Tortilla soup is (like many other culinary creations) one of those recipes that was probably originated with leftovers. Take Coq au vin for example, an old tough bird you have to drown in wine to get it to taste good, tortilla soup is better with a few-days-old- tortillas.
I don’t mean tortillas filled with preservatives of course but the fresh kind, the kind that will go dry and slightly tough after a couple of days. Those are the ones I used for this soup and believe me it was delicious.
I would recommend to serve just the broth and let your guests pick their own toppings, also make sure you add the tortillas right before you are about to eat. They are not meant to be soggy.
This recipe is for 2 servings so multiply as you need.
For the toppings:
- 4 to 6 corn tortillas
- Oil to fry them
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 cup Panela cheese or Queso fresco cut up in cubes
- Fresh cilantro (coriander)
- Pork rinds (Optional)
For the broth you need:
- 1 medium red tomato*
- 1 chile pasilla (dried chile) stem and seeds removed and soaked into very hot water for about 30 min.
- 1/4 of a medium onion
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- A few pieces of the tortillas that you fried.
- 3 cups of chicken broth (I used organic chicken broth but if you have homemade is even better)
*If your tomato is too acid add a little bit of sugar to balance out the flavor
Start by removing the edge of the corn tortillas then cut up into small strips.
Fry them with some vegetable oil and set aside, I picked the ones that looked more brown and added to the broth.
Soak the chile pasilla in some very hot water until is soft (30 mins.) you can remove the seeds and stem after this.
Chile pasilla is NOT HOT at all so don’t be afraid to use it. Is the base for a lot of dishes like enchiladas and asado de puerco. It has a flavor reminiscent of raisins with spice notes that is very unique.
Put in a blender the tomato, onion, garlic cloves, chile pasilla and one cup of chicken broth. Add salt and pepper and blend until combined.
Then add a little bit of oil to a pot and put on medium heat. Pour the mix from the blender, it should sizzle. Let it boil until it changes in color, you should also notice a change in the way it smells. Once it has boiled for about 5 min add the rest of the chicken broth and let it boil once again, then let it simmer for about 10 mins. Rectify the salt and pepper (I also added some chili powder here but that is up to you).
It should have a pretty bright red color and a complex flavor.
Now for the toppings, just chop up the queso, avocado and add them to your soup once you are ready to eat (along with the tortilla chips you made). I like adding a little bit of crema and yes a small pork rind to garnish just they way they serve it in most restaurants in Mexico. Crema is not sour cream, is more liquid and sweeter and not as tangy. If you can’t find it you can substitute for creme fraiche. Decorate with chile pasilla rings and fresh coriander.
Serve with some lime juice on the side and enjoy.
buen provecho : )