Even though it is summer I still make soup. On hot days I make gazpacho or other chilled soups, and on cooler days I make warmer soups. This week I decided to make this chicken tortilla soup from My Father’s Daughter. I loved the idea of a light, spicy soup served up with crispy tortillas on the side. I’ve had chicken tortilla soup at restaurants before, but had never made it at home. This recipe takes some time to pull together, mostly because the soup needs to simmer to develop flavors. I made it during naptime and let it sit until dinner and the flavors blossomed beautifully. It tasted fresh, spicy with just a hint of cilantro. I’ll admit, I bought the tortilla chips instead of frying my own, but go ahead and fry yourself if you have the time! We loved slurping down our bowls to the last drop on a recent chilly late-summer night. I’ll definitely be flagging this recipe for the winter months, too!
adapted from My Father’s Daughter
2 quarts vegetable stock
1 bunch fresh cilantro
2 dried medium-sized whole red chiles
5 cloves garlic – 2 crushed & 3 minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
14 ounces whole peeled tomatoes with juices
pinch kosher salt
pinch black pepper
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
2 scallions, finely sliced
juice of 1/2 lime
1. In a large stockpot over medium heat warm the vegetable stock with the cilantro stems, one of the chiles and the crushed garlic. Meanwhile, toast the other chile over open flame until it just starts to get fragrant. Seed and chop the chile and reserve.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a skillet and add the onion, garlic, and reserved chile. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, juices, salt and pepper and lower the heat to low. Cook the mixture for 40 minutes, or until it is nearly dried out and all of the moisture has evaporated.
3. Place the tomato mixture in a blender with a ladleful of the stock and blend until smooth. Remove the cilantro stms, chile and garlic from the remaining stock and add the tomato puree. Stir everything to combine and allow the soup to simmer over low heat for an hour.
4. To serve, chopped 2 tablespoons of cilantro and toss with the avocado, scallions and lime juice. Top soup with this mixture and serve with fried tortillas.