Soup Azteca (aka Tortilla Soup)


I finally made a Rick Bayless recipe, and now the Good Lord can take me. I want to be him when I grow up! (Rick, not the Lord, I am not worthy.) I don't necessarily mean a genius of Mexican cuisine, but I want to be just as good at what I do as he is. I'm telling you, make this recipe. It's not very difficult (especially if you have a blender unlike me), there aren't a ton of wild ingredients, it makes plenty of soup, and IT'S INSANE! I was a little afraid that it wouldn't be enough food for dinner, but it was, we were full.

My alterations... Rick says use a dried pasilla, I could only find fresh. Rick says use an epazote sprig, huh? I cheated and bought a pre-roasted chicken from the market, because why not? I used Cojita cheese and skipped the Mexican crema step. But I'm sure if you do exactly what Rick says to do, you will not be upset, because Rick is God.

Soup Azteca
Recipe adapted from Rick Bayless website
(Serves 4-6)

1 large pasilla chile
1 15oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 T olive oil
1 medium white onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 quarts chicken broth
1 roast chicken
1 large avocado, cubed
Cojita cheese
Broken tortilla chips

Toast the chile over an open flame. OR, if you don't have access to an open flame or you're afraid of burning your house down, toast it in a dry pan over medium heat for a few seconds per side.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add sliced onions and garlic cloves. Saute for approx 7 minutes.

In the meantime, break apart chile and throw in blender. We don't have a blender, so I used a Cuisinart. I included the seeds for some heat (the pasilla is only a mild to medium-hot chile). Add the tomatoes to the blender and process until smooth. My Cuisinart didn't really turn this into a puree, but I enjoyed the texture.

Once onions and garlic are sauteed, remove from pot (try to leave oil) and place in blender. Process until smooth, but again, I had some texture and that was good. Add to chili/tomato paste and stir.

Turn up heat on stove to high. Add more oil if you need to. Once hot, place puree back in pot and saute until it resembles a paste, about 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Then, add chicken broth. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt to taste (I used a low sodium chicken broth and then added a ton of salt).

While soup is simmering, shred your chicken. I used only the white meat, and decided to toss it in some hot sauce because I thought the soup could use a little more heat. Add chicken to pot.

When ready to serve, place cubed avocado and broken tortilla chips in bowls.

Ladle soup into bowls. Top with cheese and some more chips. Serve hot. Unless you're into cold soup.

FLAVOR FLAV!!!!!! (Sorry for that.)


Andrea said...

I love Rick Bayless, he is my culinary god! The soup looks fantastic but I'd expect no less from a Bayless recipe :) I made his mole about a month ago. Delicious!!!!

Oh the epazote is an herb used in Mexican foods often, it can be found at Mexican markets (at least here it can) anyway it has a sassafras/root beer type flavor that sounds funky but its really good. If you need some let me know I can send it to you :)

Mary B. said...

Made it. Loved it.

janiam said...

Sounds delicious! Can't wait to try it.


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