All I can say is this is one of the best soups I've made. I came across this recipe in a 1991 issue of Bon Appetit. The hardest part was finding unsalted tortilla chips, I finally found them at Green Acres Market in Briarcliff Village. The soup is simple to prepare and quick. You could easily substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth, if you so desired. You could also add some cooked chicken, saute 1/2 of a bell pepper with the veggie saute or top it with a nice spicy home made salsa. All that said, it's pretty perfect as written.
Cream of Tortilla Soup
2 141/2-ounce cans chicken broth
1/4 cup butter
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
1 1/2 cups crushed unsalted tortilla chips, plus extra for garnish
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
Bring broth to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery and saute until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic in the last minute. Reserve 1 tablespoon of chopped tomato and 1 tablespoon of chives for garnish. Add remaining tomato, chives and 1 1/2 cups of tortilla chips to saucepan and saute for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle with flour and stir mixture for 2 minutes.
Stir broth into tortilla mixture. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Stir in cream. Add cheeses and stir until melted and well blended. Add chili powder and cumin. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle each bowl with tortilla chips, tomato and chives and serve.