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Dinner Tonight: Tortilla Soup

I'm somewhat amazed that this recipe hasn't made it to Dinner Tonight already, between Nick being an unabashed Rick Bayless devotee and me having cooked it at least five or six times, which happens to me with recipes only rarely (writing this column requires a restless approach to cooking). It's a recipe that takes ingredients quite ordinary and makes something truly impressive with them. It's a clean, simple soup, chickeny and firey, balanced between richness and acidity. Even better are the textures, from the tortilla chips—some soggy, some crisp—to tender chunks of chicken, melty creamy cheese, and cooling chunks of avocado.

Tortilla soup is a popular recipe with many iterations, and this recipe is definitely adaptable. While the original formula called for pasilla chiles, I opted for the smokier (and more fiery) chipotle chiles in adobo, adding tiny amounts of the adobo sauce to adjust the spiciness. I might have gone too far—tears were streaming down my cheeks—so be careful. The more ambitious would also fry corn tortilla strips freshly, which would prolong the amount of time before they go soggy, but to save time I opted for premade tortilla chips.

Tortilla Soup

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. He is currently living in Tartu, Estonia.

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