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Sopa de Tortilla...and don't you forget it!

I know, I could ya, right?  I'm always going on about it.  It's finer points.  It's deep, earthy flavors.  It's versatility.  It's taste...oh yeah, it's taste....sooooo much tasty taste. Ha!  Believe it or not, I ran across another TS from Mark Bittman.  A man after my own heart...I mean three different TS recipes by the same bloke!?  And for all I know, there's more.  Instead of going out and looking right away, though...I'll wait for it...the element of Supreees!  Now.  In general, I've found that so far I prefer the TS recipes that are broth-based, as opposed to the thicker tomato-based ones.  This one is one of the thicker versions, BUT it actually uses half of the tortilla strips IN the soup, itself.  As in, pureéd INTO the soup. Madness, I tell you.  Brilliant Madness.  Plus, the lime juice in the recipe is actually squeezed and stirred opposed to squeezing wedges over it as garnish.  This has been my favorite thick TS to date! You can seriously taste the grounding corn taking hold of you in each bite!  Like atolé...only completely different.  Oxymoron of the day: Similar Opposites

Sopa de Tortilla
slightly adapted from The Best Recipes in the World by Mark Bittman

1/2 c. neutral oil
6 homemade corn tortillas, cut into 1/4" strips
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 large onion, quartered
1 dried chiles, preferably pasillas, stemmed, seeded & sliced
3 fresh tomatoes, roasted
6 c. homemade chicken stock
1 c. shredded, cooked chicken
2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
salt & black pepper, to taste
1 c. chopped, fresh cilantro
1 c. crumbled homemade Feta
1 ripe avocado, sliced

Put oil in saucepan over medium-high heat.  When oil is hot, begin to fry tortilla strips in batches until golden brown & crisp.  Drain on paper towels.

Discard all but 2 Tbs. of oil.  Turn the heat to medium, add garlic and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, ~5 mins.  Add chiles, tomatoes, & half of tortilla strips & cook another 5 minutes.  Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer ~20 mins. 

Cool slightly.  Using an immersion blender, puree mixture until smooth.  Return to stove over medium-high and stir in chicken.  Season w/ lime juice,salt & pepper.  Garnish w/ cilantro, cheese, avocado and remaining tortilla strips. Serve.

Yup, I give it 3 spoons.  It was rich, complex, satisfying and very delicious...I'd definitely make it again!  Please join me in my quest to find the ULTIMATE Tortilla Soup!!

This is also my IHCC POTLUCK entry this, I'm sending it over to my friend Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sundays this week!

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