Serves: Makes 6 to 8 servings
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 6 corn tortillas
- 5 tablespoons corn or vegetable oil
- 6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 1 jalepeño chile, cored, seeded, and diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin, toasted
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, toasted
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 8 cups chicken stock or top-quality chicken broth
- 1 can (14½ ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1½ teaspoons chili powder
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
- 1 cup grated asadero cheese
- ¾ cup chopped, seeded plum tomatoes
- ¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ½cup sour cream
- Lime wedges
Procedures:Asadero cheese, used to garnish this soup, is a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese from the Mexican state of Oaxaca; it has a mild flavor and nice melting texture, which is ideal for this recipe. Look for asadero cheese in Mexican or Latin American groceries or specialty cheese shops; Cheddar or Jack cheese can be substituted.
To make this a main-course soup, I add thin strips of grilled chicken breast just before the garnishes. You might want to pass a bottle of Tabasco sauce around the table so guests can add more heat to their taste.
- Purée the chopped onion in a food processor until smooth. Cut 3 of the tortillas into ¼-inch dice.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook for a few seconds. Add the diced tortillas, stir to evenly coat, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to crisp (be sure the garlic doesn't get too brown, decrease the heat if necessary). Stir in the onion purée, poblanos, jalepeño, cilantro, cumin, pepper, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring, until the chiles and spices are aromatic, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and diced tomatoes (with their liquid) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the chili powder and salt and simmer for 10 minutes longer. Discard the bay leaves.
- Cut the remaining 3 tortillas into ¼-inch strips. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tortilla strips and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until lightly toasted and aromatic. Drain on paper towels.
- To serve, ladle the soup into individual warmed bowls. Garnish with the crisp tortilla strips, avocado, cheese, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, and dollops of sour cream. Add wedges of lime alongside for squeezing.