Texas-Style Tortilla Soup
Ancho chile paste
1 ancho chile
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
1 cup seeded and chopped tomato
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
2 (4-ounce) cans chopped mild green chiles
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon ancho chile paste (Above)
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano**
2 teaspoons chile powder
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
6 cups chicken stock
3 cups (about 3/4 pound)chopped cooked chicken breast
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
2 cups fried thin tortilla strips
3 large avocados, peeled and chopped
6 tablespoons sour cream
Make the chile paste
1. Remove the stem and seeds from ancho chile. Toast chile in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about a minute or so. Place the chile in a bowl and cover with boiling water mixed with the vinegar. Rehydrate for 20 to 30 minutes. Purée the chile in a blender with just enough of the soaking liquid to make a thick paste (think tomato paste consistency). Makes about 1/4 cup of chile paste. Set aside.
MAKE THE SOUP
1. Melt the butter in a stockpot over medium heat. Stir in the onions and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft, about 2 to 3 more minutes.
2. Stir in the corn, tomatoes, jalapeño, green chiles, chile paste, and spices, cooking another minute or so.
3. Stir in the chicken stock. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the chicken and cilantro. Bring to a boil. Whisk the cornstarch and water together. Whisk into the boiling soup. Reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes. Taste and season with salt if needed.
4. Ladle the soup into warm soup bowls. Garnish with fried tortilla strips, avocado chunks, and a tablespoon of sour cream.