I love the food network.
I love watching Alton, Paula, Guy and so many others make delicious meals before my eyes. They inspire me to cook.
Bad news is that I don’t have the food network right now. I only have basic cable. That means I am at the mercy of what the networks dish up.
It usually sucks.
The only channel I get that has any sort of cooking is PBS, and while they do offer some cooking shows, I think my food network snobbery has set the bar a little high. I feel entitled to well produced cooking shows. (silly me)
Good news is I did find one guy on PBS who seemed pretty legit. Rick Bayless.
He does this Mexican cooking show, and he reminds me just a little of Alton Brown in his approach, but what caught my eye was the delicious Mexican cuisine he was serving up. He made this soup called sopa de lima, and I swear I could smell it.
While on a mission to make his sopa de lima, I actually came across another one of his recipes that sounded even more delicious.
Today we are making Rick’s Sopa Azteca, or in English, tortilla soup.
I have to admit that I have had many different versions of tortilla soup, some with hominy, some with beans, some with ground beef….but this one is the best. I think that it really showcases the spectacular pureness of flavors that it brings to the table.
Lastly, when I told my husband I wanted to make soup for dinner, he said he wasn’t a big fan of soup….however, after 2 bowls he licked his chops and told me this soup had made him a believer! Good job Rick.
Adapted from Rick Bayless and
Serves 4 to 6
Cost per serving $2.50
Here is what Rick says;
“Like guacamole, tortilla soup has a place, I feel, in practically every collection of Mexican recipes. It’s a filling, flavorful meal that can be made with little effort, but one that sings with an unmistakable Mexican harmony. Earthy dark pasilla chile. The softening crunch of toasty corn tortillas. Soul-satisfying broth. And creamy-rich avocado and cheese.
A note about pasilla (sometimes called negro) chile: Its unique flavor defines tortilla soup in central Mexico. In Michoacan, it’s ancho chile. In your kitchen, it might turn out to be another chile, like New Mexico or even a little smoky chipotle (be forewarned that chipotle will make the broth quite spicy). Though for these everyday recipes I’ve relied heavily on the easier-to-use powdered dried chile, finding powdered pasilla (negro) can be harder than finding the whole pod. Should powdered chile be at your finger tips (be it powdered pasilla (negro), ancho or beyond), add about 1 tablespoon to the pan about halfway through the cooking of the onion.”
Sopa Azteca Recipe
1 large dried pasilla (negro) chile, stemmed and seeded
15 oz can diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves-chopped
2 quarts chicken broth (GLUTEN FREE)
1 lb chicken breast-chopped
1 large avocado-sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican melting cheese (like Chihuahua, quesadilla or asadero) or Monterey Jack, brick or mild cheddar
4 corn tortillas (GLUTEN FREE)
Oil for frying
1 large lime for serving
NOTE: after tasting the broth I added 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp GF taco seasoning
Roast the chile in a dry pan for a couple of minutes. Break the chile into pieces and add to blender. Add in the can of diced tomatoes and blend.
Saute your onion and garlic in oil for around 7 minutes until they start to turn brown.
Add these to your blender and puree.
Preparing the soup base
Add your puree to a 5 quart saucepan and cook until the puree looks like tomato paste, about 7 minutes (stirring often). Add the chicken broth and reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add in your diced chicken and cook for another 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Check your broth for saltiness. Adjust to taste. NOTE: after tasting the broth I added 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp GF taco seasoning
Making the broth
Heat about 2 inches of oil in a small saucepan over medium high heat until the oil is ready for frying. Cut your corn tortillas into strips and fry until light brown. When done, remove from oil and place on paper towel. Salt while hot.
Preparing the tortilla strips
Once your soup is done you can add to bowl and garnish with tortilla strips, avocado, lime, cheese and sour cream.
Please squeeze your lime in–it gives it such flavor!
Check out some other sweet tortilla soup recipes:
1. Pioneer Woman-Chicken Tortilla Soup
2. Simply Recipes-Tortilla Soup Recipe
3. Picky Eater-Vegetarian Tortilla Soup with Creative Toppings