Bayless-Inspired Tortilla Soup

Modified recipe from Mexican food guru.

The inspiration.

When we had dinner guests recently, I prepared a chicken recipe using wonderful, moist breasts from Wisdom Farm purchased at the Boulder County Farmers’ Market. They are enormous and fortunately divide easily into a large and a smaller piece. I used the large pieces and put the smaller ones aside. I cut those into chunks the next evening and made this tortilla soup, modified significantly from Bayless’s Mexican Everyday cookbook.

Tortilla Soup

For Soup:
1 large dried chilhuacle negro chile, stemmed and seeded
15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 large yellow onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 quart chicken stock
Salt to taste
1 lb. boneless chicken, cut into chunks

For Garnish:
1 ripe avocado, cubed
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
broken tortilla chips
lime wedges

Quickly toast the chile an inch or so over an open flame. (If you have an electric range, Bayless suggests toasting in a dry pan over medium heat. pressing it flat, flipping it and pressing again.)

Break the chile into pieces and put them, along with the tomatoes, into a blender and puree until smooth.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden. Scoop onion and garlic out with a slotted spoon and add to blender. set aside.

Return pan to medium-high heat, add the tomato mixture and cook until it is thickened (about 6 minutes). Add the stock and the chicken. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes. Add salt to taste.


Ladle into bowls and serve with avocado, cheese and chips. Squeeze lime onto each portion.  Serves 4 to 6.