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Tortilla Soup

The origin of this soup is attributed to the Tlaxcaltec people*, who, looking for ways to soften the food, started cooking corn kernels. They completed the obtained broth with tortilla strips, avocados, tomatoes, epazote and chiles, creating a unique combination of ingredients that has been perfected over the years. Today, tortilla soup is prepared in practically the same way as in prehispanic times, except that its base is no longer corn broth but chicken broth seasoned with tomatoes, chiles and epazote. It is still served today with corn tortilla strips, avocados and chiles, with the addition of cream and cheese; these last two ingredients are of Spanish origin. *The Tlaxcaltecs were a Mexican people belonging to the Nahua family.


Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 15 yellow corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
  • 2 dried chiles pasilla, seeds and stems removed
  • 4 medium size ripe tomatoes
  • ½ medium onion (preferably white)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup of water
  • Corn or sunflower oil, as needed
  • 2 sprigs of epazote (can be replaced with a small bunch of coriander or 1 teaspoon of dried epazote.)
  • 6 cups of broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Diced panela cheese
  • 1 pot of fresh cream

Fry the tortilla strips in hot oil until golden brown and crispy. Remove from oil and drain.
Slice a pasilla chile and fry it for a couple of seconds in the oil in which the tortillas were fried, drain and set aside.

Roast the other pasilla chile in a frying pan over low heat. When ready, soak in hot water for 15 minutes. In the same skillet roast the tomatoes, onion and garlic, once well roasted blend with 1/2 cup of water and the soaked chile until a homogeneous mixture is obtained.

Strain the mixture and sauté in a pot with a little oil, add the epazote and cook for 10 minutes.
When the tomato mixture changes color, add the chicken or vegetable broth, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 more minutes. Divide the fried tortilla strips among 6 soup bowls and ladle the broth over them. Serve the soup with avocado and cheese cubes, fried pasilla chile slices and crema fresca, your Aztec soup is ready!

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