TO MAKE TORTILLAS:
Combine flour, shortening, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Mix until a coarse meal is formed. On low speed, slowly add water and mix well, until a shaggy ball of dough forms. Scrape any remaining dough from sides of bowl onto the dough ball.
Remove half the dough from bowl, roll and form dough into a log, and wrap in plastic. Repeat with second half and let sit for 30 to 60 minutes (this will make the dough less sticky to work with), or up to 3 days in refrigerator.
Cut two 6- or 7-inch squares of parchment for each tortilla that you press. Cut each dough log into 8 pieces (for 5-inch tortillas) or 5 pieces (for 6-inch tortillas). To keep dough fresh and supple, keep it covered while working.
To make tortillas with tortilla press: Place a square of parchment in tortilla press, flatten a disk of dough with your palms, place on parchment, add second piece of parchment on top, close cover and press. Turn tortilla and papers 90° and press again. Repeat 3 more times. The thinner the tortilla, the crunchier the strips will be. Leave between papers, and chill until ready to bake. Chilling tortillas in a single layer on a metal sheet pan in the refrigerator helps them to firm up fastest.
To make tortillas with rolling pin: Roll one piece of dough between two pieces of parchment (or plastic wrap) until very thin. It does not have to be perfectly round; concentrate on thin.
TO MAKE TORTILLA STRIPS:
Preheat oven to 425°, with rack in middle. Carefully peel off paper from one side or tortilla, flip over onto a cutting board and peel paper off second side. Using a knife sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, cut tortilla into ½-inch wide strips, and cut across them so that the strips are not longer than 2 inches. Place strips in a single layer onto baking sheet.
Bake for 3 to 4 minutes, until starting to brown and bubbles are forming; only thinner strips will bubble. Flip and bake a few more minutes for a total of 6 to 7 minutes, until golden and crunchy. Set aside until ready to use.
TO MAKE SOUP:
Bring broth to simmer in a large pot. Add half of the onion, celery, garlic, bell pepper, cilantro, and oregano. Add chicken and salt; simmer until chicken is just done, about 20 minutes, depending on size. Strain broth and set aside. Discard vegetables and herbs. Remove and discard bones and skin from chicken; shred the meat into bite-size pieces and set aside.
In blender or food processor, blend or process remaining onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and fresh herbs with the tomatoes, jalapeno pepper, chipotle, and ¼ tsp salt, until almost smooth.
In large heavy-bottom soup pot, heat oil. When hot, add vegetable puree and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced and darkened slightly, about 10 minutes. Add broth and simmer gently about 15 minutes to meld flavors. Add chicken and corn kernels and simmer gently 5 to 10 minutes, just to heat through.
TO SERVE SOUP:
Place a few tortilla strips in the bottom of the bowl, ladle soup over them, and add garnishes on top. Enjoy!
NOTE: Tortillas are traditionally made by pressing with the palms of your hands. We found an inexpensive tortilla press at the local Mexican market and love the ease and convenience of using a press. You want to really make these as thin as possible. We even further hand rolled the pressed tortillas for the ultimate crispy strips.
© Pamela's Products, Inc.