Tortilla Soup with Cheese and Ancho Chiles
- SERVINGS: 4
- 2 medium ancho chilesstemmed, 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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