Tortilla Soup

This is great fall/winter food. Actually, I have fond memories of eating tortilla soup in the college cafeteria - it was reliably delicious, one of the best things they served. Loosely based on the recipe in The Border Cookbook by Cheryl and Bill Jamison, I throw in all kinds of extra things, depending on what I have. This time I actually just mixed about a cup and a half of my Green Tomato Salsa with the stock (because it has basically the same ingredients as the original recipe) and it was ready in about 5 minutes!

6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 Tbs oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 cup chopped green tomatoes, tomatillos or canned tomatoes
1-2 chipotles (dried or canned) or 1 tsp powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup cooked chicken or turkey (optional)
2 quarts chicken, beef or vegetable stock
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
6 corn tortillas
4 ounces Asadero, jack or cheddar cheese
1 avocado, cubed

Place unpeeled garlic cloves in a large saucepan or stock pot over medium-high heat, and dry-roast them until the skins get brown spots, turning once or twice to brown all sides. Remove the pan from heat; peel and chop the garlic cloves. Add oil and onions to the pot and brown on medium heat. Add the garlic, tomatoes, chipotles, oregano, meat (totally optional) and stock, and simmer 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the tortillas into strips and toast or broil them until they are crisp. Add lime juice and cilantro to the soup, and turn off the heat. To serve, divide the tortilla strips, cheese and avocado between the bowls. Ladle soup over everything, and enjoy!


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