This beloved Mexican soup is light, yet offers all the comfort of hearty south-of-the-border fare. It also is naturally gluten-free. While you can substitute GF tortilla chips, homemade fried tortilla strips are excellent—best the day they’re made and easily stored for up to three days in an airtight container.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 ⁄4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 dried ancho chiles stemmed and seeded
- 2 dried New Mexico or Anaheim chiles stemmed and seeded
- 1 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes such as Muir Glen
- 7 cups gluten-free chicken stock
- Kosher salt
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 8 gluten-free corn tortillas halved and sliced into 1⁄4-inch strips
- Cayenne pepper
- 1 ⁄2 cup sour cream or Mexican crema for garnish (optional)
- 2 ripe avocados diced, for garnish
- 1 ⁄2 cup coarsely chopped fresh marjoram oregano, or cilantro, for garnish (optional)
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium- high heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, let sizzle for a moment, then lower the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and softened, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the cumin and smoked paprika and cook for 1 minute. Add the bay leaf, chiles, tomatoes, chicken stock, and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan with 2 inches of vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat to 365°F or until bubbles form and begin to float up around the handle of a wooden spoon when dipped into the oil. Working in batches, fry the tortilla strips until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season to taste with salt.
Using an immersion blender or in batches in a blender, carefully puree the hot soup until smooth. Season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper.
Transfer the soup to bowls, garnish with a spoonful of sour cream and avocado, a sprinkle of marjoram, and a handful of tortilla strips.
Photo: Alanna Taylor-Tobin