I’ve mentioned this before, I am racking my brain to come up with a six-course supper that will please my entire extended family. That’s not easy. I had thought it might be fun to create an All-American Six-Course Supper. Here’s another thought – what about All-Americas – as in South America, Central America and North America?
Hum, this really has me thinking. Avocado Tortilla Soup could be North America without being American. This soup is delicious, as a start to a meal or as the meal itself. Maybe I could even make two soups. The Tortilla Soup with all it’s wonderful spices and a simple Tomato Soup for the less adventurous. Food for thought.
Avocado Tortilla Soup
1 cup Water
5 Dry-Roasted Ancho Chiles
3 Jalapeño Chiles
8 Garlic Cloves
8 tablespoons Olive Oil
8 Corn Tortillas, taco size
2 tablespoons Cilantro, chopped
6 cups Chicken Stock
4 cups Tomato Purée
1 tablespoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
1 large Bay Leaf
Kosher Salt to taste
Cayenne Pepper to taste
2 Cups Queso Fresco, crumbled
Bring water to a boil. Place Ancho Chilies in a large bowl. Pour water over the chilies and let sit to re-hydrate. Once softened, remove from the water. Stem, seed and chop the chilies. Set aside.
While the Ancho Chiles are soaking in the water, stem, seed and chop 2 Jalapeño peppers and set aside. Mince the remaining Jalapeño and reserve as a garnish.
Peel garlic cloves and set aside until ready to use.
Peel onions. Cut into chunks and purée half at a time in a blender or food processor. Set onion purée aside until ready to use.
Heat about 5 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. While the oil is heating, cut the tortillas into long strips and divide in half.
Once the oil is hot, add one-half of the tortilla strips and fry gently, turning as needed, until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes.Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the strips to a double layer of paper towels to drain. Set aside.
Add remaining olive oil, reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic along with the remaining half of the tortilla strips and fry, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until the tortillas are crisp.
Add the onion purée and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. While the onion mixture is simmering, finely chop the cilantro and set aside until ready to use.
After the onions have simmered, stir in the chicken stock and tomato purée along with the Ancho Chiles, jalapeños, cilantro, cumin, coriander and bay leaf. Season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste, raise the heat, and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat and cook at a gentle simmer for 40 minutes, skimming off any fat that rises to the surface.
Remove from heat, remove the bay leaf and transfer the mixture to a blender. Process to create a smooth puree. If thick, add a little chicken stock at a time until a smooth soup-consistency is reached.
Return to the soup pot, warm gently. While the soup is warming, peel avocados. Cut one into attractive slices, the other into cubes. Divide the cubed avocado into soup bowls. Pour the soup over the cubes. Top with sliced avocado, crumbled Queso Fresco and the minced Jalapeño.
Garnish with remaining half of the tortilla crisps just before serving.