This authentic, blended Creamy Paleo Tortilla Soup inspired by a recent trip to the Islands of Loreto in Mexico, gets an update thanks to grain-free cassava tortillas. If you are cool with corn, go for it babe, it’s one simple swap out, either way. The creaminess of the soup comes not from any dairy, but from the crispy tortillas strips being pureed right into the broth with everything else! Skip out on any cheese to make fully paleo or for a more authentic (and primal) version, add cubed or crumbled cotija cheese or queso fresco. Besides additional crispy tortilla strips, we like to serve ours topped with a drizzle of homemade Salsa Macha, avocado, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime, Mexican cheese if we’re feeling nasty!
It’s been a busy couple of months of travel for me, but as usual, I have returned home feeling inspired, refreshed and excited to create. As I have always shared with you guys, getting away and traveling, at times, can be a disruptor to my daily routines, my healthy habits and can sometimes keep me from feeling like my best self. So, as you can imagine I especially love the trips that allow me to maintain my eating preferences, my activity level and fill me up full of magical experiences and ideas to come back and share with all of you.
At the start of September I headed back to the beautiful Islands of Loreto for a week at the Villa Del Palmar resort. This was my third trip to Loreto and with each visit I fall a bit deeper in love. Staying at the resort during their Wellness Weeks are especially special for me, because the resort puts a strong focus on a health-centered experience for those participating. With special menu items, fitness classes, yoga and meditation sessions, spa experiences, nutrition and wellness focused workshops, activities like stand-up paddle board yoga, kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, heading into town and lots more.
At any time when you visit the Villa Del Palmar resort in Loreto, Wellness Week or not, eating gluten-free or with any other allergies, restrictions or preference it’s a total breeze, you guys!! They take it very seriously, they are knowledgable and beyond accommodating, with cross contamination, using separate prep areas and taking any necessary precautions, just ask for what you want and you will get it!
Villa Del Palmar is set a bit outside of Loreto’s town center and sits right on Danzante Bay. Because the resort is away from the rest of the town’s amenities, the hotel is completely self-sufficient and green focused. From their own water filtration system, to back up power, they have it covered. Being a remote destination, as you can imagine, also limits access to a wide array of exotic produce from outside areas and foods of convenience, so the resort really embraces celebrates local flavors and fare by creating as much as they can with herbs, vegetables fruits grown on the property or nearby and creating foods from scratch, which makes all the difference in the final plated dish, too.
This Tortilla Soup has long stuck out as a favorite of mine, from the very first visit and it’s been a must on every consequent trip back. Served at the Danzante Bay fine dining restaurant, when ordered they bring a big soup bowl without any soup, just crispy corn tortilla strips, a little cheese, avocado and crispy chilis and the waiter serves your steaming hot soup over the accompanying accoutrements, poured from a small tea pot. It’s quite the experience. As is everything at the resort.
While the soup is naturally gluten-free and I do “ok-ish” with corn, for a variety of reasons I personally prefer to avoid it whenever possible, so when recreating at home, I opted for cassava flour tortillas instead and the results were perfection. I used Siete Foods Tortillas but you could also make your own.
Stay tuned for more info on a possible opportunity to join me for a wellness week at Villa Del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto in the Spring of 2018, I’ll have more details for you very soon!
- 6 cassava flour tortillas, cut into thin strips
- 2 tablespoons+ avocado or coconut oil, ghee, lard or other high-heat appropriate fat
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, avocado oil, ghee or other fat/oil
- 10 cloves garlic
- 1 medium white onion
- 3 fresh Guajillo peppers, cleaned and deveined (dried will also work)
- 2 lbs Roma tomatoes
- ½ bunch of cilantro
- ½ bunch of fresh epazote* aka wormseed (or 1 tablespoon dried)
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth, stock or bone broth*
- 2 teaspoons sea salt (more or less to taste)
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- avocado cubes
- fresh cheese cubes or crumbles (cotija cheese or queso fresco)
- sour cream
- additional crispy tortilla strips
- salsa macha
- fried guajillo pepper strips
- Make the crispy tortilla strips: in a large pan heat the oil or fat over medium-high heat. Flash fry the tortilla strips until golden brown and crispy, stirring often and watching carefully so they don't burn. You may have to work in batches to not crowd the pan. Adding more oil, as needed. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate.
- Chop the garlic and onion into medium size pieces, and sauté in oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until golden brown. Add the guajillo pepper and cook for 5 minutes, or until fried. Next, slice the tomatoes into quarters and sauté them for 15 minutes.
- Add in the chicken broth, the remaining herbs and the fried tortilla strips into the pot, leaving a good handful or two or the tortilla strips for serving. Add salt and pepper and bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly and simmer/lightly boil for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow it sit for a short time, to cool slightly and let the flavors come together.
- Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a high speed blender, like a Vitamix, puree the soup.
- Serve topped with additional tortilla strips, avocado, fresh cilantro, cheese, etc.
Swap chicken broth for vegetable broth to make vegetarian/vegan.