Diana Barrios-Treviño notes in her book, “Los Barrios Family Cookbook,” that there are many ways to make tortilla soup. You can make it with a rich, clear chicken broth or make it with a tomato base, as she does here. Either way, build up the flavor and heartiness with chicken, cheese and diced avocado. Strips of crisp tortillas and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro top it off perfectly.
Tortilla Soup Los Barrios
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
Two bay leaves
9 tomatoes, cut in half
2 heads garlic
4 quarts water
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 drops Tabasco sauce, or to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
Salt, to taste
3 cups diced, cooked chicken
2 Hass avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced
2 cups crumbled queso añejo cheese (crumbly white Mexican cheese) or feta
Fried tortilla strips
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Heat vegetable oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion, bay leaves and peppercorns and saute until onion is softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, garlic and water and bring to a boil. Boil until the tomatoes are starting to fall apart, about 30 minutes.
Add the bouillon cube and cook for 20 minutes. Strain the soup into a large pot, pushing down the solids with a potato masher to force out all the juices; discard solids.
Bring broth to a simmer over medium heat. Add the Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces and season with salt. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the chicken, avocados, cheese, fried tortilla strips and cilantro.
Makes 10-12 servings.
From Diana Barrios-Treviño, “Los Barrios Family Cookbook”