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Tortilla Soup with Allagash Curieux Braised Tomatoes

Recipe by Michael Cecconi

Yields 6 servings


  • guajillo peppers, (fried) 2
  • ancho peepers, (dried) 2
  • corn tortillas, 10- 6inch pieces
  • peanut oil, for frying 2 quarts
  • plum tomatoes, 24
  • chicken stock, 2 quarts
  • Allagash Curieux, 2 quarts
  • Avocado, (diced) 2 ripe but firm
  • Vine ripe tomato, (diced) 1 diced
  • Red onion, (diced) 1
  • Jalapeno, (diced) 2
  • Cilantro, (minced) 1 bunch
  • Limes, 2
  • Mustard, 2 teaspoons
  • Cumin, ½ teaspoon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garlice cloves, (peeled) 6
  • Vidalia onion, (chopped) 1
  • Carrots, (chopped), ½ cup
  • Oregano (dried), ½ teaspoon
  • Queso blanco, ½ cup
  • Sour cream, ¼ cup
  • Honey, 1 tablespoon
  • Corn, 2 ears, boiled in sugar water, charred over hot grill, kernels cut off cob.


  1. In rondeau, heat 2 quart peanut oil to frying point. Flash fry the dried chilies (no more than 10 seconds per side), and set aside. Fry 6 whole tortillas till crisp, and set on drying rack. Cut remaining tortillas into ¼" strips and fry to crisp, reserve for garnish.
  2. Cut top and bottom from plum tomatoes and arrange in a single layer, with the fried, dried peppers in roasting pan. Add all the beer, and enough stock to cover tomatoes ¾ to the top. Place covered with foil over medium heat to braise. Check periodically, when flesh of tomatoes just soft, remove 6 tomatoes for garnish, braise remaining fruit until cooked through.
  3. While tomatoes braise, heat 2 oz of the peanut oil and sauté onions, garlic, carrots, and 2 big pinches of salt allowing some color to develop. Add oregano, braised tomatoes and braising liquid, peppers, and braising liquid to pot. Reduce ¼. Crumble whole fried tortillas into pot. Puree with burr mixer till smooth, adjust consistency with remaining stock, salt to taste, allow flavors to cook together.
  4. For garnish, roast jalapenos on stove top, remove skin, seeds, fine dice. Combine avocadoes, onions, tomato, jalapeno, 2 tablespoons of cilantro, lime juice, mustard, cumin, and salt to taste. Toss lightly.
  5. Take garnish tomatoes, remove center with pairing knife. Place in center of bowl, fill with coarse guacamole, top with dollop of sour cream and cilantro sprig. Fill bowl with soup no higher than ½ up tomato (roughly 12 oz), crumble queso blanco on soup, sprinkle tortilla strips and coarse ground pepper for final presentation.
  6. For final presentation: toss some sweet corn onto the soup toad texture and balance out the bitterness of the dried peppers.

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