By Eva Kosmas Flores
I love making tortilla soup for a quick and easy supper with garden-fresh tomatoes. It’s perfect for those late summer evenings when the fall air starts to creep in and make you crave something slightly cozier and heartier than the lighter fare you’ve been eating during the rest of the season. This recipe calls for homemade crispy tortilla bits that are made via a nice roast in the oven. I seasoned them with salt and pepper here, but you can feel free to add in more spices (especially spicy ones) if you want your tortilla chip topping to have an extra bit of ‘oomph’ to it.
Ingredients for Tortilla Soup
1 (15 ounce) can white hominy
1 (15 ounce can) crushed tomatoes, or 2 cup diced fresh tomatoes
2 large radishes, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried ancho chile powder
1/4 teaspoon dried chipotle chile powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Quarter the lime. Stack the tortillas; cut in half, then into ½-inch-wide strips. Peel and small dice the onion. Peel and mince the garlic. Drain and rinse the hominy. Pit, peel and medium dice the avocado; toss withthe juice of 1 lime wedge to prevent browning. Trim off and discard the stem ends of the radishes; very thinly slice the radishes into rounds. Crumble the queso fresco. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems; discard the stems and thinly slice the leaves.
Place the tortilla strips on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to thoroughly coat. Arrange in a single, even layer and bake, stirring halfway through, 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; immediately season with salt.
While the tortilla strips bake, in a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion, garlic and spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.
To the pot of aromatics, add the crushed tomatoes, hominy and 2 cups of water; season with salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until thickened and slightly reduced in volume. Turn off the heat and stir in the juice of the remaining lime wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place some of the baked tortilla strips, avocado, radishes and queso fresco in 2 bowls. Divide the broth between the bowls. Top with the remaining baked tortilla strips, avocado, radishes and queso fresco. Garnish with the cilantro. Enjoy!