I love the flavors of Mexican cooking. I fell in love with so many flavors of this country when I lived in Los Angeles and learned to cook. I especially loved going into the supermarkets there and trying out all the chilies, tomatillos, and other ethnic spices for cooking. Sometimes, my taste buds yearn for those flavors. Unfortunately, living on Cape Cod, those truly authentic flavors and ingredients are just unavailable.
I love tortilla soup. Authentic Mexican tortilla soup is simply a flavorful tomato soup poured over wonderful crispy tortilla strips, avocado and cheese. The soup is very easy to prepare and a real crowd pleaser. The best part is that I created this soup with ingredients that are readily available in all areas of the country, but still bring the authentic flavors of Mexico home.
1 (14oz) can of diced tomatoes
3 cups of chicken broth
1/2 large yellow onion diced
2 tsp cumin
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (optional but truly enhances the flavor)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 tsp of salt
black pepper to taste
3 cloves minced garlic
jalapeno rings (Spice Guide: 1-2 rings-mild, 3-4 rings-medium, 5-7rings spicy)
Manchego cheese or Queso Fresco- 1/2 cup cut into small cubes
1 avocado- cut into cubes
crispy tortilla strips (look in the salad topping area)
In a medium stock pot, combine all ingredients except cheese, avocado and tortilla strips, Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer for 25 minutes.
Turn the heat off. Carefully with the very hot soup blend it into a creamy puree using either a hand held blender, food processor or a blender. Return the soup to the pot and reheat to a simmer for 10 minutes.
Cube up the cheese and avocado.
In the bottom of the bowl, place some tortilla strips, cheese and avocado. Remove the soup from the heat and ladle it into the prepared bowls.