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Chefs on the air

Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger

Border Grill - Mandalay Bay

Border Grill Tortilla Soup

Serves 8

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups Red Tomato Salsa, see recipe below
7 cups high quality chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 dried chipotle chile, stemmed and seeded
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 pounds fried tortilla chips

1 bunch cilantro, leaves only, chopped
1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 brick panela cheese, chunked or crumbled
1/2 cup crema, creme fraiche, or sour cream
2 limes, cut into 4 wedges each

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot or saucepan over low heat. Add the onions and cook slowly, stirring frequently, until pale brown and caramelized, 30 to 40 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 10 minutes longer.

Add the Red Tomato Salsa, chicken or vegetable stock, chipotle chile, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 20 minutes. Stir in the fried tortilla chips and simmer 10 minutes longer, until the chips soften. Remove and discard the whole chipotle chile. Ladle into soup bowls and top each with cilantro, a few avocado and panela chunks, a dollop of crema, creme fraiche, or sour cream, and a lime wedge. Serve hot.

Red Tomato Salsa

Makes 1 1/2 quarts

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 cups diced canned Italian plum tomatoes
1 cup tomato juice
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 large jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded if desired
1 teaspoon salt

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over moderate heat. Cook the onions until soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor fitted with the metal blade or a blender.

Add the remaining ingredients and puree, in batches if you are using a blender, until smooth. Pass through a medium strainer, pressing with a spatula or wooden spoon to push through as much as possible. Pour into a saucepan, and add the salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 20 minutes. Adjust the seasonings. Set aside to cool for table salsa or use warm for rice or chilaquiles. Store in the refrigerator 2 to 3 days or in the freezer for weeks.

Copyright © 2005, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger

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