Chicken Soup, South Of The Border
The author’s Austin-inspired matzah ball soup with pasilla chiles. Amy Kritzer
A Tex-Mex Pesach with Matzah Ball Chicken Tortilla Soup.
This is the next installment in our series “The Remix,” in which we seek to gently rework the more challenging dishes in the Jewish culinary canon. With a little bit of love, we’re convinced we can make any dish delicious, even ones that seem a bit bizarre to the modern palate.
Matzah ball soup is one of those Jewish foods that do not even need remixing. Dare I say it’s perfect as is? There is not much better than homemade stock, light matzah dumplings with a slight bite (my preference), and lots of dill. But that certainly doesn’t stop me from trying to improve upon perfection.
When I first moved from New York City to Austin, Texas, I was not too homesick, but I missed my beloved bagel, egg and cheese breakfasts and pastrami on rye for lunch. Sigh. But then I discovered new loves. Queso, the addicting cheesy dip responsible for a 10-pound weight gain, and tortilla soup, the healthier spicy tomato soup, topped with creamy avocado and crispy fried tortilla strips. If matzah ball soup is Jewish penicillin, then chicken tortilla soup must be the Mexican version.
So you may notice this tortilla soup is missing the tortillas. Minor detail — the rich tomato broth gives you all the Tex-Mex flavor you need. Feel free to pile on the tortilla strips post-Pesach, but with lots of avocado, jalapeno and cilantro, I didn’t even miss them. Note: make sure your spices are kosher for Passover.
Amy Kritzer is a food writer and recipe developer in Austin, Texas. She blogs at What Jew Wanna Eat. Her first cookbook, “Sweet Noshings,” comes out August.