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Oaxacan Tortilla Soup

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Nora makes tortilla dough using only water and omitting the egg, but hers are much tougher than these tender tortillas. If you don't have the time to make your own tortillas, buy them at your health food store.

Nora makes tortilla dough using only water and omitting the egg, but hers are much tougher than these tender tortillas. If you don't have the time to make your own tortillas, buy them at your health food store.

Tortillas:
1 cup (250 mL) cornmeal
1/2 cup (125 mL) whole-wheat flour, spelt, or kamut flour
1 cup (250 mL) milk
1/2 cup (125 mL) water
1 egg
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter or coconut butter

Soup:
8 medium tomatoes, cored and quartered
2 medium onions, chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) water
1 Tbsp (15 mL) garlic, minced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut butter or olive oil
1 or 2 dried pasilla chilis or a small hot green pepper
1 Tbsp (15 mL) cilantro or parsley, freshly chopped
1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 avocado, diced
100 grams (4 oz) hard cheese, grated

To prepare tortillas, in a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except butter and beat to form a smooth dough. Melt butter or coconut butter in a 9-in (22-cm) frying pan. Ladle a spoonful of dough into pan and fry tortilla on both sides until golden brown. Repeat with remaining dough to prepare at least four tortillas. Preheat oven to 100°F (60°C). Stack tortillas on a plate and cover with a lid. Place in oven to keep warm.

To prepare soup, in the container of a blender, place tomatoes, onions, water, and garlic and blend to a smooth consistency. In a large deep frying pan heat coconut butter or olive oil. Slice chili open on one side. Add tomato mixture and chilis to oil and let simmer about 18 minutes. Ladle one spoonful of soup back into blender, being sure to include the chili. Add cilantro and blend thoroughly. Pour back into soup. Season soup to taste by adding salt or pepper.

Remove tortillas from oven and cut into thin strips. Cut strips in half and place them on bottom of four soup bowls. Fill bowls with tomato soup. Top with avocado and cheese and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Source: alive #263, September 2004

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