So my timing seems a bit off, but this soup is a great way to use zucchini, a load of which we recently received from my mother-in-law's garden. (Also, I'd never last slaving over a hot grill when it's 90 degrees.)
This soup is a version of the Red Chileatole recipe published in Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless. The soup is similar to chicken tortilla soup, but it has a slightly different broth -- an improvement, in my opinion -- and includes zucchini and mushrooms. The masa harina and pureed vegetables make the broth slightly thick, and it packs just the right punch in terms of heat and spice.
I like to dress mine up as I would chicken tortilla soup: topped with a squeeze of lime juice, some 3-pepper cheese, and crushed tortilla chips.
Red Chileatole Soup
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 small white onion, sliced 1/4" thick
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 Tbsp. ancho or guajillo chile powder (I prefer 1 Tbsp. each)
1 1/2 Tbsp. masa harina
4 c. chicken broth
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 c. zucchini, cut in 1/4" cubes
1 sprig parsley
2 chicken breasts, cut in 1/2" chunks
Salt, to taste
1. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until golden (about 7 minutes).
2. Transfer the mixture to a blender. Add the chile powder, masa harina, and 1 1/2 c. broth. Process to form a smooth puree.
3. Return the puree to the saucepan and turn the heat to medium-high. Stir until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens slightly.
4. Add the remaining broth and the mushrooms, zucchini, parsley, and chicken.
5. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
6. Season with salt to taste. Serve with lime juice, cheese, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.