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Tortilla Soup with Cheese and Ancho Chiles

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  • Servings: 4

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  • 2 medium ancho chiles—stemmed, seeded and torn into very small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • One 14 1/2-ounce can peeled whole tomatoes
  • 5 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • Salt
  • 1 1/3 cups broken tortilla chips (1/2-inch pieces)
  • 5 ounces queso fresco or Muenster cheese, cut into 1/2-inch dice (1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Lime wedges, for garnish


  1. In a medium bowl, soak the ancho chiles in very hot water until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain the ancho chiles and pat them dry.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a small skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 10 minutes. Transfer the cooked onion and garlic to a blender. Add one-third of the ancho chiles and the tomatoes with their juices and blend for 1 minute. Strain the mixture into a medium saucepan. Add the stock, oregano, thyme and marjoram and bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Season the soup with salt.
  3. Divide the the broken tortilla chips, cheese and remaining ancho chiles among 4 soup bowls. Ladle the soup on top. Garnish the tortilla soup with a generous dollop of sour cream and the chopped parsley and serve immediately with lime wedges.
Contributed By Photo © Sang An Published August 2002

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