Use Your Leftover Tortillas To Make Any Soup More Substantial

Soup is pretty forgiving. You can toss nearly anything into a pot to simmer, and chances are the result will be quite delicious. However, there are instances when a recipe can fall short. Sometimes soup errs on the thinner side, other times, it lacks a certain degree of heartiness. While you could easily beef it up with flavorful additions like ground beef, chopped veggies, or even a touch of dairy, we've got an even better idea — use leftover tortillas.

If tortillas are about to go stale, and you've grown bored of using them to make tacos and quesadillas, then it could be time to put the ingredient to the test by working it directly into a soup. Applicable to any recipe (Mexican-inspired or not), this is a great way to reduce waste and give lackluster soups, stews, and chowders another layer of dimension.

Along with improving texture by thickening soup, tortillas make soups more satisfying and filling thanks to their level of starch. There's also the added bonus of extra flavor, especially when working with delicately sweet yet earthy corn varieties. Achieving what a basic roux, chalky cornstarch slurry, or tiresome ingredients can only hope to achieve, using tortillas to jazz up soup is effortless, so long as you keep a few tips in mind.

The foolproof ways to work tortillas into soup

There are a few ways to go about using leftover tortillas to bulk up a soup. While you could slice and fry nearly stale tortillas and use them as a hearty and crunchy garnish for soups, this is just the tip of the iceberg. To make the most out of the ingredient, melt tortillas into a soup instead — stay with us. 

Begin by giving tortillas (corn or flour) a quick toast in a pan for additional caramelized flavor. There's no rhyme or reason as to how many you should use. Depending on preference, you can use as few or as many as your heart desires. However, it's best to start off with one or two to best gauge their impact on consistency. Next, you can either leave the tortilla whole or tear it into pieces before tossing it into the pot. As the soup simmers alongside the other ingredients, the tortillas will eventually start to disintegrate, absorbing liquid and thickening the soup in the process. The result will be a denser and more decadent stew with a slight bite due to the granulated texture of the tortillas. That said, for a creamier result, tortillas can also be simmered separately in broth before being puréed and introduced into a batch of soup.

With so many ways to use tortillas to improve soup, gone are the days of letting any stale leftovers go to waste!