Chicken Tortilla Soup
This recipe from now-shuttered Atlanta restaurant Nava uses toasted spices and guajillo pepper paste to bring out the flavor of the toasted corn tortillas.
Hands on: 1 hour, 30 minutes Total time: 2 hours Serves: 10
At Nava, each portion of soup is served with garnishes of fried tortilla strips, pulled chicken pieces, chopped cilantro, chopped onions, chopped poblano peppers and a mixture of Chihuahua, Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheeses.
3 (6-inch) yellow corn tortillas
2 ounces dried guajillo chiles
1 tablespoon ground coriander
11/2 teaspoons ground cumin
11/2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground Mexican cinnamon
5 roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 celery rib, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon salt
16 cups (128 ounces) chicken stock, divided
1/4 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Zest of 1 lime
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place corn tortillas on cookie sheet and bake about 10 minutes, turning once, until dry and crisp. Cool; crush into bite-size pieces and set aside. Save cookie sheet for roasting peppers.
Remove stems and seeds from peppers, then rinse. On cookie sheet, toast guajillo peppers for 4 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from oven, place in small bowl, and cover with hot water. When softened, about 15 minutes, remove chiles and puree in blender, adding just enough soaking liquid to make a paste the consistency of ketchup. Strain and discard solids; set paste aside.
In a small, dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast coriander, cumin, oregano and cinnamon, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until spices are fragrant. Put spices in a small bowl and set aside.
Prepare tomatoes by roasting on grill or gas flame until all sides are slightly blackened, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. When cool, remove stem end. Set aside.
In large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat and add onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook covered, stirring occasionally, until carrot is done, about 15 minutes. Add roasted tomatoes, corn tortilla pieces and 4 cups chicken stock. Use an immersion blender or transfer to blender to puree. Return to pot and stir in 1/2 cup guajillo paste, salt and toasted spices. When mixture is smooth, add remaining chicken stock and cilantro, and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Taste for seasoning and strain before serving. Sprinkle lime zest over each bowl.
Per serving (without garnishes): 110 calories (percent of calories from fat, 34), 17 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 7 grams fat (trace saturated), no cholesterol, 722 milligrams sodium.
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