The Aztec Five-Step Recipe
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 onions, chopped
- 10 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons dried basil
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 4 quarts water
- 2 (2 to 3 pound) whole chickens, cut into pieces
- 5 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs epazote
- 16 ounces tomato paste
- 1 red bell peppers, julienned
- 1 cup green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 carrots, sliced thin
- 2 cups thinly sliced celery
- 3 cups zucchini, diced
- 3 potatoes
- 1 pound spinach, rinsed and chopped
- 2 avocados - peeled, pitted and diced
- 1 ½ pounds shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 3 (6 inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/2 inch strips
- salt to taste
step 1: Heat olive oil in large skillet and saute onions and garlic over low heat until they are translucent and soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, cumin, and black pepper, and cook over low heat, partially covered, another 10-12 minutes. Let cool, then blend in a processor until smooth. Set aside.
step 2: Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add chicken, bay leaves, and epazote. Water should cover chicken by an inch or so. Skim off foam and fat that surface in first 5 minutes. Add reserved puree and tomato paste and cook; partially covered, with liquid at rolling simmer, for another 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter. When cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones, then shred.
step 3: Add peppers, carrots, and celery to broth and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook an additional 5 minutes. Remove vegetables from broth with slotted spoon. Salt broth to taste.
step 4: Peel and parboil potatoes. Then dice and saute in a little olive oil until brown.
step 5: Place a scoop of vegetables and a heaping tablespoon of potatoes in a large soup bowl. Next, add tortilla strips, spinach, shredded chicken, avocado, and cheese. Pour piping-hot broth over everything and serve immediately.