Easy Frugal Cooking | Tortilla Soup

by Kristen on October 27, 2009 · 22 comments

in Main Dishes, Recipes, Soup

IMG_4317

“More frugal recipes!” was a collective cry when I asked you about what you’d like to see on my blog, and since I aim to please, here’s an easy, frugal main dish recipe for you.

I made this from a combination of Tortilla Soup recipes I found on AllRecipes, so I can’t exactly give credit to any one person. One of the recipes I got my inspiration from is this one, though. It makes for a lovely, quick meal, and it costs very little (way less than takeout for a family!).

The prep is really simple. First, saute chopped onions in a little bit of oil. When they’re almost soft, add chopped garlic and saute for about a minute.

IMG_4282

Mix in chili powder, cumin, tomatoes, chicken broth, and water, and simmer 5-10 minutes (longer, if you prefer).

IMG_4289

Then stir in chicken, hominy, corn, beans, and chopped cilantro (naturally, if you’re one of the unlucky people to whom cilantro tastes like soap, you’ll want to leave that out), and once that all heats up, the soup is done.

Wasn’t that easy?

IMG_4311

Now, if you want to make it tastier and more beautiful, you can sprinkled crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese (cheddar looks so much better than Monterey Jack, but alas, I had none when I made this batch of soup), and chopped cilantro on top, and finish it off with a dollop of sour cream.

IMG_4312

Yum. This goes very nicely with a pan of cornbread or corn muffins.

Since soup-making is not as exact a science as baking, you can customize and modify to your heart’s content. If you don’t like hominy, use more corn instead. If you don’t like beans, you certainly don’t have to add them. If you like really spicy soup, you can add more chili powder. And so on, and so on. ;)

IMG_4314

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 28-oz. can of diced tomatoes
10.5 oz condensed chicken broth
1 1/4 cups water (alternatively, you can use 2 1/2 cups of homemade broth instead of the broth and water)
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 cup white hominy
1 15 oz. can of black beans
1 4 oz. can of chopped green chilies (my kids hate spicy food, so I don’t add these)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cooked chicken breast halves, cut into bite sized pieces (I grill mine, usually)

Toppings: crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese, green onions, additional cilantro, sour cream

In a medium stock pot, saute onion in oil until soft. Add garlic and saute for one minute. Mix in chili powder, cumin, tomatoes, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, and simmer 5-10 minutes. Add corn, hominy, beans, chilies (if using), cilantro, and chicken, and heat through. Add salt to taste (if you use homemade broth, you will need to add more salt). Ladle into bowls, and add toppings of your choice.

Leave a Comment

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jenn October 27, 2009 at 8:03 am

Looks Yummy!!! Can’t wait to give it a try!

Reply

2 Erika October 27, 2009 at 8:27 am

Such beautiful pictures! This sounds sooo yummy – and I’m pretty sure I have all the ingredients at home now!

Reply

3 Sharon October 27, 2009 at 8:47 am

That looks delicious!

Reply

4 Sabrina October 27, 2009 at 9:52 am

This is a favorite around here (sans cilantro, of course).

Reply

5 Jonathan October 27, 2009 at 10:06 am

I was just telling some friends the other day that tortilla soup is easy to make. I hadn’t considered the frugal aspect … which makes it all the better!

Reply

6 CanadianSaver October 27, 2009 at 10:20 am

This loos delicious!! I’m going to try it on the weekend :-)

Reply

7 Erika October 27, 2009 at 10:20 am

I forgot to ask…How much does this make?

Reply

8 CanadianSaver October 27, 2009 at 10:24 am

looks, even! sorry for the typo!

Reply

9 Linda Walmer October 27, 2009 at 11:28 am

I will try this very soon. Looks great.

Reply

10 Frugal Liz October 27, 2009 at 1:19 pm

I love tortilla soup!

Reply

11 Melanie October 27, 2009 at 8:56 pm

This recipe looks fantastic! I’m going to make it without the chicken b/c I’m veggie. I can’t wait!

Reply

12 ksmedgirl October 27, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Anyone know where I can get the soup base recipe for the mexican gumbo at Qdoba restaurant? I ADORE this soup, and I figure it can’t be that hard to make, and probably a lot less expensive than buying it there.

Reply

13 Franci October 28, 2009 at 4:26 am

That looks so yummy! I can even see myself serving that to guests! (mexican food is probably not quite so common here as in the States, so it might have quite a high novelty factor…)

Reply

14 Kristen October 28, 2009 at 5:42 am

@Erika It’s supposed to serve about 8 people, but I’m not entirely sure how much it makes in terms of quarts. It feeds our family (two adults, four kids, ages 10, 8, 5, and 3) for dinner with a few servings left over, though. If you have a small family, you might want to halve it.

Reply

15 Bethany October 28, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Horray! I was just looking for a recipe like this! Thanks for sharing.

Reply

16 Amy July 13, 2010 at 9:44 am

Made it last night and it was great!

Reply

17 Patty May 14, 2011 at 3:37 pm

I just made this and it is amazing!!!

Reply

18 marthalynn June 13, 2012 at 5:29 pm

My husband says this is the best Tortilla Soup he has ever had. Thanks so much for sharing!!

Reply

19 Elyn October 10, 2012 at 1:15 pm

This came out wonderful and made lots of leftovers. I didn’t have the hominy but I’m going to add that next time. Overall, it was super-flavorful and came together fast. I always forget that soups can be quick meals and don’t have to be cooked for a day to be delicious. This was a great meal for our first really cold fall day down South.

Reply

Previous post:

Next post: