Family Style Tablescape: Houston’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

During the time I commuted from Bucks County, PA to work in New York we would always make it a point to keep our schedules open on Tuesdays to ensure we could get out for lunch. Why? Because Tuesdays are the only day Houston’s serves it’s Chicken Tortilla Soup. You may think, how can one recipe be that much better? Well I’m not exactly sure, but it is. Believe me.

The bad news: Houston’s doesn’t officially post the recipe.
The good news: I found a few other loyalists that have shared what seems to be pretty darn close version of it.

An Appealing Plan Houstons Tortilla Soup Recipe #sundaySupper

I did make a few adjustments and wasn’t able to find the thin tortilla strips they serve it with. Overall it is so delicious we had it for breakfast the morning after I made this batch.

Invite your family over and serve it family style to allow everyone to put as much or as little of the garnishes as desired.

Houstons Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe and Tablescape ideas @AnAppealingPlan - close up soup



  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup Masa flour
  • 12 oz. ground corn tortilla chips
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. ground chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 quarts chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup chicken base
  • 4 cups shredded chicken*
  • 1/4 cups chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste


  • Avocado
  • Sliced Limes
  • Monterrey Jack Cheese
  • Additional Fresh Cilantro
  • Crushed Tortilla Chips


1- Melt butter in soup pot. Add olive oil, diced onion, and garlic. Sautee on medium only until onions are softened and clarified. Salt lightly.

2- In separate bowl mix Masa flour, ground tortilla chips, cumin, chili powder, and 1/2 tablespoon black pepper together.

3- Add the dry mix to the onions. Cook for a few minutes, until the raw flavor of the flour should have cooked out. Salt lightly.

4- Slowly add the chicken stock and chicken base.

5- Blend the mixture with a hand blender, until all of the flour pieces have blended out and the soup is completely smooth.

6- Bring the soup to a boil, and allow to cook/boil/reduce for a few minutes until the soup has thickened slightly and coats the spoon. Salt and pepper to taste.

7- Ladle soup into bowl top with chicken and cilantro.

8- Garnish each serving with plenty of avocado, crushed tortilla chips, shredded Monterrey cheese, lime slice and a few extra sprinkles of cilantro.



*Marinate chicken breasts in lime juice and salt, then broiled on low for a soft and flavorful chicken to add to the soup. Shred with two forks.

* I honestly can’t remember if the served it with or if I added the lime. But if you are a fan, lime makes all the difference.

X Houstons Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe and Tablescape ideas @AnAppealingPlan - table ideas


* Family Style service refers to placing bowls or platters of menu items on the dining table and guests are able to serve themselves. Bowls and platters remain on the table and are passed as needed.

* Stack Rustic wooden bowls and hand thrown earthenware plates. One for each guest plus a few extra for seconds.

* Offer each garnish in a separate bowl with a wooden serving spoon. Be sure to overfill bowls so guests feel free to add as desired without concern for taking the last bit.

* Offer additional course sea salt and ground black pepper in small rustic vessels with individual wooden spoons.

* Serve soup in bowl that will retain heat such as this wooden salad bowl from the 70’s. Refill the bowl to keep it hot as guests arrive.

The #SundaySupper family will be digging out their stock pots and slow cookers to serve up these amazing soups:

Do The Chicken Dance (chicken {or other poultry} soups)

 * * * * * * *

COVER-Krayl-An Appealing-Plan- FINAL-page1

And, if you are looking for even more ways to celebrate everyday check out An Appealing Plan the book.

Call it a trend or a return to the past, but I believe we are bringing back entertaining at home, lingering over a table after a lovingly prepared meal with friends. It has been a way of life and passion of mine my entire adult life, and I am thrilled to be able to invite you on this journey with me through a year of celebrating every day. Filled with recipes, tablescapes, floral inspiration and seasonal entertaining ideas An Appealing Plan :: A Year of Everyday Celebrations, is a dream come true for me a true honor to be able to share it with you. To learn more about An Appealing Plan :: A Year of Everyday Celebrations here. And of course, share how you are celebrating everyday.


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