Emeril's Favorite Tortilla Soup Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2004 *Recipe Summary* *Difficulty:* Medium *Prep Time:* 20 minutes *Cook Time:* 45 minutes *Yield:* 4 to 6 servings *User Rating:* 5 Stars 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup chopped onions 2 teaspoons chopped garlic 1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped, or 1 pasilla or green bell pepper and 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1 tablespoon tomato paste 6 cups chicken stock 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying 6 stale corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips 1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows 1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and chopped, for garnish Chipotle Crema, accompaniment, recipe follows In a Dutch oven or large heavy pot, heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, peppers, salt, cumin, and coriander for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cilantro and lime juice, and stir well. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm. Heat the oil in a heavy pot or electric fryer to 350 degrees F. Add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until golden and crisp, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season with the Essence. Ladle the soup into 4 or 6 serving bowls. Garnish each serving with the diced avocado, the fried tortilla strips, and Chipotle Crema. Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast): 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika 2 tablespoons salt 2 tablespoons garlic powder 1 tablespoon black pepper 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon dried oregano 1 tablespoon dried thyme Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Yield: 2/3 cup Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch Published by William and Morrow, 1993. Chipotle Crema: 1/2 cup sour cream 1 teaspoon chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce 1/8 teaspoon salt In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients. Process on high speed until smooth. Serve with the soup. Yield: 1/2 cup Episode#: EM1H16 Copyright 2003 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved