I have a confession to make: I've never had tortilla soup. I never order it at Mexican restaurants because I save room for chips, salsa, and queso. I never have it at the chain restaurants because I figure it's probably not that good. So this was my first experience. It's good! I halved the recipe since there's just two of us, and I added some extra cumin, a couple teaspoons of lime juice, and about 1/2 teaspoon of oregano. I had to heighten up the flavor because I made it waaaayyyy too spicy. The original recipe calls for a dried ancho chili pepper, but I didn't have one and didn't want to buy it. So I used canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. The substitution was great, but please don't be like me and add in a full pepper and an extra 1/2 teaspoon of the sauce when you're making half of the recipe. Holy cow was it hot--like burn your lips hot. I ended up straining it to get some of the seeds out and then added more seasonings so it tasted like something other than hot. It ended up with good flavor, but it was still really spicy.
I made tortilla strips for the garnish, and those are really easy. Just cut a tortilla into 1/2 inch strips. Toss with a little olive oil, sprinkle salt over them, and bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes, flipping the strips halfway through. They're done when golden brown. I used flour tortillas because that's what I had, but I think corn tortillas would taste more like typical tortilla strips.
The full recipe for the soup is on Amanda's site, so be sure to check it out! In spite of the heat, it was really good. I'll definitely make it again and be much more careful about the peppers. I can't wait to make the next recipe out of The Pastry Queen!