AT A GLANCE
There are endless variations of this Mexican soup. Some cooks add green chilli, for instance, others prefer chipotles in adobo. It can be served just with coriander, or with grated cheese, diced tomato and avocado piled on top. In summer use fresh tomatoes; in winter canned tomatoes will be fine, too. The noodles quickly soak up the liquid, so serve this without delay.
|01||For chicken stock, place all ingredients, 2.5 litres cold water and 2 tsp salt in a large saucepan, bring to the boil and skim foam from surface. Simmer, turning the chicken a couple of times during cooking, and topping up with extra water if necessary so chicken remains nearly covered with water, until meat is falling from the bone (2-2½ hours). Strain and skim fat from the surface. Shred the chicken meat and refrigerate each separately until required.|
|02||Process tomato, onion, garlic, chillies and adobo sauce in a food processor until smooth. Heat half the lard in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, carefully add tomato mixture and saffron (be careful, hot lard will spit) and simmer, half-covered, for 8-10 minutes). Add 1.5 litres stock (freeze remainder for another use), season to taste and simmer half-covered for 20-30 minutes, adding chicken in the last 5 minutes of cooking.|
|03||Heat remaining lard in a large frying pan, add pasta and stir continuously until evenly golden brown (2-3 minutes), then drain on paper towels. Add to soup and simmer until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan (5-6 minutes). Season to taste and divide among bowls straight away, scatter with coriander and serve with lime wedges.|