Spicy Tomatillo Soup with Tortillas

Tomatillos look a bit like green tomatoes, but they are not.  They are a very versatile little fruit.  Often, I use them in salsa or pickle relish.  Here they are used to form a broth for this hearty soup.  This recipe comes from Culinary Director, Roberto Santibanez, of Rosa Mexicano in New York City, New York.

Spicy Tomatillo Soup with Tortillas


  • 3 large, ripe tomatillos
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 large Guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded, and toasted
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro sprigs
  • salt
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, cooked
  • 1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, undrained
  • 2 cups zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes, cooked
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • lime wedges


Preheat broiler.  Roast tomatillos until slightly charred and softened, about 20 minutes.  Let cool. Turn oven down to 350 degrees F.

In a saucepan, bring broth to a simmer.  Place chilies in a bowl and pour enough broth over to cover.  Set aside until softened, about 20 minutes.

Once tomatillos are cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skins.  Quarter the tomatillos and place them in a blender or food processor along with the chilies, their soaking liquid, and garlic.  Use low speed to coarsely chop, then increase speed to puree.  Add a little broth if needed to achieve a smooth texture.

Strain the puree into the saucepan with the broth.  Add cilantro and season with a little salt.  Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Stack the tortillas and cut into quarters, then cut each stack into 1/4-inch wide strips.  Pile on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil.  Toss so that the tortillas are lightly coated, then spread out in an even layer.  Bake at 350 degrees F until golden and crisp, about 12 minutes.  If making ahead, just store them, uncovered, at room temperature.

To serve:  Fish out cilantro sprigs and taste to adjust seasoning.  Combine cooked vegetables and garbanzo beans in a large bowl, then divide into individual serving bowls.  Ladle the soup on top, sprinkle with cheese, and top with tortilla strips.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

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