Chicken and Tortilla Soup (Sopa Azteca)

The heat of the chiles and chicken soup's well-known nurturing goodness makes this a dish to warm your body and soul. Roasted tomatoes pureed with chiles and crisp tortilla chips make this hearty enough for lunch on a cold day. Add more chicken for heartier appetites. Like most soups, this tortilla soup is better on the second day, after the flavors have blended.

Recipe courtesy of Mod Mex: Cooking Vibrant Flavors at Home; photography by Simon and Tammar Rothstein

Chicken and Tortilla Soup (Sopa Azteca)

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    6 plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise 4 cups chicken stock
    2 tablespoons olive oil 2 cups broken corn tortilla chips, plus extra for garnish
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    2 guajillo chiles 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    2 pasilla chiles 4 ounces queso fresco, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    1 medium-size yellow onion, coarsely chopped 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
    4 cloves garlic, chopped


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    • 1

      Prehead the oven to 400 degrees F.

    • 2

      In an oven-safe baking dish, toss the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for about 15 minutes, until the skin is brown and blistered. Remove and let cool.

    • 3

      Toast the guajillo and pasilla chiles, and then let them cool.

    • 4

      In a large soup pot, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add teh onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes, and then add the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, or until the onions and garlic are soft. Stir in the roasted tomatoes, chiles, bay leaf, and chicken stock, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf, add half the tortilla chips, and puree the soup in batches ina food processor or an electric blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the soup to the pot and reheat if necessary.

    • 5

      Divide the soup among six wide soup bowls. Add the avocado, chicken, queso fresco, and cilantro, along with a sprinkle of the remaining tortilla chips. Or serve the garnishes separately in small bowls so guests may add as much or as little as they choose.

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