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Bread Soup

1 c Olive oil
3 Cloves garlic; crushed
2 Stalks celery; diced
1 lb Tomatoes; peeled, seeded, and chopped
Coarse salt; to taste
2 Bay leaves
1 Arbol chile; finely chopped
2 qt Chicken stock
1/2 bn Cilantro; leaves chopped
12 sl Country bread
1/2 lb Grated Cotija cheese


Heat the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan, over a mediumhigh heat. Add the garlic, cook until soft. Then add the celery, and tomatoes. Continue to cook another few minutes. Add bay leaves and Arbol chilies, cook briefly and gradually pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, cover the saucepan, reduce the heat and cook gently for about 40 minutes. Strain the stock, pressing on the solids, and return broth to the saucepan. Discard the solids. Add the cilantro. Toast the bread lightly and drop it into the hot stock. Leave for 2 minutes, then serve at once, with a bowl of grated Cotija cheese. Yield: 6 servings


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