2 lbs. menudo blanco (white tripe)
Salt to taste
½ bunch fresh epazote, divided
10 whole dried guajillo chile peppers, stems removed
2 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
½ yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic
10 whole black peppercorns
1 chicken bouillon cube
5 liters water (or substitute chicken stock for bouillon cube and water)
• Place the menudo in a large pot and fill it with enough water to cover well. Add a pinch of salt and one stem (leaf intact) of epazote. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 90 minutes. Remove the menudo, allow it to cool slightly and cut it into bite-size pieces and set aside.
• Meanwhile, place the peppers in a small pot of boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes to soften, then remove the peppers from the water using a strainer.
• Put the softened peppers, tomatoes, onion, garlic, peppercorns, cloves and salt to taste in a blender. Blend until smooth. Strain the mixture through a sieve. Set aside the liquid and discard the solids.
• Place bouillon cube in a large pot filled with 5 liters of water (or chicken stock, if preferred), as well as the menudo and the strained chile pepper liquid. Cook over medium heat until the soup is warmed, then add the remaining epazote. Cook for 5 minutes more until the flavors have combined. For a stronger flavor, cook the soup for up to 15 minutes.
• Ladle into bowls. If desired, serve with halved limes, diced onion, dried arbol chiles (to use, break open the chile and sprinkle the seeds and skin on top of the soup) and warm tortillas.