By Alana Al-Hatlani Published on January 18, 2023
Read the original story on Southern Living
We’re well into soup season now, which means everyone is looking for new recipes. There are always the classics that we have committed to memory, but winter is long, and each year we look for new inspiration. After all the holiday baking, Southern Living fans are done searching for cookies and cakes and have turned to comfort classics, including soups.
No matter where you’re located, the most searched soup recipes had one thing in common: Everyone wants something creamy. Nationwide, the most searched soup recipe is Broccoli Cheese Soup, but in the South we are drawn to a different creamy soup: Martina McBride’s Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup. And not just because it comes from a country music icon. This recipe, from McBride’s 2018 cookbook Martina’s Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life, is sought after for its unique take on a familiar favorite.
What Makes This Soup Unique
Aside from being a celebrity recipe, this is not your average Tortilla Soup. For one, it’s not that signature red color we have come to think of when we picture tortilla soup. Don’t worry, it still has plenty of tomato in it. The soup gets its signature orange color from how it’s finished. McBride adds two types of dairy at the end before serving, both heavy cream and sour cream (which is usually saved as a topping), for an extra creamy soup. She also adds milk and masa harina while simmering to thicken this typically brothy soup. The masa harina adds a nice texture to the broth as well. The soup is still garnished with avocado, cilantro, shredded cheese, and chips, but McBride definitely put her own spin on the classic.
What Readers Love About This Soup
Tortilla soup isn’t exactly a classic Southern soup, but it is loaded with plenty of Southern pantry staples, like corn, canned tomatoes, and beans. This recipe starts with onion and garlic, like so many good soups do, and many of its seasonings share DNA with our favorite chili recipes.
Through this lens, it’s easy to see why this recipe was the most-searched among our readers. But don’t just take it from us, here is what some of our readers had to say about it.
“I have her cookbook with this recipe. It’s so good. The masa harina is key to the overall flavor. Do not skip it,” says Southern Living reader Rachel Newton.
Other readers loved that they could make the soup their own. “This soup was amazing. I made it just as the recipe calls except I used split breasts. I also added shredded cheese and Southwest-flavored tortilla strips from the salad section to the top,” a Southern Living Member added.
And if you’re looking for other delicious recipes to try out during soup season, we suggest searching through our selection of 40 Soup Recipes To Get You Through Winter. You’re bound to find a new favorite in that collection.