If just one soup could be labeled the classic Mexican soup, it would probably be this one, combining as it does the traditional flavors and textures of the country´s chile, tomato, avocado, epazote and tortilla.
3 cloves garlic
½ onion, cut into chunks
3 ripe tomatoes
6 cups(48 fl oz/1.5 l) chicken stock
1 tablespoon oil
2 small springs epazote
salt and freshly ground pepper
8–10 day-old corn tortillas
oil for frying
2-3 chiles pasillas
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced or chopped 5 oz (155 g) queso fresco (or feta cheese), crumbled ½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) thick cream (crème fraîche)
3 limes, halved
- Roast the garlic, onion and tomatoes. Peel and core the tomatoes and puree in a blender with the garlic and onion, adding ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) of the chicken stock if necessary.
-Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over high heat and sauté the tomato puree. Boil for 2 minutes, lower the heat and cook, stirring constantly, for another 5 minutes or until the puree thickens and changes color.
- Add the remaining chicken stock and epazote. Return to the boil. Cover and cook at medium heat for 15 minutes.
- Cut the tortillas in half and cut each half into thin strips. Heat ½ in (1 cm) oil in a small skillet and, when hot, add the tortilla pieces a few at a time and fry, turning at least once, for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spatula and drain on absorbent paper. (If using fresh tortilla, dry first in a preheated 250°F/120° C oven for an hour.)
- Cut the chiles into ½-in (1 cm) rings and remove their seeds. Fry in the hot oil for about 1 minute or until crisp. Drain and set aside.