Cinco de Mayo came one day late this year. We celebrated Seis de Mayo with this wonderful soup. It’s one of those soups that makes a meal. Rich, satisfying, and truly filled with the goodness of vegetables and spices for a depth of flavor we loved. It was a recipe that Andrew’s sister, Lauren, sent us with an homage to her late mother-in-law, June Ready.
Lauren’s husband, Tracy, told us the story of his parents’ lives. Here’s what he wrote: “Mom and Dad were from Melissa, TX about 40 miles north of Dallas. They lived in 13 different states and raised 4 sons during (his father) John’s career with General Electric. They had always planned to return to Texas and did so in 1977 with a move to Bulverde, near San Antonio. They loved San Antonio and embraced everything about the culture and the food. Tamales at Christmas time and tortilla soup year-round became staples”.
Of her mother-in-law’s recipe Lauren wrote:” I always liked her tortilla soup best because it has a depth of flavor and heartiness about it that is missing in many of the more traditional recipes.” And then Lauren added another reason she admired June Ready; “June loved to compete in the 5- mile walk/run because she always won in her age level. She stopped at 84. My kids would write that she made the best gravy ever. Her word of wisdom to me was PATIENCE.”
Patience is not a factor in this recipe. I used the Instant Pot to make it. I used the Sauté function for the onions, bell peppers and garlic. Then I added all the other ingredients, stirring them together. Now the original recipe called for cooking the chicken separately. ( I availed myself of leftover rotisserie chicken shredded. The beauty of using the Instant Pot was that if you use raw chicken, you can cook it with the broth by setting the Instant Pot’s Pressure Cooking feature for 20 minutes. The flavor of the chicken will add richness to the broth. The chicken will emerge fully cooked and ready to be diced or shredded and then added back into the pot. Using the keep warm function, you can serve the soup anytime you’re ready to. I cut up some avocado, broke up some corn chips and dolloped the soup with sour cream. Here’s to June Ready, her soup and her memory. And here’s her recipe:
After the recipe, check out some of our most popular Cinco de Mayo recipes…
Lauren's Mother-in-Law's Tortilla Soup
A flavor-filled version of this Tex-Mex classic. Not too spicy and not too mild, just perfect.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 small green pepper, chopped
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 (14 oz.) cans Chicken Broth
- 1 (14 oz.) cans Beef Broth
- 1 (15 oz.) can Diced Tomatoes
- 1 (6 oz.) can Tomato Paste
- 1 (4 oz.) can Green Chilis
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes (I used 2 tbsp.cut up fresh parsley)
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 cup finely chopped, cooked chicken breasts
- 8 (8-inch) corn tortillas (I used corn chips)
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Step 1 These directions are from June Ready’s recipe. See the Instant Pot instructions in the body of this post.
- Step 2 In a skillet, sauté onion, green peppers and garlic in oil. Transfer to a large roasting pan and add chicken broth, beef broth, tomato paste, green chilis, diced tomatoes and all seasonings. Stir. Put chicken breast in if uncooked.
- Step 3 Cover and simmer for 1 hour.
- Step 4 Remove chicken and either dice it or shred it. Add it back to the pot.
- Step 5 Cut tortillas in narrow strips and fry in oil until crisp.
- Step 6 When ready to serve, place a few crisp tortilla strips in the bottom of soup bowls, fill with soup and sprinkle heaping tablespoons full of cheese and more crisp tortilla chips on top.
- Step 7 Note: I used Corn Chip instead of Tortilla strips. I put the chips in the bottom of the soup bowl, covered them with cheese and then poured the soup over them. I topped the soup with diced avocado, crushed corn chips and a dollop of whipped cream.