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Old 06-21-2010, 04:50 PM   #1
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Thickening a tortilla soup question

This past weekend, I ate at a California Pizza Kitchen. I ordered the tortilla soup, which was delicious. Of course I was trying to pick it apart so I can do my very best to duplicate it when I got home. In the past , Ive had tortilla soups that were more of a tomato-broth, almost like a watered down salsa, but this was much different. This was thick, almost like a chowder. the basic ingredients were obvious ( roasted peppers, corn, garlic, tomatoes .....) but what is getting me is how they thickened it. Im pretty sure they pureed it. But the soup also had that ' corn-like ' flavor to it. Im not sure if it was from the fried tortillas that were garnished on top, or if maybe they used some corn meal to thicken it up. So now with all my thinking out loud complete, Ill get to my question.

Can a soup be thickened with corn meal? or would the corn meal remain gritty and unabsorbed ?

Its possible it may have been thickened with a roux, so my next question is, can a roux be made with corn meal ( or at least some corn meal and flour) ?

The soup definitely had that corn/ tortilla flavor to it, im just not %100 sure what they did to achieve this, so any suggestions would be appreciated.

If this is any help, they said it was a vegetarian soup, and also, it tasted like there was a hint of cheddar cheese incorporated into the broth as well.

Thanks in advance,

Larry

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Old 06-21-2010, 04:56 PM   #2
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I think I remember Alton Brown saying that you could use finely crushed/ground up tortilla chips to thicken a soup.
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:04 PM   #3
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I use cornmeal, but others use masa. Masa will thicken it nicely, give it the corn flavor, and yet be more fine than cornmeal. I just never have masa on hand.
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:04 PM   #4
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Masa harina, or corn flour, is often used as a thickener. Not corn meal.

You can buy it by the bag at many supermarkets
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:07 PM   #5
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although corn meal will thicken it as well, just not as refined. been there. done that. with good results.
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:50 PM   #6
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I use fresh corn tortillas to thicken chili all the time - break them up and add them. They disappear with some cooking and provide both thickening and flavor.
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
I use fresh corn tortillas to thicken chili all the time - break them up and add them. They disappear with some cooking and provide both thickening and flavor.
That's what I do in my tortilla soup. Works great!
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:25 AM   #8
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In Wolfgang Puck's Tortilla Soup version, sauteed flour tortilla chips is the thickener-- they get pureed along with the corn kernels, stock, and what not.
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Masa harina, or corn flour, is often used as a thickener. Not corn meal.

You can buy it by the bag at many supermarkets
This is so true...masa harina if the way to go if you want a thick soup
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:29 PM   #10
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another vote for masa harina. I just got done trimming some chicken breasts and decided to make tortilla soup with my trimmings.
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