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PUMPKIN TORTILLA SOUP

Serves 6 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas 4 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium white onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup finely chopped cilantro, plus more sprigs for garnish 1 teaspoon ground cumin Chile pequins, other dried hot peppers, or cayenne pepper to taste* 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained 5 cups unsalted vegetable stock 1/2 teaspoon salt Vegetable oil for deep-frying 1-2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and cubed Cut 6 of the tortillas into 1/2-inch squares. Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, cilantro, and chopped tortillas and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft. Add cumin and crushed peppers or cayenne and sauté for another minute. Add pumpkin, tomatoes, vegetable stock, and salt and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for one hour. While the soup is simmering, cut the remaining 6 tortillas in half and then into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Fry tortilla strips in two batches until crisp and light golden (about a minute). Using a slotted spoon, transfer tortilla strips to towels to drain. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and garnish with tortilla strips, avocado, and cilantro. Courtesy of: thekitchn.com


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