Sopa de tortilla

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
1 large Tomato
2 tablespoons Corn oil
1 medium Yellow onion; coarsely chopped
2 Cloves garlic; peeled and halved lengthwise
1 teaspoon Coarse salt; plus more for seasoning
¼ teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper; plus more for seasoning
6 cups Chicken stock
1 small Bunc cilantro; leaves picked and stems reserved
1 small Bunc oregano
4 Corn tortillas; yellow and blue
½ cup Vegetable oil; for frying
1 Dried pasilla chiles; stemmed, deveined, and left whole, up to 2
1 Avocado; cut into cubes
4 ounces Queso fresco cheese; freshly grated
4 Limes; quartered

SOPA DE TORTILLA

1. Heat oven to broil. Line a small oven-proof skillet with aluminum foil.

Place the tomato in the prepared pan and broil, turning once or twice, until soft and just starting to char, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, peel, and place the tomato in the jar of a blender.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of corn oil in a medium soup pot over medium-low heat.

Add the onion and the garlic. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add onions to jar of the blender. Puree the tomato-onion mixture until smooth.

3. Return soup pot to medium heat. Add remaining tablespoon of corn oil and stir in tomato-onion pur‚e, using rubber spatula to clean out blender jar.

Simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, 5 to 7 minutes. It should be the consistency of a dark, thick ketchup.

4. Whisk in chicken stock. Make a bouquet garni of the cilantro stems and oregano. Add the bouquet garni to the soup, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer. Partially cover and simmer until the flavors have blended, about 30 minutes. Season soup to taste with additional salt and pepper.

5. Meanwhile, prepare the garnishes; cut the tortillas into ¼-inch strips. Heat ½ cup of vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet, over medium-high heat, until the oil is shimmering and hot. Carefully add the tortilla strips, standing back as the oil might splatter. Fry until the strips are crisp and brown, 20 to 30 seconds. Remove with tongs or slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. Season hot strips with salt and pepper.

6. In same hot oil, quickly flash-fry the pasilla chilies, 3 to 4 seconds.

Remove from the oil and place on paper towels to drain. Let cool slightly.

Chop the chilies into bits and use as garnish.

7. Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Garnish with avocado cubes, tortilla strips, pepper bits, queso fresco, and quartered limes.

Serves 4 to 6

NOTES : This classic Mexican tortilla soup gets much of its flavor from the garnishes that are added just before serving-a squeeze of fresh lime for tartness, dried pasilla chiles for a spicy bite, and crisp tortilla strips.

It may be surprising that a hot, spicy soup would enjoy such popularity in the sizzling climate of Mexico, but devotees claim it is actually quite refreshing.

Recipe by: (c) 1998 Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia LLC.

Posted to MasterCook Digest by "Marilyn Thomson" <Mthomson@...> on Mar 2, 1999, converted by MM_Buster v2.0l.

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