When Cathy Harrison of Vallecito, California, makes this soup, she often prepares her own flavored low-fat tortilla "chips" to use instead of soft tortilla strips in the soup and as garnish. She simply sprays corn tortillas with water, sprinkles them with chili powder, salt, and pepper, cuts them into 1/4-inch-wide strips (you can also create other shapes), and bakes them in a 350° oven until crisp, about 14 minutes.
1 1/2 cups sliced red onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup ground California or New Mexico chilies
1 teaspoon ground cumin
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) sliced regular or Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
5 corn tortillas (6 1/2 in.)
1/2 cup shredded jack cheese
Fresh cilantro sprigs
How to Make It
In a 4- to 5-quart pan over medium-high heat, frequently stir onions, garlic, and oil until onions are limp, about 6 minutes; if necessary to prevent sticking, add 1 to 2 tablespoons water.
Add chilies and cumin; stir 30 seconds, then mix in broth, corn, and tomatoes. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer 5 to 10 minutes to blend flavors.
Stack tortillas, cut in half, stack again, and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Place strips in soup bowls. Ladle soup on top, sprinkle with cheese, and garnish with cilantro.