Monday, January 14, 2013

Tortilla Soup Weather

This is a picture Mike Assad took of the blizzard of 2005
The snow drifts were over 3 inches high in some spots.  Golf "tee off times" were held back several hours. I've heard that there are some parts of the country with more severe winter weather.  I always remind those who bring this up that water freezes at 52 degrees in Arizona.

Tortilla Soup
This is soup weather.  Down here that means Tortilla Soup.  Yes you can make it with chicken or turkey.  Make sure to try the garnish, it's the difference between ordinary soup and a bowl of heaven! 

2 lbs. Pork shoulder, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
2 Tbl. corn oil
1 white onion, chopped fine
2 cloves  garlic, minced

12 roma tomatoes
6 cups chicken broth (or a little more, if needed)
1 poblano chile, roasted, peeled and chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2  tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. mild chile powder
3/4 tsp. black pepper
10  corn tortillas cut into very thin strips

Queso ranchero*
chopped cilantro
white onion, finely chopped
key limes,* cut into wedges
Chile tepins*
In a large soup pot sauté the pork until it starts to brown then add the onion and garlic and continue sautéing until onions are starting to brown.
This next step may sound like a pain, but it just takes a few minutes and is well worth it.  While pork is browning (or before), turn the tomatoes upside down and cut an 1 inch x across the bottom of each tomato, just through the skin.  Fill a small sauce pan with water and bring it to a boil.  While the water is coming to a boil fill a medium mixing bowl with ice and then add water to fill.  Drop the tomatoes, one at a time, into the boiling water for 20 seconds.  Remove from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and plunge into the ice water bath.  Using the edge of a paring knife Remove the core and skin.  Cut the tomato in half, from top to bottom, and squeeze out all the seeds and juice.  Cut the tomatoes into 1/2 inch chunks.  Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, poblano chile, jalapeno, garlic and spices to the pork and onions.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.  Fill soup bowls about half full with tortilla strips and then ladle in soup to fill.  Place garnish in little bowls on the table; allowing your guests to garnish to their own taste. 
serves 4-6

*Available at Mexican Grocery stores.

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