My recipe for tortilla soup is inspired by the many soothing bowls I sampled in Texas. It is, apparently, a favourite of those suffering from jet-lag. One of the best versions I tasted was in a tiny family-run Mexican restaurant in the suburbs of San Antonio. Although it sounds exotic, it is not at all difficult to make, and tortillas are increasingly available in supermarkets.
Simmer the chicken in the stock for 20 minutes or so, and let it cool in the liquid. Put the stock to one side, discard bones and skin from the chicken, and shred it finely.
Gently fry the onion and garlic in the oil until the onion is wilted. Add the coriander and tomatoes, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes.
Rub through a sieve, or blend. Stir in the lime juice and chillies, and season lightly.
Fry the tortilla strips in batches until crisp, and drain on crumpled paper towels. Add them, and the chicken, to the soup, bring to the boil for 2 to 3 minutes, and serve in deep soup bowls, garnished with the chopped coriander.
© 2000 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.