- 6 dried guajillo chiles stemmed
- 2 dried pasilla chiles stemmed
- 12 white corn tortillas - (5" to 6" dia)
- 2/3 cup corn oil plus
- 2 tablespoons corn oil
- 2 cups coarsely-chopped plum tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 small white onion
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 large sprig fresh epazote (or 2 large fresh cilantro sprigs)
- 1 pinch baking soda
- 4 cups low-salt chicken broth
- 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
- 1 small avocado peeled, pitted, and diced
- 1/4 cup crema mexicana* (or sour cream)
* Cultured Mexican cream with a slightly nutty flavor and consistency of thin sour cream.
Cut slit in 1 long side of each chile; pull open. Remove seeds and membranes; press chiles flat. Cut pasilla chiles into 1- by 1/4-inch strips.
Cut 6 tortillas into 1- by 1/4-inch strips. Heat 2/3 cup oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Working in batches, add tortilla strips to skillet; toss until crisp and golden, about 1 minute. Using slotted spoon, transfer strips to paper towels.
One at a time, fry 6 whole tortillas in oil until golden and almost crisp, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer to paper towels.
Working in batches, add guajillo chiles to skillet; press with spatula until chiles begin to blister, about 10 seconds per side. Transfer to paper towels. Add pasilla chile strips to skillet; stir 10 seconds. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Combine tomatoes and next 5 ingredients in heavy large pot. Coarsely crumble whole tortillas, then guajillo chiles into pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer until water is almost absorbed and chiles are soft, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.
Working in 3 batches, puree mixture in blender until smooth, adding 1/4 cup broth to each batch. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add tomato mixture; stir until thick and deeper in color, about 2 minutes. Add 3 1/4 cups broth; bring to boil. Simmer 8 minutes to develop flavors. Season with salt.
Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish each serving with tortilla strips, chile strips, cheese, diced avocado, and crema.
This recipe yields 6 servings.