Mexican Sopa de Tortilla
From beginners to novice, The Soupmaker’s Kitchen cookbook by Aliza Green is the perfect manual to assist you in making just about any category of soup. Have you ever wondered how you might use some of those leftover vegetable scraps? How to prepare a stock? Or would you just like a simple, straightforward recipe on crafting the Perfect Pot of Soup? If you fit into any of these categories,“The Soupmaker’s Kitchen” is surely among the perfect of cookbooks for preparing excellent soups throughout the year.
I received this cookbook shortly after its publishing, well, I actually had a sneak peek beforehand too having had lunch with Aliza one day as this cookbook readied to hit the shelves.
Come to think of it, we ate at a local Mexican restaurant, and so today’s soup, Sopa de Tortilla, with Chicken, one of many delicious, well balanced flavor recipes in this book ties together well.
The Sopa de Tortilla soup according to the book, is also known as Sopa Azteca, and with many versions in Mexico, the soup was initially developed as the frugal cook’s way to use up stale tortillas.
Using small corn tortillas in this recipe you cut them into strips, fry them then reserve some for garnish but cooking most of these fried tortillas right in the soup pot with its complex depth of flavor combinations, chilies, tomato, chicken, and lime. Sensational. Really.
The fun and insightful stories are always part of Aliza’s cookbooks, and anyone in the Philadelphia food community will share the near encyclopedic knowledge Aliza possesses on practically any type of food ingredient or preparation included in each of her now 16 cookbooks through stories, history, culture, ingredients, usages, and many just plain simple all around cooking tips.
Aliza was the first interview and blog post I printed on Spiced Peach Blog, “Starting with Ingredients.” I also posted another soup from Aliza’s cookbook, “The Soupmaker’s Kitchen“ called Billi Bi Soup, based on a traditional dish of Brittany, France, a delicious, creamy mussel based soup that continues to be one of my summer favorites.
I just stopped by to see Aliza recently and have lunch at the small cafe she opened and currently runs on Wissahickon Avenue in Philadelphia, Baba Olga’s Material Culture, a sort of Bohemian type place whose large warehouse style building houses both auction house and retail creative home furnishings from around the world. Creative sandwich style foods with simple but specific presentation, my dish, local Pennsylvania Hot Barbecue Beef Short Rib with Vermont Sharp Cheddar and Green Meadow Dill was mouthwatering sensational, to say the least. The cafe also serves apropos daily homemade soups.
Stocks, Broths, Fish and Seafood Soups and Stews to Potages, Pures, Creamy Bisques and lots in between Panades, Bean Soups, Hearty Soups, then just in time for summer: Chowders and Chilled Soups, for any of you soup lovers out there this book pretty much reads as a soup lover’s delight.
You might be able to tell how fond I am of Aliza, but then, even if I didn’t know her personally, or even know about the talent and knowledge of this award winning chef, “The Soupmaker’s Kitchen” would still easily earn a special spot on my cookbook shelf to be used and prepared from again and again. Hope you enjoy it too!