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Recipe for cooking tortilla soup (sopa de tortilla)

Recipes from Mexico :: Mexican Soups and Stews


6 to 8 (6-in.) corn tortillas, preferably day-old
2 large very ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded
2/3 c. coarsely chopped white onion
1 large clove garlic
Lard or canola (or other vegetable) oil
7 c. chicken stock or broth
4 sprigs fresh cilantro
3 sprigs fresh mint, if desired
1/2 to 1 tsp. salt
4 or 5 dried pasilla chiles
5 oz. Chihuahua or Monterey jack cheese,
    cut into 1/2-in. cubes
1/4 c. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Stack tortillas; cut into 1/2-in. wide strips. Spread loosely on wire rack; let stand 1 or 2 hours to dry slightly.

Combine tomatoes, onion and garlic in blender container; process until smooth. Heat 3 Tbsp. lard or canola (or other vegetable) oil in 3-quart saucepan over med. heat until hot. Add tomato mixture; cook, stirring frequently, 10 mins.

Add stock and cilantro sprigs to pan; heat over high heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 mins. Add mint and salt; simmer 10 mins. longer. Remove and discard cilantro and mint sprigs; keep soup hot, covered.

Melt enough lard in heavy, large skillet to 1/2-in. depth. Heat to 375 degrees fahrenheit; adjust heat to maintain temperature.

Fry 1/2 tortilla strips at a time in lard, turning occasionally, until crisp, about 1 minute. Remove with slotted spoon; drain on paper toweling. Fry chiles in lard, turning occasionally, until puffed and crisp, about 30 seconds. Do not let chiles burn. Drain on paper toweling. Cool slightly.

Crumble chiles coarsely. Ladle soup into bowls; pass chiles, tortilla strips, cheese and chopped cilantro to be added according to individual taste.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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