Tortilla Soup

Liz ate this soup known as Sopa Azteca in Oaxaca and central Mexico a lot during her stay in Mexico. This recipe, discovered in Rick Bayless' ancient "Authentic Mexican," has since become a staple in the Weber household. It really is a hearty and satisfying meal, as Greg's daughter Jesscia also knows: she served us her version on one of our visits to College Station.

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 (14-1/2 ounce) can tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 quarts good chicken or vegetable broth, preferably homemade
4 to 6 corn tortillas
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 to 2 dried chili pasillas, stemmed, seeded and deveined
8 ounces (about 2 cups) cubed Mexican queso fresco cheese (or cheddar)
1 large lime
1 avocado
Shredded chicken, optional

In a large stockpot, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium low. Add the onion and whole garlic cloves and saute until both are are a deep golden brown, 12 to 15 miuntes. Scoop into a blender, add the tomato and process until smooth.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the same pot over medium high. When hot, add the tomato mixture and stir constantly until thick and considerably darker, about 5 minutes.
Stir the broth into the tomato mixture, partially cover and simmer for about 1/2 hour over medium-low heat. Season with salt.
Meanwhile, prepare the garnishes. If the tortillas are fresh or moist (doubtful in the Northeast), let them dry a few minutes in a single layer. Slice them in half, then slice the halves crosswise into strips about 1/4-inch thick. Heat the 1/3 cup vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Prepare a plate lined with paper towels. When the oil is hot, add the tortillas and fry, turning until they are crisp. Drain. Cut the chilies into 1-inch squraes and fry in the hot oil very briefly about 3 or 4 seconds. Remove and drain, then place in a small serving bowl.
Chop the lime into wedges and the avocado into dice. Finely chop the cilantro. Place all in bowls. Chop the cheese into squares.
Assemble the soup. If you are using chicken, place a few shreds in each bowl. Then add the cheese and top the tortillas and 1 or 2 chilis. Ladle on the soup and serve immediately. Pass the avocado, cilantro and lime wedges at the table for guests to doctor their own soups.

09:12:00 on 01/25/06 by liz - Category: Recipes


Janie wrote:

You are SO your Dad! Wonderful recipes, lots of ingredients, and so much passion for food! He lives on in you!

02/21/06 18:53:20

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