Sopa Azteca

When I saw this on Sarah's blog, I really, really wanted to try it, but I was a little nervous. It has some fancy ingredients and if I had just seen it in a cookbook I probably would have passed it off as too complicated, but thankfully Sarah made me brave enough to try it! I even called her from the grocery store to see if I was getting the right chile...I think it's pretty funny that we had not actually spoken on the phone for nearly 5 years and a dried chile finally got me to call :-). It was worth it! The flavor the chile gives the broth of this soup is AMAZING.
L-O-V-E this soup and will make it again and again!

(recipe from Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday cookbook)
•1 large dried pasilla (negro) chile, stemmed and seeded (see pic below)
•One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, preferably fire-roasted
•2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
•1 medium white onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
•3 garlic cloves, peeled
•2 quarts chicken broth
•1 large epazote sprig, if you have one (Sarah’s note - I’ve never used this and it’s fine. Sometimes we have cilantro on the side to add at the end)(we just used cilantro)
•4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I used 2 cans chicken)
•1 large ripe avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
•1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Mexican melting cheese (like Chihuahua, quesadilla or asadero) or Monterey Jack, brick or mild cheddar (I used Monterey Jack)
•A generous 4 cups roughly broken tortilla chips
•1/2 cup Mexican crema, sour cream or creme fraĆ®che for garnish
•1 large lime, cut into 6 wedges, for serving

1.Quickly toast the chile by turning it an inch or two above an open flame for a few seconds until its aroma fills the kitchen. (Lacking an open flame, toast it in a dry pan over medium heat, pressing it flat for a few seconds, then flipping it over and pressing it again.) Break the chile into pieces and put in a blender jar along with the tomatoes with their juice. (A food processor will work, though it won’t completely puree the chile.)
2.Heat the oil in a medium (4-quart) saucepan over medium-high. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 7 minutes. Scoop up the onion and garlic with a slotted spoon, pressing them against the side of the pan to leave behind as much oil as possible, and transfer to the blender. Process until smooth.
3.Return the pan to medium-high heat. When quite hot, add the puree and stir nearly constantly, until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 6 minutes. Add the broth and epazote, if using. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt, usually about a generous teaspoon (depending on the saltiness of the broth).
4.Just before serving, add the chicken to the simmering broth. Divide the avocado, cheese and tortilla chips between serving bowls. When the chicken is done, usually about 5 minutes, ladle the soup into the bowls. Garnish with the crema. Pass the lime separately.

This is what my chile looked like (the AA battery was the first thing I saw to use as a size comparison)...
All the goodies before the broth/chicken mixture was poured on top...


Your Best Friend said...

This looks very yummy. I may have to give it a try over the weekend.

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Looks amazing! I love pasilla chilies, I bet the flavor in this soup is out of this world good. YUM!

Diane said...

I am sitting here trying to figure out what to do for dinner and this looks wonderful. Unfortunately, it is Sunday and I don't exactly have pasilla chilies on I will have to make it tomorrow. Hmmm, I'm still stumped on what to make tonight.

Sarah S said...

I agree, it's pretty funny that we haven't talked on the phone in SO LONG!! We stay in touch well through our blogs, right?? I'm so glad you called and had the courage to buy the chile and make the soup. Your post made me hungry for it... I think I'll make it this week again! YUM.