gluten free green chili pork tortilla soup
Gluten Free Food

Stupidly Easy Gluten Free Tortilla Soup

I’m not sure if tortilla soup is usually gluten free, but I do know this one is. This is the story of how it came to be.

I’ll admit it. I have a taco problem.

Torchy's Tacos on South 1st in Austin, TX
Torchy’s Tacos on South 1st in Austin, TX

Since we’ve been in Austin I’ve become tragically addicted to Torchy’s Tacos. The green chile pork taco in particular.

It’s so simple. It’s just pork, salsa verde, and a little bit of queso fresco on two corn tortillas. But it’s done so well – the pork is expertly cooked and the flavors compliment each other perfectly – I can’t stop eating them.

Now that we’re moved into our new apartment, we’re too far from Torchy’s to get my daily fix. So I decided last night to take a stab at making them myself.

I thought I could make something based on an existing recipe, so ran a couple of searches for green chili pork. No luck. Almost every hit I got was for green chicken chili which is an entirely different animal. (See what I did there? Huh? I’m so punny.)

So I figured, what the heck. I’ll just make something up. So I did.

Winging it: Making Up a Green Chili Pork Taco Recipe

Torchy's Green Chili Pork Taco
Torchy’s Green Chili Pork Taco

In search of pork, I had a little chat with the butcher guy at our local Whole Foods. If you don’t chat with your local meat department person, the following anecdote is an example of why you should.

Magic at the Meat Counter: A thrilling anecdote by Kat Landreth

I sauntered up to the meat department counter already knowing what I wanted. Vegas or bust – It would be pork shoulder or nothing at all.

I already had my eye on a de-boned pork shoulder in the meat case by the time Whole Foods Butcher Guy approached me.

He asked if I had any questions. The know-it-all in me almost said “I’d like this one, second from the back”. But I knew better – good things happen when you talk to butchers. So instead of demanding my chosen pork I said “yes – I do have a question”.

I told him I wanted to make green chili pork tacos and wondered what cut of pork he would recommend, anticipating his validation of my porcine preferences.

But even as I mentally raised my hand to psychically pat myself on the back, he suggested a pork steak for my tacos.

What’s all this? I tried not to scowl. If I did, he didn’t notice, and Whole Foods Butcher Guy went on to explain that the pork steak was the same cut as the boneless roulade of pork shoulder I had my eye on. The steak, though, was a dollar cheaper per pound than the roulade. The only differences were that the steak was not rolled up, and it still had the bone in it.

So far so good – as long as the bone wasn’t too big I might actually get a a deal. And then the real magic happened. As Whole Foods Butcher Guy lifted the pork steak of my choosing from the meat case, he announced that this particular steak didn’t appear to have a bone in it at all. I was getting the exact same cut of meat that I wanted for a dollar less a pound, all because of this magical meat department man.

The moral of this story is that you should always talk to butchers.

Finn

Back to the real story

Anyway, I wanted to keep the pork really simple, so I just put it in my in my Instant Pot pressure cooker, along with some organic chicken stock , a couple table spoons of salsa verde, a can of diced hatch green chilies, and some salt and pepper.

I used the meat setting on the pressure cooker, and set the time for 40 minutes. The whole process literally took less than three minutes.

Fourty minutes of zero effort later and the pork was done cooking.

Side Note: I really highly recommend an electronic pressure cooker if you don’t already have one. Fourty minutes for fork tender pork? And I didn’t have to babysit anything in an oven or pot? That’s exactly my kind of lazy.

I shredded the pork with a couple of forks and piled it onto some warmed stone ground gluten free tortillas along with a little extra salsa verde.

The verdict? Tender pork, tangy salsa, sweet almost nutty tortillas… I basically inhaled two right there. Not quite Torchy’s, but with a little tweaking I think I can get it there.

And here (finally) is where my tortilla soup was born

Even after two gigantic tacos, I still had a lot of pork left over. I used way too much liquid when I was cooking the pork, so my leftovers were practically begging to be turned into soup.

I’m not one to argue with food, so for dinner this evening I complied and made some ridiculously easy tortilla soup from the leftovers.

Even if you were starting from scratch right now making the green chili pork and everything tonight, this process would take you less than 10 minutes of prep and only like 45 minutes of total cook time. Since I already had the pork ready to go, this soup took about four minutes to make. No kidding.

Here’s how I did it.

Gluten Free Tortilla Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 handfull of Garden of Eatin’ Red Hot Blues blue corn tortilla chips (or your favorite corn chips)
  • Enough leftover green chili pork for a portion you’re not embarrassed to eat
  • Extra chicken stock

Method

Put the Red Hot Blues (or other corn chips) in the bottom of a microwave safe bowl. Top the chips with your leftover green chili pork and enough extra chicken stock to make it soupy.

Microwave on high in 1 minute bursts for 3 minutes, checking the temperature and stirring a little in between bursts. Because these are leftovers, you should get the soup to at least 165°F to be safe.

If you have something against the microwave, but the leftovers in a pot and warm them on the stove instead, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Still shoot for an even 165°F temp. Hotter is fine, just don’t burn the soup. When it’s hot enough, spoon/pour your pork leftovers over the tortilla chips in your bowl.

Garnish with extra chips, salsa verde, guacamole, or anything else you like. Cilantro would be great, as would some pickled red onion, or queso fresco.

Eat and enjoy!


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katlandreth

I design user interfaces for websites and web apps. I code, I style myself and my home, I DIY, and I read comic books. I cook tasty gluten free food, and I travel to amazing places.

Fun fact: I'm also a little addicted to lifestyle vloggers on YouTube.

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