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Chile Soup

Note: Recipes from Bon Appetit, Enthnic Grocer, and a McCormick recipe at Allrecipes.com were so similar that the editor was easily able to consolidate (and modify) the ingredients. The Bon Appetit recipe called for chipotle peppers; the Ethnic Grocer recipe uses the dried pasilla (hotter) and ancho peppers (milder). Serve either with fried noodles or tortilla strips, below. Warning: needs advance preparation of chicken stock and shredded chicken.

Peppers: 2 t chipotle chiles, chopped or
2 Pasilla chiles, dried and
2 Ancho chiles, dried

1. Rehydrate chiles 15-30 minutes in boiling hot water (link). If liquid is not bitter, reserve to add to soup base (below).

For Soup Base:
2 cps white onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled
5 cps or more chicken stock

1-2 cps shredded chicken
4 tomatoes, whole, chopped (canned OK)
Lime juice, freshly squeezed, to taste
Fresh cilantro, if available, or ground coriander, to taste

1. Puree softened chiles with liquid, if not bitter, tomatoes, onion, and garlic cloves in blender till smooth. If chile liquid is bitter, replace with 1/2 cp hot water. Set aside.

2. In large pot, combine tomato mixture and 5 cps chicken stock. Add lime juice and cilantro or coriander to taste.

3. Simmer 20 minute to blend flavors, stirring occasionally.

4. Thin soup with more stock if desired.

5. Season with salt and pepper.

For noodles:
2 T butter
2 T olive oil
8 fideos [Italian: fedelini] noodles, broken into 1" pieces. Fideo noodles resemble angle hair pasta, so any thin pasta substitute would do.

1. Melt butter with olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add noodles and saute till golden brown.

2. Add chile pepper flakes and saute 2 minutes longer.

2. For tortillas:

6-12 corn tortillas, sliced into thin strips

Deep fry at 365F adding tortilla slices in batches. Turn with a slotted spoon till golden. Drain and blot on paper towels. Or,bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or till golden brown.

Turn after 5 minutes.

1 avocado, pitted, cut into thin wedges
3 T fresh cilantro, chopped, or to taste
lime wedges