A Taste of The Mansion on Turtle Creek
Spending a weekend at the beautiful Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek in the vibrant Uptown Dallas area, I quickly discovered a hotel favorite, the Mansion Restaurant‘s famous Tortilla Soup. It is possibly the best tortilla soup I have ever tasted! For decades, the recipe had been a heavily guarded secret, but they have shared the delicious recipe with me, and you can also find it in The Mansion on Turtle Creek’s Cookbook. The Mansion Restaurant is one of the most popular restaurants in Dallas. If you are ready to tantalize your taste buds Texas style, and dine like presidents and celebrities who frequent this iconic 143 room and suite hotel, try this recipe at home.
6 Roma tomatoes
½ medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 New Mexico chile, seeded
8 cups low-sodium chicken stock
3 tablespoons plus about ½ canola oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 sprig fresh thyme
½ tablespoon dried oregano
½ tablespoon coriander seeds
1 large bay leaf
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped (seeded for milder soup)
6 small corn tortillas, quartered
2 epazote leaves or fresh Mexican oregano
Juice of 1 lemon
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
4 cups chicken sock
4 cups vegetable oil
2 corn tortillas, cut into 2 x ½-inch strips
Combine the tomatoes and onion in a blender and puree. Pour the puree into a bowl and set aside,
Roast the New Mexico chile in a 375-degree F oven for 3 to 4 minutes. In a blender, puree the chile with 1 cup chicken stock. Pour the mixture into a bowl and set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp of the canola oil in a medium sauté pan over high heat and toast the garlic, cumin seeds, thyme, dried oregano, and coriander seeds, stirring until golden and fragrant. Set the toasted spice mixture aside in a small bowl.
Heat 2 tbsp of the canola oil in a large stockpot over high heat. Add the onion and tomato puree and cook for 5 minutes. Add the remaining chicken stock, the bay leaf, tomato paste, chile puree, jalapeno, and the toasted spice mixture.
In a Dutch oven or heavy skillet, add just enough oil to cover the quartered tortillas (do not add the tortillas to the pot at this point), and heat the oil to 350 degrees F. When the oil is hot, fry the quartered tortillas for 2 to 4 minutes, or until crisp. Drain the fried quartered on paper towels, add them to the stockpot, and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour, skimming off the fat as necessary. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the epazote leaves (or fresh oregano). Process the soup in a food mill, or use a blender to obtain a smooth consistency, and return the soup to the stockpot to keep warm. If the soup becomes too thick, add additional chick stock to thin it out. Season the soup with salt, lemon juice, and cayenne to taste.
Just before serving, prepare the garnish. In a separate stockpot, poach the chicken breast in the chicken stock over low heat for 15 minutes, then cut into ½-inch cubes. In a Dutch oven or heavy skillet, heat 4 cups vegetable oil to 350 degrees F. Fry the tortilla strips for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Drain the strips on paper towels and season with salt.
Warm the chicken and avocado cubes up slowly in a little bit of the tortilla soup, then divide evenly among six bowls of soup. Pour the hot tortilla soup over each bowl and top with the cheddar cheese and fried tortilla strips, or serve on the side.