I first had a version of this soup at the home of Shirley and Alf Collins in Seattle. We had a wonderful time sitting around their kitchen table. Shirley would get up from time to time to toast more tortillas on the electric burner. We made bowlful after bowlful, each bowl a little different depending on what we put in and how much. We drank Superior Mexican beer and had a wonderful evening. While there is a recipe here, it’s just a question of how much to allow per eater. As a rule, allow per person: 2 cups (500 ml) broth, 2 flour tortillas, ½ avocado, 1/3 cup (60 g) of shredded chicken or turkey, 1/3 medium red onion, 1/3 cup (6 g) cilantro leaves, ½ jalapeño, ½ lime, ½ small tomato, and 1/3 cup (45 g) shredded cheese. This is more of an event than a soup. Bring the broth hot to the table and allow guests to make their own.
Makes4 main-course servings
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationegg-free, healthy, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free
Taste and Texturecheesy, herby, savory, spiced
Type of Dishhot soup
- 8 cup Basic Chicken Stock or Roasted Turkey Stock
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 flour tortillas, grilled over a burner or in a pan under a broiler until slightly crisp and mottled, and shredded
- 2 Hass avocados, seeded, peeled, and cut into ½-inch (1-cm) cubes
- 1 whole skinless boneless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
- 1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 large bunch cilantro, leaves only
- 2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped (hotter chilies can be used for a spicier dish)
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- 2 small tomatoes cut into ¼-inch (.5-cm) dice
- 1 1/3 cups (120 g) shredded queso blanco, mozzarella, or rinsed mild feta cheese
In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring the broth to the table in a fondue pot or chafing dish to keep it hot as the diners ladle as little or as much as they desire into their bowls.
Present the remaining ingredients in bowls so diners can add as many as they like.
1998 Barbara Kafka