Fall is officially upon us, and with these new crisp nights it’s the perfect time to snuggle up indoors with a warm and comforting bowl of soup. Chef Deb of SOL Cocina shares with us a recipe perfect for just that occasion. Her Sopa Azteca recipe is sure to become a new favorite and more recipes like this can be found in her cookbook Mexican Slow Cooker: Recipes for Mole, Enchiladas, Carnitas, Chile Verde Pork, and More Favorites.
- 2 Guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 2 Tomatillos, husked and washed
- 2 Roma tomatoes
- 1/2 Small white onion, diced
- 1 Large clove garlic
- 1 Small carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 2 Chicken breasts
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 5 cups Caldo de Pollo
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, or 12 fresh epazote leaves, shredded
- 3 corn tortillas
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Diced Hass avocado
- Lime wedges
- Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chiles and toast on both sides, turning occasionally and pressing down with a spatula, until they soften and blister. Remove from the pan. When the chiles are cool enough to handle, tear them into small pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. Add the hot water and soak the chiles, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
- While the chiles soak, line the skillet with a piece of aluminum foil. Add the tomatillos to the skillet and roast over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred in spots and softened. Remove the tomatillos from the skillet.
- In a blender, combine the chiles and their soaking liquid, the tomatillos, tomatoes, onion, and garlic and puree until very smooth. (For a smoother texture, you can press the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, if you like.) Transfer the puree to a 5-quart slow cooker. Add the carrot, chicken, salt, broth, and water and stir. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours, or until the chicken is tender.
- While the chicken is cooking, cut the tortillas in half, then cut the halves into strips 1/4 inch wide (or cut them into small squares.) Heat the oil in a small skillet and fry the tortillas until crisp. Drain on paper towels.
- Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and discard the skin and bones. Shred or dice the chicken into 1-inch pieces and return to the broth. Add the cilantro. Heat through, taste, and adjust the seasoning.
- To serve, divide the fried tortilla pieces among the serving bowls and ladle the hot soup over them, including some of the chicken in each bowl. Garnish with a few pieces of avocado and serve very hot with the lime wedges on the side.
Variations: Scatter a bit of grated Monterey jack cheese or queso fresco over the tortillas before you pour the hot soup on top. Add 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans to the cooker for the last hour of cooking.
Reprinted with permission from The Mexican Slow Cooker: Recipes for Mole, Enchiladas, Carnitas, Chile Verde Pork, and More Favorites, by Deborah Schneider, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.