Tortilla Soup

What’s a blog with soup in the name, without a recipe for some delicious soup? It is my favorite food after all. Well here goes. I give high marks to this recipe from epicurious.com. It was perfect for the cold and rainy weather we experienced as we prepared for Hurricane Sandy. But watch out for that poblano chili. It packs a punch, so be careful handling.  I used powdered cumin instead of cumin seeds, and added black beans and corn to make it a bit heartier.

ingredients
6 6-inch-diameter corn tortillas
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 poblano chili
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 14 1/2-ounce cans vegetable broth
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, cubed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut 2 tortillas into matchstick-size strips. Arrange strips on baking sheet; spray with nonstick spray. Sprinkle with chili powder; toss. Bake until crisp, about 15 minutes. Set aside. Char poblano chili over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in plastic bag 10 minutes. Peel, seed and finely chop chili. Set aside. Stir cumin seeds in heavy small skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Transfer to spice grinder; process until finely ground. Set aside.

Cut 4 tortillas into 1-inch pieces. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add tortilla pieces; cook until crisp and golden, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add poblano chili, onion and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes with juices and cumin. Simmer gently over medium-low heat 20 minutes. Stir in lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover; chill. Rewarm before serving.)

Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with avocado, cilantro and tortilla strips.

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