Prep 1 hr
Cook 0 mins
From Café Terra Cotta in Tucson and Scottsdale, Arizona and printed in Sunset Magazine.
- 4 corn tortillas (6 to 7 in.)
- 3 tablespoons salad oil
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped (4 to 5 oz.)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1⁄2 teaspoon hot chili flakes
- 8 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth
- 1 avocado (about 8 oz.)
- 1 lime (about 3 oz.)
- 3⁄4 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
- salt and pepper
- salsa fresca
- 1 lb tomatoes
- 1 fresh jalapeno
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- salt and pepper
- Cut tortillas into 1-inch-wide strips. Pour oil into a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat. When oil is hot, add tortilla strips and stir often until crisp and lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer tortilla strips to towels to drain.
- Add onion and garlic to pan. Stir often over medium-high heat until onion is limp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add bay leaf, oregano, peppercorns, chili flakes, and broth. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil until reduced to about 6 cups, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Prepare Salsa Fresca while soup boils: Rinse and core tomatoes and cut into about 1/4-inch dice; put the tomatoes with their juices into a bowl. Rinse and stem the jalapeño; shake out seeds and cut out the veins. Finely chop the chili. Add it to the bowl, along with the onion, cilantro, and 3 tablespoons lime juice. Stir gently to mix, and add more lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.
- Coarsely puree half the salsa fresca in a blender. Pit, peel, and thinly slice the avocado. Cut lime crosswise into thin slices; discard ends.
- In wide soup bowls (at least 1 1/2-cup size), arrange equal portions of tortilla strips, remaining salsa, avocado slices, lime slices, and jack cheese.
- Pour puréed salsa into hot soup, season to taste with salt and pepper, and ladle over condiments into prepared bowls.