Chickpea Tortilla Soup with New Mexico Chile Salt
Chickpeas add body to this smoky-flavored soup. Dried New Mexico chiles are available in the Latin foods or produce sections of most supermarkets.
- 2 large dried New Mexico chiles, stemmed, seeded, and cut into small pieces
- 1 tsp. salt
- 4 5 ½-inch corn tortillas
- 2 ½ Tbs. olive oil, divided
- 4 medium red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and quartered (1½ lb.)
- 4 large shallots, chopped (1 cup)
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 15-oz. can low-sodium chickpeas, rinsed and drained, divided
- 1 canned tomato, drained and chopped
- 1 small avocado, diced
- ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat small baking sheet with cooking spray. Grind chiles and salt in spice grinder until reduced to fine powder.
2. Cut 3 tortillas in half, then slice halves crosswise into thin strips. Toss strips with 11/2 tsp. oil and 3/4 tsp. chile salt on prepared baking sheet. Roast 10 minutes, or until golden. Hold remaining tortilla with tongs directly over gas burner flame on high heat 30 to 45 seconds, or until blackened in spots, turning once or twice. Tear into pieces.
3. Dice 15 bell pepper quarters. Hold remaining bell pepper quarter with tongs over gas burner on high heat; char skin side only, turning to blacken every spot. Cool, then dice with skin left on.
4. Heat remaining 2 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced bell peppers, shallots, and charred tortilla. Sauté 5 minutes. Add broth, 1/4 cup chickpeas, tomato, and 1 tsp. chile salt; bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until bell peppers are tender. Purée soup in batches in blender until almost smooth. Transfer to medium saucepan. Warm over low heat, stirring in 11/2 tsp. chile salt and pepper to taste.
5. Divide remaining chickpeas among 4 bowls. Ladle hot soup over chickpeas. Top with tortilla strips, avocado, and cilantro. Serve with remaining chile salt.
March 2013 p.76