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Sopa de Hongos y Nopales (Mushroom-Cactus Soup with Roasted Tomatillos) Preheat the broiler. Carefully trim edges and cut the spines from cactus paddles; brush the paddles with 1/2 tsp. oil. Broil the paddles, 4" from the heat source, turning occasionally, until limp, 10-15 minutes. Cool, cut in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 1/4" wide slices. Set aside. Place tomatillos and tomatoes on a baking sheet and broil, 4" below the heat source, until soft and blackened in spots, about 4 minutes. Turn and broil on the other side. Cool; peel the tomatoes. Meanwhile, on an ungreased griddle or heavy skillet set over medium heat, roast garlic cloves and fresh green chiles, turning regularly, until soft and blackened in spots, about 15 minutes. Let the garlic cloves cool, then peel. Lay the onion slices on a piece of foil set on the griddle or in the skillet and roast until browned and softened, about 5 minutes per side. Combine the roasted tomatoes, tomatillos, garlic, green chiles and onions in a blender or food processor (in batches, if necessary) with 2 cups of the chicken stock, cilantro, "epazote", if using, and "hoja santa" or aniseed; blend to a smooth puree. In a large saucepan, heat 1/2 tb. oil over medium-high heat. When hot enough to make a drop of the puree sizzle, add puree all at once. Stir continually until darker and noticeably thicker, 5-7 minutes. Add the remaining 6 cups stock and mushrooms; simmer over medium-low heat, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Season with salt. (The soup can be made ahead to this point and stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.) While the soup is simmering, preheat over to 350 degrees F. Spread the "chiles pasillas" on a small baking sheet and toast until fragrant and crispy, about 8 minutes. (The toasted chiles can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.) Just before serving, add the reserved cactus slices to the soup and bring to a boil. Ladle into warm soup plates and sprinkle with the toasted "chiles pasillas". Serve immediately. Makes about 8 cups, serves 8. Christi Craig (firstname.lastname@example.org) CHILE-HEADS ARCHIVES From the Chile-Heads recipe list. Downloaded from Glens MM Recipe Archive, G Internet.
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