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SOUP: OJAI VALLEY INN TORTILLA SOUP

Category:    Soups, Chicken
Yield: 4 servings
 
  1 1/2 lb Large tomatoes, quartered           8 c  Chicken stock or canned
      1 md Onion, quartered                         Low-salt broth
    1/2 c  Plus 3 tbl. vegetable oil         1/4 c  Tomato paste
      4    Corn tortillas, coarsely            1 tb Chopped fresh cilantro
           Chopped                             1 tb Ground cumin
      6    Garlic cloves, finely               2 ts Chili powder
           Chopped                             2    Bay leaves

-------------------------------------.-------------------------------------
      3    Corn tortillas, cut into                 Strips
           2-inch-long 1/4-inch-wide     

-------------------------------------.-------------------------------------
      1 c  Diced cooked chicken                1 c  Shredded cheddar cheese
      1    Avacado, peeled, pitted,                 Sour cream
           Diced                          
 
  Puree tomatoes and onion in processor until mixture is smooth as possible.
  Heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.
  Add chopped tortillas and garlic and saute' 2 minutes.  Add tomato-onion
  puree, chicken stock, tomato paste, cilantro, cumin, chili powder and bay
  leaves and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.  Season to
  taste with salt.  Strain soup through coarse sieve, pressing on solids with
  back of spoon.  (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.  Cover and refrigerate.)
  
  Heat remaining 1/2 cup vegetable oil in heavy large skillet over high heat.
  Add tortilla strips and cook until crisp and golden about 3 minutes.
  Transfer to paper towels and drain well.
  
  Bring soup to simmer.  Ladle into bowls.  Serve, passing tortilla strips,
  chicken, avacado, cheese and sour cream.
  
 

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