This fabulously delicious soup is inspired by the version created by chef Dean Fearing, who was executive chef for 20 years of Dallas’ The Mansion on Turtle Creek before leaving to start his own restaurant.
4 corn tortillas
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
Cayenne pepper to taste
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast, cooked and cut into thin strips
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 cup (4 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
- Chop 2 of the tortillas coarsely and set aside. Cut the remaining 2 tortillas into thin strips. In a heavy, medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the tortilla strips and fry until crisp, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
- In a blender or food processor, pulse the onion and tomatoes until puréed; set aside.
- In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons canola oil over medium heat and sauté the chopped tortillas with the garlic and cilantro for 3 minutes, or until the tortillas are soft. Add the onion-tomato purée and bring to a boil. Add the cumin, chili powder, bay leaf, tomato paste, chicken broth, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the cayenne. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and add portions of chicken, avocado, and shredded cheese to each bowl. Sprinkle with the fried tortilla strips and serve at once.
Makes 4 to 6 servings