4 large plum tomatoes
1 small white onion or a 1-inch-thick slice of a large white onion, peeled
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 medium dried New Mexico chile, stemmed, seeded, and torn into large pieces
6 cups chicken broth
2 corn tortillas, torn into 1-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
Vegetable oil, for shallow frying
6 to 8 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, optional for garnish
Mexican sour cream or regular sour cream, for serving
2 avocados, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes or slices
1 queso fresco or mild feta cheese, crumbled
BLENDING HOT LIQUIDS: When blending hot liquids, remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid; that prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times, then process on high speed until smooth. The blended corn tortillas act as thickeners. This soup should not be as thick as a cream soup, but should have some body.
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