There's a nice depth of flavour in this soup, which comes from the roasted tomatoes and onion, and from the raisin-like dried chillies called pasilla. Strips of crunchy, fried tortillas are added to the soup just before serving. Feta is not a traditional ingredient in this recipe, but it makes a good substitute for Mexican cheese.
- 3 ripe tomatoes, halved
- ½ onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 dried pasilla chillies
- 1.5 litres chicken stock
- salt and pepper
- 8–10 corn tortillas, cut in half, then in strips
- ½ red onion, diced
- 150 g feta, diced
- 2 avocados, diced
- 3 limes, halved
- 125 ml thick cream
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Roast the tomatoes, onion and garlic in a cast-iron pan until charred. Toast the chillies by holding them with tongs over a gas flame (they may catch fire). This heightens their flavour. Soak the chillies in hot water until soft, then remove the seeds.
Puree the tomatoes, onion, garlic and 2 of the chillies in a blender with a bit of the stock until smooth. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and sautÃ© the tomato puree for a few minutes, then remove from the heat.
Bring the remaining stock to the boil in a saucepan and stir in the tomato puree. Season with salt and pepper and cook, covered, over medium heat for 15 minutes.
Wipe out the frying pan and add a little oil. Fry the tortilla strips in batches until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towel.
Arrange the red onion, feta, avocado and lime on a plate. Slice the remaining chilli and add to the plate. Put the cream in a bowl or jug.
Add some of the fried tortilla to the soup. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with more tortilla. Each person can add red onion, feta, avocado, lime, chilli and cream to taste.