School cafeterias are not typically synonymous with gourmet cooking. Luckily at our school there happen to be a few dishes that, when served, spark smiles amongst the faculty. Remember being a kid and getting so excited when Corn Dog Day rolled around?!? (It was the corn dogs for me, anyway...) Well, the teachers at my school really look forward to Tortilla Soup Day. In fact, the Cafeteria Monitor always puts a sign on the Teacher's Lounge Door that says, "Tortilla Soup today!" with a big smiley face. It's the little things, right?
After having a small cup of it the other day, I was left wanting more. So, I decided to recreate it at home, with a few adjustments here and there. I have made several versions of this soup (and eaten even more). This one is fairly light, tasty, and very easy.
I loosely followed Ina Garten's recipe for Mexican Chicken Soup. What I love about the soup at school is the tomatoey broth (which Ina's recipe has), chunks of zucchini that soften when they cook (which I added) and crumbled queso fresco (that I substituted for cheddar). What's so great about this soup is that you can easily customize it--add things you love, omit things you don't. Personally, I highly recommend the queso fresco, which is similar to a Mexican feta cheese and usually nestled in the cheese section at most grocery stores. I also made strips out of some blue corn tortillas we happened to have on hand and fried them up for a crispy (and delicious) garnish.
I think the teachers would give it an A...I must say, it was muy delicioso!
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