Shrimp. Tortilla. Soup. I will forever love you more than chicken ?
I can’t say I envisioned the unique flair my living in Alaska would bring to this blog was a Mexican influenced recipe without cilantro. But seriously, there has been a SHORTAGE. For two weeks I stalked the produce section, staring at the area where the cilantro should be. Much like you stare at your fridge at 10 pm hoping something new appears.
Since I often cook for someone who has that whole ‘cilantro tastes like soap’ gene, I finally decided resistance was futile. But please, if you love cilantro as much as I do and don’t live in a place that depends on the weather in Canada to get its herbs (that’s probably not true, but I’m blaming Canada for now), throw a bunch on top!
This soup is crazy easy. And sooooo so satisfying. Deep, rich Mexican flavors with all your favorite taco toppings, crunch tortilla strips and juicy shrimp, totally doable on a week night! Does that mean we can’t have margaritas? Nah….
Typically, tortilla soup involves slicing corn tortillas into thin strips and adding them to the soup towards the end, allowing them to cook down a bit. If you’re into that, do it up. But I greatly prefer to fry those babies up in a little bit of oil and get them all crispy. Then you’ll have the satisfying crunch in the beginning and some softer guys as you get to the bottom of the bowl. Win win!
- 1 pound small to medium shrimp, deveined and peeled with tails off
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (keep the membranes/seeds if you like it super spicy!)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 corn tortillas, cut into ½" strips
- Sour Cream
- Cheddar or Cotija cheese
- 1 cup canola or vegetable oil for frying the tortilla strips
- Prep all your vegetables first, you could even do this the night or morning before (except the garlic, garlic loses it's flavor quickly when minced ahead of time; if you hate chopping garlic, there's nothing wrong with the jarred stuff!).
- In a heavy bottomed pot (I use an enamel cast iron dutch oven type), heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat. Fry the tortilla strips until they curl up a bit and get crispy, stirring and flipping a couple of times. This will take about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
- Mix together the chili powder, oregano, and salt. Season the shrimp with about half the spice mixture, tossing in a bowl to coat.
- Remove all but a couple tablespoons of the oil from the pot. (If you've already drained your black beans, transfer it to the empty can and deal with it later!)
- Over medium-high heat, sauté the seasoned shrimp in the same pot, about two minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeño to the pot. Stir and sauté until the veggies begin to soften. Add the rest of the spice mixture and stir, allowing the spices to get warm and toasty for a couple minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, chicken broth, water, and black beans.
- Allow the soup to simmer uncovered over medium-low heat, about 20 minutes, until it reduces and starts to thicken. Prep your toppings while the soup simmers.
- When ready to serve, ladel soup into a bowl and top with 5-6 shrimp, tortilla strips, and all the toppings your little heart desires! A wedge of lime squeezed over top is especially delicious.