bowls. Top with crema or sour cream, crumbled cheese and a few avocado slices, and tear in a few coriander leaves. Scatter a little ground chilli over if you want extra heat, and serve with extra tortilla strips and lime on the side.

Now & Then: A Collection of Recipes for Always by Tessa Kiros (Murdoch Books, £30). Photography by Manos Chatzikonstantis

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