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Tortilla Soup

(for 6-8)
This very authentic recipe is well worth a few extra and easy steps. The layering of flavors is exquisite and always a crowd-pleaser. The soup is a perfect make-ahead for a winter’s meal.

  • ½ white onion
  • 1 lb Roma tomatoes
  • 6 whole garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 dried guajillo chilies
  • 2 dried ancho chilies
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbs cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • Zest of one lime
  • Juice of one lime

Six 5”- 6”white corn tortillas, cut in thin strips
Canola oil
½ cup whipping cream
½ cup sour cream
2 cups grated Pepper Jack Cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro

Lay onion, tomatoes, garlic on a baking sheet and broil – turning occasionally – until tomatoes skins are blistered and charred. This should take 15-20 minutes. Remove “paper from garlic.

Remove seeds, stems and ribs from chilies. Heat a heavy skillet or “comal” and toast chilies. Using tongs, press chilies down on hot surface for a few seconds and turn until all sides are toasted, but pliable. Remove to a bowl and pour hot water over them. Leave the chilies to soak for 20 minutes.

Drain chilies and discard soaking liquid. Combine chilies with roasted onions, tomatoes, and garlic in a blender. Add oregano and puree until very smooth. Pour puree into a soup kettle and add 6 cups chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat canola oil and fry tortilla strips. Drain on paper towel and salt to taste. Whip cream until firm and add in sour cream.

To serve, place a handful of tortilla strips in the bottom of each bowl. Generously top with cheese. Ladle very hot soup on top and garnish with a large dollop of the cream mixture and cilantro.