The soup that changes people’s minds about tortilla soup and rustic Mexican food has Nashville fans standing in long lines to slurp it up.
I wrote about Mas Tacos Por Favor in East Nashville a few weeks ago. They jumped from truck to brick and mortar and are so amazing with their street food, they made the top two finalists for the Munchie People’s Choice awards for best tacos in the country.
Aside from tacos, Mas Tacos is legendary for this soup.
It’s clean, comforting and perfectly balanced. This is not their recipe; it’s my version, and it’s very close. It’s an ensemble soup, in that you must eat it as soon as the ingredients are assembled. You will want to serve it like this.
This is my inspired version only a little spicier. If you are familiar with the original soup, it’s very kid friendly, because it’s not very spicy, and you can feel free to make it without the hot chile peppers for that milder version. Adjust the heat to your liking, but do include all of these other ingredients. Like Mas Tacos, I used only white meat, but free to change that if you want a fattier broth or dark meat. The grilled corn is mandatory, adding sweetness, and the cilantro is the spark. The first flavor, however, that should come through is the lime.
This should be the most lime forward broth you’ve ever tasted and that’s what makes it so bright and cheery.
Here is the original soup.
You Can Make this Mas Tacos Inspired Soup Slow or You Can Make it Fast
Ideally, you’ll make this soup from scratch, simmering the chicken and making your own chicken broth. However, you can make it much quicker, by using a canned broth and a rotisserie chicken. I will not judge you, as there are those days this is all you have time for, and it’s still better than fast food.
The best way to serve this soup is by assembly. Place all the ingredients in separate dishes. Serve broth with chicken and cilantro and let everyone add the accompaniments.
The Slow Food recipe is below. You will be making your own broth, and pulling your own chicken.
This is a specially coveted soup in Nashville, so if you do make it, I’d love to hear what you think.
I made it a second time just to be sure it tasted just as good. In this case I left the peppers out to be added, so people could adjust their own level of heat.
If you know you want it all spicy put the serrano peppers in from the beginning, but then remove them.
Spicy Tortilla Soup Inspired by Mas Tacos
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 small onion
- 2 serrano peppers optional
- 3 avocados
- 3 ears see recipe here grilled corn
- juice from six limes
- 1 lime cut in wedges for garnish
- 1 bunch cilantro long stems removed
- tortilla chips for garnish
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- Cut the chicken into pieces. You can use the legs and thighs or freeze those for another dish.
- Place chicken in large pot with cold water and 2 tablespoons salt.
- Don't bring to a boil. Bring to a simmer.and begin to skim off the foam.
- Cook for up to 40 minutes until all the chicken is cooked through, making sure the water does not boil, as it will get cloudy and getting off all the foam.
- Remove chicken, except for the chicken backs and continue to simmer with the onion for 30 minutes with sliced serrano peppers.
- Once chicken is cooled, cut into pieces.
- Remove chicken back.
- Taste broth for seasoning. Add salt & pepper.
- Pour chicken through a sieve to remove onion and any impurities.
- Keep broth warm. Add lime juice and make accompaniments.
- Cut corn off the cob.
- Slice Avocado. See how to peel here.
- Crumble queso fresca
- Cut cherry tomatoes.
- Clean and ready leaves off of cilantro.
- Fill bowls with chicken and cilantro (no stems).
- Serve with accompaniments in separate bowls.
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More Chicken Based Soups from Spinach Tiger
Chicken Stock (bone broth)