I have had many bowls of chicken tortilla soup over the years, but I have never come across shrimp tortilla soup. So when I saw this recipe for Shrimp, Hominy and Tortilla Soup I was intrigued. I love tortilla soup and I love making soups with hominy in them. Whenever I make chicken chili or chicken tortilla soup I throw in a can of hominy for kicks. The hominy gives the soup body without feeling quite as heavy or starchy as potatoes or as dense as beans. If you haven't noticed before, I am not a huge fan of beans. I try to eat them and enjoy them because they are so healthy, but for the most part I don't want them anywhere near my food. I do like white beans and every once in awhile I surprise myself by liking black beans.
This recipe had a really great flavor to it and a nice balance of ingredients. It's also really nice because it can be made with staples in your pantry. Most people might not consider hominy or chipotles to be pantry staples, but we almost always have them in the pantry. Sometimes we run out and forget to restock, but we keep them on hand in most normal circumstances. The same goes for shrimp, cilantro and tortillas. Using homemade chicken stock would obviously be awesome if I had some, but boxed stock still gives the soup a lot of flavor. Don't forget to squeeze in the lime juice and the tortilla strips to the soup, because they make all the difference in terms of flavor and texture. Actually, the tortilla strips were the only thing in the dish that really disappointed me. Air drying them like that was super easy and you ended up with fairly crispy tortilla strips, but the tortilla strips lacked any real flavor. I would prefer to fry them up like we did with our Mache and Avocado Salad with Tortilla Strips for the same (or slightly better) crunch and more flavor. I say slightly better crunch because by frying the tortilla strips you get the real crispness of a chip, whereas by air drying them they feel crispy, but a little stale. Even with the slightly disappointing tortilla strips, I thought the soup overall was very successful. I would definitely make it again and I might try using almost the same recipe with rotisserie chicken instead of shrimp for a variation on the recipe.
Recipe after the jump!
Smoky Shrimp, Hominy and Tortilla Soup
4 5-inch-diameter corn tortillas, halved, cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
7 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
2 15-ounce cans golden hominy, drained
1/3 cup canned crushed tomatoes with added purée
2 teaspoons chopped canned chipotle chilies
1 pound uncooked small shrimp, peeled, deveined
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Spread corn tortilla strips in single layer on paper towel. Let tortilla strips stand at room temperature overnight to dry.
Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion, chopped carrot, chopped celery, minced garlic and dried oregano. Sauté until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Add chicken broth, golden hominy, crushed tomatoes and chipotle chilies; bring to simmer. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Soup can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate soup uncovered until cold, then cover soup and refrigerate.)
Bring soup to simmer over medium heat. Add shrimp and cook until opaque in center, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Stir in chopped fresh cilantro. Divide soup among 10 soup bowls. Top soup with dried tortilla strips, dividing equally. Serve soup, passing lime wedges separately.