Here in Southern California, Mexican food is as common as burgers and fries. 

But for a really authentic Mexican restaurant, head to Olvera Street in Downtown Los Angeles.

During my visit to Olvera Street, I enjoyed some great Mexican recipes, from the crunchy beef taquitos at Cielito Lindo, to the soft carne asada tacos at La Noche Buena.

I ended my visit with some homemade churros, dusted in cinnamon and sugar. They're the ultimate portable dessert!

One of the dishes I enjoyed most was tortilla soup which can be made several ways.

Today we are making Chicken Tortilla Soup. Now let's get started on this easy tortilla soup recipe. 

If you have leftover chicken or leftover turkey making mexican tortilla soup is a great way to use up your leftovers for a second meal. 

After roasting a chicken (and eating most of it), I've still got plenty of great meat I can peel off. Make sure you only get the meat. You don't want any chicken fat, which does not have much flavor. Cut into bite size pieces. You'll want roughly 2 cups of diced chicken.

After I dice up the cooked chicken it's time to get the rest of the ingredients together.

Here is the recipe:

2 cups diced cooked chicken
2 tablespoons butter
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
Half an onion, chopped
Small bunch of cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground chili powder
15 ounce can tomato sauce
2 quarts chicken stock or broth

1 avocado, sliced into lengthwise strips
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 corn tortillas, cut into strips and fried (You can cheat with crumbled tortilla chips)

Preheat your soup pot on medium high. Add butter. Melt it down, and add the carrots, celery and onion. Stir down for 3 minutes.

Add garlic and cilantro. Stir another minute.

Add diced cooked chicken and spices. Stir another minute, coating the chicken with the spices.

Add tomato sauce. Let thicken for a couple minutes, then add the broth or stock. Bring back to a rapid boil, then set heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, fry your tortilla strips at 375 degrees about 1-2 minutes. Drain and set aside. You can also shred the cheese and slice the avocado at this time.

After 30 minutes, check the soup. Add salt to taste. I don't usually add more than a teaspoon of salt.

Garnish with tortilla strips, shredded cheese and avocado wedges. Enjoy!

Creamy Potato Cheese Soup

1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
2 cups shredded smoked Gouda cheese
6 small red potatoes, diced and reserved in cold water to prevent browning
2 diced carrots
2 diced celery stalks
1 white onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic-shallot puree (or 2 cloves garlic, crushed)
2 cups heavy cream
6 cups chicken broth

Turn stock pot on medium high. Melt butter. Add celery, onion, carrots. Cook down until onions are transluscent. Add basil and garlic-shallot puree. After 3 minutes, add potatoes and stir another 3 minutes. 

Carefully pour in 6 cups chicken broth. Boil for 20 minutes, then stir in a roux made from 4 tablespoons flour and 4 tablespoons butter. 

Wait a few minutes for the soup to thicken slightly. Add cream. Whisk and simmer for 20 minutes. 

Slowly stir in cheese and melt it down. After cheese is melted, pour into bowls and season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Ajiaco Bogotano

(Colombian chicken and potato soup)

5 servings



500 GR
Chicken stock
1.5 L
Onion, peeled and diced
1 each
Bay leaf
1 each
Cumin seeds, toasted and ground
2 pinches
2 pinches
10 gr
White pepper
1 pinch
Chef potatoes
700 gr
Corn kernels
350 gr
Heavy cream
230 ml
Avocados, peeled, seed removed and diced
1 each
10 gr

Method of Preparation:

1.         Mise en place.
2.         Simmer chicken in stock for 1 to 2 hours, skimming occasionally.  Add onion, bay leaf, cumin, thyme, salt and pepper.  Cook for 30 minutes.
3.         Transfer chicken to cutting board, remove all skin and bones, and allow chicken to cool.  Sauté onion, purees, and add back to stock.
4.         Strain stock and return it to the pot.  Add potatoes and cook for 30 minutes.  Transfer potatoes to a food mill, pass through mill, and return to the pot.  Add corn and simmer 10 minutes.
5.         Julienne chicken meat and add to the pot.  Add heavy cream and stir.
6.         Serve with diced avocados and capers on top of soup.

Red Lentil Soup with Lamb


Red lentils 450 gr
Onion, peeled and chopped   1 large
Olive oil 45 ml
Salt To taste
Pepper To taste
Lamb shanks 450 gr
Chicken stock 1.5 L
Garlic, peeled and minced 1 clove


  1. Mise en place
  2. Combine lentils, lamb, stock, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and simmer 1 hour
  3.  Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft
  4. Add the onion mixture to the soup and simmer 15 minutes
  5. Adjust the seasonings and serve with lamb shank on the side or cut up in the soup.

Middle Eastern style Carrot Soup


Carrots700 gr
Chicken stock 1.8 L
Sugar  6 - 12 gr
Salt To taste
Pepper To taste
Cinnamon, ground 3 gr
Butter 30 gr
Flour 20 gr
Milk, hot 120 ml
Egg yolks 3 each


  1. Mise en place
  2. Scrape, wash, and cut the carrots into medium pieces.  Place them in a pan with the stock.
  3. Bring to a boil; add salt, pepper, sugar, and cinnamon and simmer, covered, until the carrots are very soft. Blend to a cream in food processor or blender.
  4. Melt the butter in a separate pan.  Add the flour and stir for a few minutes over low heat. 
  5. Add the milk, stirring vigorously and cook, stirring until thickened.  Remove from heat.
  6. Just before serving, add the egg yolks one at a time, to the butter mixture, beating vigorously.  Add this mixture to the soup, mixing vigorously.
  7. Heat through, stirring constantly, until the soup thickens, but do not let boil.
  8. Remove from heat at once to avoid curdling and serve immediately.

Roast carrot soup with pancetta croutons 

A creamy vegetable blend works perfectly with crispy toast dipping soldiers and salty bacon


700g carrots , cut into batons
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves , skin on
few thyme sprigs, plus extra to garnish
small knob of butter
2 onions , finely chopped
700ml chicken stock , made up with 1 cube
6 tbsp double cream

 For The Croutons

6 slices pancetta
2 thick slices rustic bread , cut into soldiers (we used sourdough)
drizzle olive oil


Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the carrots, half the oil, the garlic and thyme in a roasting tin. Season and toss everything together. Pop in the oven and roast for 45-50 mins, or until tender and beginning to turn golden.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil and butter in a large saucepan. Tip in the onions and cook over a low heat for 10 mins until soft. When the carrots are done, remove from the oven. Squeeze the soft roasted garlic cloves out of their skins and pop in the saucepan. Tip in the carrots and discard any woody thyme stalks. Pour over the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 mins.
To make the croutons, wrap the pancetta around the soldiers, leaving the ends of the bread exposed. Put on a baking tray, drizzle with a little oil and grind over some black pepper. Bake for 10 mins until the pancetta and bread edges are crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.
While the croutons are cooking, blitz the soup with a hand blender, then sieve into a clean saucepan, pressing to get as much liquid through as possible. Add 5 tbsp of the cream, heat through and season. Adjust the thickness with a little water, if you like. You can chill the soup for up to 1 day at this point, or freeze for 2 months. Reheat before serving. Serve drizzled with the remaining cream and garnished with thyme, with the croutons.

Creamy Tomato Soup

1 onion
1 carrot
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons of flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 handful parsley stalk
1 bay leaf
1 tomato
black pepper


Onions and carrots in the order starting from first row.Provide cooks add cold water on it by adding all the ingredients and saute.Then the vegetables are soft, add cream skimmed or crushed spend.Serve with grated parmesan when served.

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