One of my very favorite dishes here in Costa Rica is called Sopa Azteca. It is essentially tomato soup but even better. I distinctly remember the very first time I had it almost 4 years ago at my host mom's house and knew I was in love. Now that the holidays are here, family gatherings are becoming more and more prevalent and this dish is very popular to serve .. lucky me! In fact, just last week I was lucky enough to have homemade Sopa Azteca two times. Even luckier, is I learned how to make it myself. It is a little bit labor intensive but also so worth it. Here's what I learned.
What you need:
1large tomato per person
half a chicken breast per person
shredded mozzarella cheese
tortilla strips (homemade or store bought)
salt and pepper
What you do:
1. Start by putting the chicken to boil in water with oregano.
2. Cut up the tomatoes, onion, garlic, carrots, cilantro, and red pepper. It doesn't matter how big or small you cut these because they will all eventually be liquified. Put everything you cut up except the tomatoes into a pan to simmer. These things are called olores or smells, and they are used to give the soup flavor so you can decide how much or how little of each you put in based on what you like.
3. Start to liquify the tomatoes in a blender. Put a laddle full of the broth from the boiling chickens in with each tomato you are blending. Once full blended, pour the tomatoes into a colander that only lets liquid through. Drain all liquid possible and set the left over tomato aside. Do this until all tomatoes are liquified.
4. By this time, the olores should be fully cooked and soft. These also go in the blender with more broth from the chicken until fully liquified. This is very important because this mixture does not go through a colander but straight into the soup so it needs to be 100% liquid.
5. Let the soup come to a boil. Once boiling add any other herbs or flavors to your liking. Here is where you add salt and peper, more oregano, and the hot sauce (if you like hot sauce). If the soup is very runny, you can also add a little bit of flour to make it thicker, again, to your liking.
6. When you serve the soup, you also add the chicken, shredded cheese, tortilla strips, and avocado! All the flavors together are amazing and if you ever come to Costa Rica I recommend this dish 100%, especially homemade.
I hope you enjoy!
If you are interested in any other recipes you can find them here.