Yields 4 Servings
Prep: 30 minutes; Cook: 25 minutes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons plus ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 can (14½ ounces) diced fire-roasted tomatoes, with juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 quart vegetable broth
½ teaspoon salt
1 zucchini and 1 carrot, each cut into matchsticks
4 corn tortillas, stale or dry, halved crosswise, sliced into thin
1 dried pasilla chili
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded, cubed
¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack or crumbled queso fresco
1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the
onion; cook, stirring, until golden brown, making sure the mixture
does not burn, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and 2 tablespoons of
the cilantro; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cumin;
cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 5 minutes. Add the
broth. Remove from the heat; puree until smooth in the pot using a
hand blender or puree in batches in a blender.
2. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Return the soup to the heat. Add the
zucchini and carrot; simmer, partially covered, over medium-low
heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the vegetables are
tender, about 15 minutes. Add salt.
3. Meanwhile, spread the tortilla strips evenly on a baking sheet.
Bake until crisp and beginning to brown, 7-8 minutes. Reserve.
Place the chili in a nonstick skillet; toast over medium-high heat
until fragrant and puffed but not burnt, 2 minutes per side. Remove
the stem and the seeds. Crush the chili in a mortar or with the
side of a heavy knife; reserve.
4. Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle each with ½ teaspoon of the
lime juice. Garnish each with tortilla strips, crushed chili,
avocado, cheese and remaining cilantro.
Recipe by Diane Rossen Worthington, Tribune Media Services