My family had the pleasure of tasting this soup for the first time while attending a potluck celebrating the end of our daughter Isabella’s soccer season. So, I know that it both travels and keeps well in a slowcooker. Until I had tasted this tortilla soup version, the only tortilla soups I was familiar with were broth based soups, so I was surprised to discover that the creamy-tomato-looking soup was actually a tortilla soup. I was even more surprised when it received 6 thumbs up from my family. While the base does resemble a creamy tomato base in appearance the addition of chicken stock & spices transforms it into something that tastes completely different and magical. (Magical because it appeals to an adult palette & yet my youngsters all devoured it without one complaint!)
I previously posted another favorite Tortilla Soup recipe, but this one is deliciously different – in fact, I didn’t even realize that what I was eating was tortilla soup. My oldest daughter asked me to find out who made the soup and ask for the recipe. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that the recipe originated from a CPK (California Pizza Kitchen) copycat recipe of their Sedona White Corn Tortilla Soup. I also like that the recipe can be easily modified to taste and prepared as a meatless option as well. Please don’t let the seemingly long list of ingredients intimidate you – from prep to table took less than 15 minutes. Another option is to make it in a slow cooker – I used my dutch oven. Lastly, this soup will freeze well (either before or after adding the corn/chicken/beans.)
Homemade version of California Pizza Kitchen's Corn Tortilla Soup
- 3 Tbl olive oil
- 1 1/2 small corn tortillas cut/torn into 1-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 TBL minced garlic I use 2 cloves
- 2 TBL minced onion
- 2 serrano peppers 1 1/2 teaspoons minced jalapeno pepper
- 1 pound corn kernels 2 cups – divided
- 1 1/2 pounds chopped ripe tomatoes canned is fine, too
- 1/3 cup tomato paste I use 1/2 can
- 2 1/2 tsp ground cumin*
- 1 Tbl kosher salt*
- 1/8 tsp ground white pepper*
- 1/2 tsp chili powder*
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 quart chicken stock – substitute vegetable stock for a completely meatless option
- optional: Pre-cooked chicken
- optional: Black or any beans of choice.
- 2 TBL *or use Taco Seasoning to taste
- Shredded Cheese – your choice options jalapeno jack, cheddar, queso
- Fresh Cilantro
- Tortilla Chips
Over medium-high heat, fry the corn-tortilla pieces until crispy and slightly golden (be careful not to burn them. Then add garlic, onion and peppers cooking 1-2 minutes until onion becomes translucent. Add 1 cup of corn along with all other ingredients (except garnishes), reserving other half of corn (and optional chicken and beans) to be added at the end. Bring the soup to a low, even boil. Boil for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Use an immersion blender and transform the soup base into a puree making it as course or creamy as you prefer. You can also process in batches in a food processor or blender. Return the soup to the burner and add the reserved corn, chicken, and/or beans. Bring the soup to a boil once again being extremely careful to avoid scorching or burning the soup.
To serve, garnish with *home fried tortilla strips, cilantro and sharp Cheddar cheese.