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tortilla soup


I used to live near City Bakery in Manhattan, which, in addition to being famous for its delicious cookies and croissants, happens to make a delicious tortilla soup. I wanted it more often than they sold it and had to learn to make my own. This version is creamier than City Bakery’s but more than satisfied my addiction. While the spicy chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are available in most supermarkets, they might be too spicy for some budding palates. You could minimize or omit the peppers entirely, depending on your family’s spice threshold, and let people add tobasco (or any hot sauce) to taste. I like to serve the soup with the avocado, lime wedges, cilantro, and chips in separate bowls so everyone can add their own -- my kids always love to have that little bit of control!


1 poblano pepper
1 28 ounce can tomatoes 
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into quarters 
3 cloves garlic  
1 cup cilantro 
1 teaspoon dried epazote (optional, you can substitute a 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano)
1 teaspoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (optional)
1 8 ounce container sour cream
1 teaspoon sugar 
2 teaspoons salt
1 32 ounce box chicken broth 
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts 
2 cups finely grated chihuahua cheese (can substitute monterey jack)
   diced avocados
   tortilla chips 
   lime wedges


Roast poblano pepper over the flame of a gas burner until charred. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic; let sit 10 minutes. Remove and discard charred skin, seeds, and core.


In blender combine poblano pepper, tomatoes and their liquid, onion, garlic, 1/2 cup cilantro, epazote, chipotle peppers, sour cream, sugar, and salt. Cover and blend until nearly smooth. Put mixture into a large pot and add chicken broth and chicken breasts. Bring to simmer; cover and cook for 10 minutes. 


Remove chicken from pot and set aside until cool enough to handle. Shred chicken into bite sized pieces and add back to pot. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with grated cheese, avocado, tortilla chips, remaining cilantro, and lime wedges.

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