Friday, December 14, 2012

Sopa de Tortilla (Tortilla Soup)

It is not secret that I LOVE Mexican food and this soup is my favorite Mexican dish. There are many variations but this one, also called Sopa Azteca (Aztek soup), is my favorite. It spicy and smoky, the perfect combination of flavors and aromas.

Ingredients for the broth
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 3 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion halved
  • 3 chiles pasilla
  • 2 chiles guajillo
  • 1/2 chile chipotle (optional)
  • 1 cup tomato passatta (puree)
  • 1 spring of epazote
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste

To Garnish
  • 1 cup grated cheese (queso fresco o cheddar)
  • 1/2 cup chicharrones chopped (pork rinds)
  • 1 ripe avocado diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 cup sour cream at room temperature
  • 5 corn tortillas sliced into 1 inch strip
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 limes cut in wedges
In a Pyrex bowl add 2 chile pasillas, 2 chile guajillos and 1/2 chipotle (add more if you want it really spicy) and add boiling water to cover them. Leave them re-hydrating for about 30 minutes. Once the chiles are re-hydrated, cut lengthwise and remove the seeds and the stem.

In the meantime cook the chicken in a pot with 6 cups of water and some salt and pepper. Reserve the broth. Shred the chicken meat and set aside.

In a frying pan, heat the oil and fry the whole tomatoes, onion and garlic cloves until they char a little. Be careful as the tomatoes get really hot. 

Using a blender, blend the re-hydrated chiles, charred tomatoes, onion and garlic peeled. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth.

Seep the blended mix into a soup pot using a strainer and a wooden spoon. 

Add 5 cups of the chicken broth to the strainer to squeeze all the juice.

Add the epazote, salt to taste and bring to boil at medium heat, once the broth is boiling add the tomato passata, lower the temperature and simmer for 20 minutes covered. Season with more salt if necessary, remove the epazote before serving.

Cut the tortillas in 1 inch strips and fry them with 2 tablespoons oil in a frying pan. Drain over kitchen paper. Set aside.

In the same frying pan, fry the remaining chile pasilla chopped. Do not let it burn. Set aside.

To serve, add the garnishing at the bottom of the bowl: Avocado, fried chili, cheese, fried tortilla and chicharron and shredded chicken. Pour the broth and top with fresh cilantro and a spoonful of sour cream. squeeze the lime wedges (optional).