Steak Tortilla Soup

Why should chicken have all the fun? Steak is the perfect addition to this tomato-based, brothy soup. Seasoned with a variety of Mexican spices, the soup is also kicked up with onion, bell pepper, and seasoned black beans. The crunchy tortilla strips and mildly spicy pepper jack cheese – added just before serving – put the soup over the top.

About the tortilla strips: I like to make my own tortilla strips from scratch. It’s actually really simple (and they’re baked not fried). Here’s what to do: Cut 4 soft corn tortillas into thin strips (about 1/2-inch wide). Spread the strips out on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Season with coarse or kosher salt and ground black pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.

Steak Tortilla Soup (with homemade tortilla strips!)

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 pound cubed steak or stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces (stew beef may need to be cut into smaller pieces)
2 teaspoons Mexican spice blend (a blend of paprika, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and sometimes chipotle)
2 cups beef broth
15-ounce can seasoned black beans, undrained
15-ounce can pureed tomatoes
Tortilla strips (see note above)
Shredded pepper jack or cheddar cheese
Torn fresh cilantro leaves, optional

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides, stirring frequently. Add the spice blend and stir to coat. Cook for 1 minute, until the herbs and spices are fragrant. Add the broth, beans (with the liquid from the can), and pureed tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the tortilla strips, shredded cheese, and cilantro.

Serves 4