Sopa Tarasca (Tarascan Soup)
This traditional Mexican soup comes from the state of Michoacán and It may be the original inspiration for tortilla soup.
2 corn tortillas, sliced into strips about 2 inches long and 1/8 inch thick
Oil for deep frying
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2/3 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 1/4 cups canned chopped tomatoes with juice
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
5 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon whole dried thyme
¼ teaspoon marjoram
¼ teaspoon dried leaf oregano
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 cup grated Monterrey Jack cheese
4 small whole ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed and simmered in water for 15 minutes
¼ cup sour cream
Minced green part of green onion
1. Make the crisp tortilla-strip garnish. Heat the oil to about 350 degrees and fry the tortilla strips until they are crisp, and then then drain on paper towels and reserve.
2. Make the tomato base. Heat a skillet over medium heat, add the oil and cook the onions and garlic until the onions are soft but not browned. Place the cooked vegetables in a blender, add the tomatoes with their juice and the chile power and puree the mixture.
3. Make the soup. Place the tomato base in a pot, add the broth, bay leaves, thyme, marjoram, oregano, and salt. Bring the liquid to a boil and cook at a medium to low simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Serve the soup. Place ¼ cup of the cheese in each of 4 bowls, ladle the soup into 4 bowls and add ½ soft ancho chile to each bowl, (if using them). Top the soup with the sour cream, tortilla strips, and green onion.