The first time I ate tortilla soup wasn't during my 23 years on American soil or even during a trip to Mexico—it was when I was living in New Zealand, working in a restaurant with people from all over the world. Every so often, some of us would get a day off and, funny enough, we'd spend that day together, cooking for one another. On one occasion, a German kid I worked with told us he was preparing tortilla soup, which he claimed to have learned how to make during a trip he had taken to Mexico (though thinking back to it, I'm pretty positive he was lying, but that's another story for another time). Either way, he made the soup, and I tasted the soup, and I fell in love (not with the German kid, but with the soup). Crunchy tortilla chips were divided between bowls, and the pasilla chile- and tomato-based broth was ladled over the top. Topped with avocado, cheese, and crema, this dish was perfection.