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Makes 6 servings
James Carrier

How to Make It

Step 1

Stack tortillas and cut into 1-inch-wide strips. Pour oil into a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat. When oil is hot, add tortilla strips and stir often until crisp and lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and, with a slotted spoon, transfer tortilla strips to towels to drain.

Step 2

Add onion and garlic to pan. Stir often over medium-high heat until onion is limp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add bay leaf, oregano, peppercorns, chili flakes, and broth. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil until reduced to about 6 cups, 20 to 25 minutes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, whirl half the salsa fresca in a blender until coarsely puréed. Pit, peel, and thinly slice the avocado. Rinse lime and cut crosswise into thin slices; discard ends.

Step 4

In wide soup bowls (at least 1 1/2-cup size), arrange equal portions of tortilla strips, remaining salsa, avocado slices, lime slices, and jack cheese.

Step 5

Pour puréed salsa into hot soup, season to taste with salt and pepper, and ladle equally around tortilla strips and garnishes in bowls.

Café Terra Cotta, Tucson and Scottsdale, Arizona

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