Similar to tortilla soup, this version is sour from lots of whole limes in the broth and garnish; roasted habanero chiles add a smoky heat. This recipe first appeared in our August/September 2012 issue with Patricia Quintana’s article The Soups of Mexico.
- 2 cups canola oil, for frying
- 12 corn tortillas, cut into 1/4″ thick strips
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 4 plum tomatoes, cored
- 2 habanero chiles
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 4 limes (2 peeled of pith and roughly chopped, 2 halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced crosswise)
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 8 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup finely chopped white onion
- Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add tortilla strips, and fry, tossing, until crisp and browned, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain; set aside.
- Arrange an oven rack 4″ from broiler and heat broiler to high. Place tomatoes, garlic, and chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet, and broil, turning as needed, until blackened all over, about 15 minutes for tomatoes, 10 minutes for garlic, and 6 minutes for chiles. Remove stems and seeds from chiles, and thinly slice; set aside. Transfer tomatoes and garlic to a food processor along with 2 cups stock and 2 peeled limes; puree until smooth, at least 2 minutes.
- Pour through a fine strainer into a 6-qt. saucepan and stir in remaining stock. Add thyme, oregano, and chicken, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Remove chicken and transfer to a bowl to cool; remove and discard bones, and finely shred chicken. Set chicken aside, and season soup with salt and pepper.
- To serve, divide shredded chicken, fried tortillas, onion, sliced chiles, and sliced limes among serving bowls, and then ladle soup into bowls, and serve immediately.