This Tortilla Soup with Ancho Chile and Avocado has been a favorite in our house for many, many years. The ancho chiles and avocado, mixed with the crispy corn tortillas, and the deep flavors of the chicken stock…come together to make the most comforting soup. So satisfying!
Tortilla Soup with Ancho Chile and Avocado
- 6 corn tortillas
- Vegetable oil for frying about 1/2 inch in a heavy skillet, or use your deep fryer
- 4 garlic cloves peeled and left whole
- 1 small white onion thinly sliced
- 2 dried ancho chiles seeded and torn into several pieces.*
- 1 15 oz can good-quality whole tomatoes in juice drained OR 2 medium-sized fresh tomatoes (or 4 to 6 plum) - (if using fresh - core and roughly chop them)
- 6 cups of chicken stock
- 1 tbsp cilantro chopped (optional)
- 6 oz Mexican queso fresco or other crumbly fresh cheese - OR - chihuahua or Monterey Jack - shredded
- 1 large ripe avocado peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 large lime cut into wedges
FRY THE TORTILLAS
- Cut the tortillas in half, then cut crosswise into 1/4 inch strips.
- In a large, heavy skillet (or deep fryer), heat the oil to medium-high heat (about 350F).
- Once the oil is hot, add half the tortillas strips.
- Stir around in the oil nearly constantly until they are golden brown and crispy.
- Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
- Repeat with remaining tortillas.
BUILDING THE SOUP
- Pour off the oil, leaving about a tablespoon. Or,if you were using your deep fryer, heat a skillet over medium heat, and add 1 tablespoon of oil (olive or vegetable).
- Add the garlic and onion to the pan and cook until golden, stirring often, about 7 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the onion and garlic to a blender or food processor.
- Add the chile pieces to the hot pan.
- Turn the chilies quickly as they toast - about 30 - 40 seconds total.
- Remove and drain on paper towels.
- Set the pan aside.
ADDING VEGGIES, STOCK AND OTHER FLAVORS
- Add the tomatoes to the blender containing the garlic and onion and process until a smooth puree. (If using fresh tomatoes, strain the puree to get rid of the pieces of tomato skin).
- Set the saucepan over medium-high heat.
- When hot, add the puree and stir nearly constantly until is has thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 10 minutes.
- Add the stock and cilantro - and bring to a boil.
- Partially cover and gently simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes.
- Taste and season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon.
SERVING THE SOUP
- Divide the cheese and avocado among the soup bowls.
- Ladle a portion of the broth into each bowl, top with a portion of the tortilla strips and crumble on a little of the toasted chile.
- Serve with wedges of lime.