I was planning a Mexican menu for a dinner party and went in search of a recipe that did not contain corn and would not be too filling. I didn't want to have more corn since we would already be having chips and guacamole AND enchiladas. Surely 3 corn courses is too many.
The other dishes were to be my Frontera Salad and Spanish brown rice, and the weather was freezing, so a soup made sense. I had gone a little crazy buying mushrooms, as I do from time to time, so that narrowed the search down to Mexican+Mushroom+Soup. Who knew that was already a thing? I thought I was going to have to wing it or adapt a different recipe. I ended up going with this Epicurious recipe because I liked the simplicity, and I had all the indredients already. I've copied it directly below since I didn't really change anything for fear of making something gross for guests.
3 large garlic cloves (unpeeled)
1 (1/2-inch-thick) slice large white onion
1 (3-inch-long) small dried ancho chile* (1/4 ounce) - I think that's what I used, although the bag wasn't labled, and I bought it a long time ago so who knows.
1/2 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
2 tablespoons olive oil
10 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (28 fluid ounces)
Heat a dry 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot, 3 to 5 minutes. Lightly smash garlic in skins with side of a large knife, then add to skillet along with onion slice and cook, turning over once or twice with tongs, until onion is well browned and garlic is slightly softened, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, discard stem, seeds, and veins from chile and tear chile into 4 pieces. Add chile to onion and garlic in skillet and toast, pressing flat with tongs and turning over occasionally, until chile turns a brighter red, about 1 minute.
Discard garlic skins and coarsely chop onion, then purée garlic, onion, and chile in a blender with water, salt, and oregano until smooth.
Heat oil in skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until golden and any liquid is evaporated, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate, then add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add purée and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Stir in broth and simmer 5 minutes.
Try this recipe for your next Mexican dinner, or just make it any old evening! It's hearty and spicy so it is perfect to warm up with on a winters night. And it's basically zero calories so you can eat a ton of it!