California-style vegetarian tortilla soup

March 13, 2010 at 9:24 pm (101 cookbooks, C (2 stars, okay, edible), Mexican & S. American, soup)

Visitors from Austin brought us 90 perfect corn tortillas from El Milagro in Austin.  Despite languishing in lost baggage for two days, they arrived in Saarbruecken in perfect shape.  They were so fresh and corny tasting, I think our visitors must have purchased them right from the factory.    Derek and I ate most of the first 30 ourselves, just plain or with refries or scrambled tofu.  I froze the second and third batches.  Before the last few tortillas in the first package were gone, I decided I wanted to try to make tortilla soup with homemade baked corn “chips”. I love Peter Berley’s miso-based tortilla soup, but I wanted to try something a little different today.  I decided to try the california-style vegetarian tortilla soup from 101 cookbooks.

I followed the recipe carefully.   The tortilla strips crisped up nicely but retained their corny flavor.  The soup itself tasted like a mild tomato soup.  It wasn’t bad, but seemed a bit underseasoned to me.  It certainly didn’t taste like (what I imagine) tortilla soup is supposed to taste like.  In addition to the suggested toppings we added some sliced jalepeno.  Although the tortilla chips tasted great right out of the oven, and some of them were good in the soup, many of them immediately turned to mush when we added them to the hot broth.  Blech.  I didn’t care for the sun dried tomatoes or fresh roasted tomatoes at all.  They made the soup to sweet.  I think of tortilla soup as a salty, savory, umame soup–not sweet at all.  Rating: B-.  Derek didn’t like this soup much either.  I won’t make this recipe again when I’m craving tortilla soup.  If I want to have tomato soup, however, I might consider starting with this recipe as a base.


  1. Kelley said,

    I made some tortilla soup as well. I also found it a little bit bland, although my husband really enjoyed it. I think if I made it with some fresher more potent chilies it would have been much tastier

    • captious said,

      Did you make the 101 cookbooks recipe Kelley? Or a different one?

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