South of the Border Soup

Last night Big-P and I made some delicious, mexican inspired, tortilla-accompanied soup. I hesitate to call it tortilla soup as we left out a few key ingredients that seem to be ubiquitous when making tortilla soup (green chillies for example). After reading all about tortilla soup in the comments on my last entry and over at all recipes I decided to just absorb the ideas and then go free-style in the kitchen with whatever I had in the pantry. The result was extremely pleasing, especially on a cold and rainy old Autumn night. I’ve called it South of the Border Soup… because that’s where we live unless you happen to live in Tasmania, then you should rename it North of the Border Soup. As it’s all made up feel free to replace any of the ingredients with anything else, and also feel free to use some of that weird hominy stuff if you are so inclined.

blob of butter or olive oil for frying
1 onion chopped
1 clove of garlic chopped
1 stalk of celery chopped
1 can of crushed tomatoes
1 can of 3 bean mix
1 can of chicken consommé (broth)
1 small can of creamed corn
pinch of cayenne pepper (more if you like it hot)
pinch of cumin
pinch of dried oregano
pinch of dried basil
slices of avocado, grated cheese, sour cream, squeeze of lemon and tortilla chips (about one cut up per person) fried in olive oil for garnish

Fry the onion, garlic, celery and spices gently in the oil or butter until onion is soft. Add the tin of tomatoes and cook until bubbling. Add the can of beans and the can of creamed corn. Cook until nice and bubbly and then blend with a hand blender. Add chicken consommé and let it heat through. While this is warming up fry up your tortilla bits in olive oil until they are brown and puffy. Serve in big bowls with slices of avocado, cheese, cream and tortilla chips floating on top. We added a squeeze of lemon juice at the end, but lime would have been better.

In more prepared circumstances I might have added some bite sized bits of chicken. I am sure a vegetarian style soup would be just as good if you replaced the chicken stock with vegetable stock. Make plenty of the tortilla chips as they are really good to munch on.

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29 Responses

  1. I tried your recipe out on Sunday night and found it to be really tasty. I added a dash of baslamic vinigar and served it with a dollop of cooscous. Not having any chicken consomme or stock cubes to hand I had to strain a can of chicken noodle soup instead. But it worked 😉

  2. ah, tortilla soup is really at its best in autumn… unfortunately, it is a balmy spring over here right now… definitely not primo soup weather. oh well

  3. says:

    Maybe because I am STARVING hungry at the moment or maybe because I am 4 months pregnant and craving hot chilli tastes but I am suddenly fixated with the thought of making this yummy sounding soup of yours.
    Thanks so much for the recipe!

  4. says:

    Tortilla soup! Your recipe sounds delicious… I had the best tortilla soup experience in Mexico 2 years ago. I will definitely try your recipe… Gracias!
    btw – Your illustrations, words, and website are beautiful…

  5. Yum, yum, yum, yum!

  6. says:

    I have been a huge fan of your website and have never had a chance to post a comment.
    Hominy is an American dish, really sort of bland corn. It is widely available in the USA as a canned (tin) food. It’s nothing to rave about, really boring, but would probably work as a thickener for the soup.

  7. says:

    Heh… sounds delightful! The movie was great too… it’s been so long since I’d seen it, that I’d forgotten the name.
    Observation: you know American “culture” is pervasive when an Aussie refers to tortilla soup as “south of the border soup”. Heh.

    ; )

  8. hmm a soup would be so good right now.. it’s so cold my fingers are about to freeze off.

  9. Wow! This sounds delicious! I am a mexican fanatic, I will try this recipe out 🙂 It looks tasty!

  10. says:

    I’m Mexican-American and our family uses hominy in menudo and pozole, usually canned but you can get it dried too. BTW, Martha Stewart has a recipe for meatless pozole in her Healthly Quick Cook cookbook and it’s my favorite because the tomatillos give it a zesty flavor.Great illo’s!

  11. says:

    Yum, love tortilla soup. I just had some yesterday at the local Acaulplco Mexican food chain restaurant. Of course homemade tortilla soup is much better.

  12. that sounded so yummy that i printed it and made it for supper tonight. i only changed a few things, and it was wonderful!
    comment made by my mother: (takes a bite) “oh my word, the girl can cook!!”


  13. What did you change Elizabeth? I am curious to know!

  14. i love tortilla soup, because it reminds me of growing up in Texas. thanks for the recipe and the memory.

  15. I’m a taster not a cook-er.
    Hehehehe. Anyone nice enough to send some over the Philippines?

  16. if i ever have a cookbook, you have to draw for me 🙂 lovely.

  17. Hi friend !! Its cool, here !! :)×Peace and Løve×

  18. Hi friend !! Its cool, here !! :)×Peace and Løve×

  19. Ah yes, the only good thing about the approaching cold weather is soup. My sister makes a killer pea and lettuce soup, which sounds foul but is incredibly nice. Your blog has reminded me that I must start hassling her to make it again.

  20. That sounds delicious, somewhere I read about the Aztec Soup, I can say that’s one of my favourites, but then, being Mexican, I just can’t forget chilaquiles 🙂 … on another topic, Great blog 🙂

  21. nice recipe, nice blog.. let me know if you need any real new mexico green chili.. maybe we can work out a barter.


  22. great recipe, nice blog too,,
    let me know if you want some real new mexico green chili.. maybe we cab work out a barter..


  23. says:

    well – i’m a little late posting this, but inspired by the yummy soup recipe, and catching up on your journal entries – you should certainly complete the martha experience, and go for the “quartet”.i’m sending a copy of her new “food” mag – a little mag with cool, easy recipes, history/backgrounds on the ingredients/tools etc. i hope you didn’t already get one – so watch your postbox!!!!

    fiona m

  24. Wow, I had the best tortilla soup in a restaurant in Cabo San Lucas Mexico….mmm mmm!

  25. Thanks for the recipe. I’ve made a tortilla soup, but it was a bit more simplistic — fabulous — but simplistic.
    If you want a different recipe, e-mail me.


  26. Thanks for the recipe. I make a totally different variation.
    If you want a different kind, though similar, e-mail me.


  27. A new post please! everytime I read this I ended up eating a truck load of food. It sounds delicious, I’m not a very good cook but I might just give it a go!