Suggested Wine Pairing: Ceja Vino de Casa Red Blend
Like so many Mexican dishes, tortilla soup varies by region but as a general rule of thumb the soup incorporates dark pasilla chiles, toasty corn tortillas strips, soul-satisfying broth and creamy-rich avocados and cheese.
Quickly toast the pasilla chile over an open flame for a few seconds until its aroma fills the kitchen. If you lack an open flame, toast the chile on a dry pan over medium heat pressing it flat for a few seconds, then flipping it over and pressing it again. Break the chile into pieces and put in a blender along with the canned tomatoes and their juice. A food processor will work, though it won’t completely puree the chile.
Heat vegetable or olive oil in a medium (4-quart) saucepan over a medium-high flame. Add the onion, garlic and chipotle pepper and sauté the ingredients stirring frequently until golden for about 8 minutes. Scoop up the onion and garlic with a slotted spoon, pressing them against the side of the pan to leave behind as much oil as possible, and transfer to the blender. Process until smooth.
Return the pan to medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the puree and stir constantly until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste (about 6 minutes). Add the broth and epazote (optional). Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt.
Once the soup is done and served into bowls, add in the avocado, cheese, tortilla chips and cilantro. Don't forget to drizzle on some Mexican crema and squeeze in some fresh lime juice.
Feel free to incorporate boneless skinless chicken breasts (shredded) and add to the simmering broth just before serving.