Tortilla Soup


Tortilla Soup

(4 servings)

8 corn tortillas


3 white bulb onions (or other mild onion), thinly sliced (about 3/4 c.)

1 t. olive oil

4 c. vegetable or chicken stock

4 c. chopped fresh tomatoes (or Muir Glen canned fire roasted tomatoes)

1 – 2 dried Guajillo chili peppers

1 T. lime juice

3 T. minced cilantro, plus cilantro for garnish

1 avocado, diced

lime wedges for garnish

Crema Agria (or other sour cream)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice tortillas into 3/4-inch strips. Cut strips in half. Spread out on a baking sheet. Lightly salt strips, then bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until crisp and lightly brown. Toss strips every 10 minutes while baking. When done, set strips aside until ready to serve.

2. Saute onion in olive oil until crisp-tender. Add tomatoes and cook for about 8 minutes or until tomatoes are cooked down and some of the liquid has cooked off. Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree.

3. Pass tomato mixture through a sieve (to remove seeds and skins) into a 4 to 6 quart pot. Cook at a low simmer for about 30 minutes.

4. Add Guajillo pepper(s) to soup about 5 minutes before serving. Add lime juice and cilantro about 1 minute before serving. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Remove pepper(s) before serving.

5. To serve: divide tortilla strips between four bowls. Ladle soup base over tortilla strips. Top with avocado, crema agria and cilantro. Serve with a lime wedge.

Buen provecho!

Crema Agria (Homemade Sour Cream)

Since tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, I decided to make some homemade sour cream to go with Tortilla Soup. Homemade sour cream is incredibly easy to make and only takes two ingredients. When made with heavy cream and fresh lime juice, it is called Crema Agria. When made with heavy cream and buttermilk, it is called Crema Espesa (or Creme Fraiche). The lime juice version does retain the taste of lime is tangier than the buttermilk version. Either version, however, is thinner and creamier than commercial sour cream, and has a fresher taste.

Crema Agria (or Crema Espesa)

2 c. heavy cream

1/4 c. fresh lime juice (or buttermilk)

1. Warm heavy cream on stove until the cream reaches 90  to 100 degrees F (or about body temperature). Do not overheat the cream.

2. Stir in lime juice (or buttermilk).

3. Pour mixture into a glass jar. Cover loosely. Let sit at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours or until thickened. Cover tightly. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before using.