Tortilla Soup

author: francineandrebecca

created: 2004-10-11 16:06:01



From Bon Appetit, May 2003. A good winter soup.


6 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed 2 dried pasilla chiles, stemmed 12 5- to 6-inch-diameter white corn tortillas 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons corn oil 2 cups coarsely chopped plum tomatoes 1 1/2 cups water 1/4 small white onion 2 large garlic cloves 1 large sprig fresh epazote or 2 large fresh cilantro sprigs Pinch of baking soda 4 cups low-salt chicken broth 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco 1 small avocado, peeled, pitted, diced 1/4 cup crema mexicana* or sour cream Cut slit in 1 long side of each chile; pull open. Remove seeds and membranes; press chiles flat. Cut pasilla chiles into 1x1/4-inch strips. Cut 6 tortillas into 1x1/4-inch strips. Heat 2/3 cup oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Working in batches, add tortilla strips to skillet; toss until crisp and golden, about 1 minute. Using slotted spoon, transfer strips to paper towels. One at a time, fry 6 whole tortillas in oil until golden and almost crisp, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer to paper towels. Working in batches, add guajillo chiles to skillet; press with spatula until chiles begin to blister, about 10 seconds per side. Transfer to paper towels. Add pasilla chile strips to skillet; stir 10 seconds. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Combine tomatoes and next 5 ingredients in heavy large pot. Coarsely crumble whole tortillas, then guajillo chiles into pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer until water is almost absorbed and chiles are soft, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Working in 3 batches, puree mixture in blender until smooth, adding 1/4 cup broth to each batch. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add tomato mixture; stir until thick and deeper in color, about 2 minutes. Add 3 1/4 cups broth; bring to boil. Simmer 8 minutes to develop flavors. Season with salt. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish each serving with tortilla strips, chile strips, cheese, diced avocado, and crema. *Cultured Mexican cream with a slightly nutty flavor and consistency of thin sour cream. Makes 6 servings.