Spicy Mexican Soup
Pati Jinich's Tortilla Soup
- For the Tortilla Soup:
- 3 Guajillo Chiles (stemmed; seeded and toasted)
- 1 pound ripe Tomatoes
- 1 Garlic clove
- 1/2 cup Onion (roughly chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 6 cups Chicken Broth
- 1 sprig fresh Parsley
- 1/2 cup Mexican Crema (creme fraiche or sour cream)
- 8 ounces Queso Fresco (diced)
- 1 ripe Avocado (diced)
For the Tortilla Crisps:
- Vegetable Oil (for frying)
- 6 5-6 inch Corn Tortillas (cut into wedges)
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- Guajillo chiles (stemmed; seeded and broken into pieces)
- For the Tortilla Soup: In a medium sauce pan, place the toasted Guajillo chiles, tomatoes, and garlic. Add enough water just to cover ingredients. Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 12 to 15 minutes, until tomatoes are fully cooked and mushy and the Guajillos have re-hydrated and plumped up.
- Place the Guajillos, tomatoes, garlic and onion in a blender along with 1 cup of the simmering liquid and salt. Puree until completely smooth.
- In a large soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Once hot but not smoking, pour in the tomato puree. It will sizzle and make noise and smoke. Let the puree cook and thicken, changing from a bright red to a darker red and thicker consistency, for about 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken broth and the parsley sprig and return to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and season, cooking another 10 minutes. Remove parsley sprig before serving.
- Serve into soup bowls, adding a handful of tortilla crisps, a few chile crisps, and crema, cheese and avocado to taste. Alternatively you can place all the garnishes on the soup plates, and pour the hot soup into the bowls at the table. You may add other more hefty garnishes, such as cooked shredded chicken on top.
- For the Tortilla Crisps: To fry: in a deep 12-inch skillet, heat 1⁄2 inch of oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking—a tortilla piece dipped in the oil should bubble around the edges. Add the tortilla pieces in small batches and fry, turning once, until they are a rich golden brown and nicely crisped. For crisps and chips, cook for 20 to 30 seconds per side; cook tostadas one at a time for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle immediately with salt so it will stick to the surface.
- To prepare Chile Crisps, flash fry the chile pieces in the vegetable oil for 2 seconds, then quickly remove to a paper-towel lined plate.
- To bake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Place the tortilla pieces (or whole tortillas) on the baking sheet. Gently brush the tops with oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring and flipping them occasionally, until golden brown and crispy. Let cool.