Thursday, July 9, 2015

Tortilla Soup

Somewhere I was introduced to chicken tortilla soup.  I have since been obsessed with finding what I believe is the best tortilla soup.  I still haven't found it because this one is a vegetarian (or easily can be) version.  I think I will have to try it with chicken to see if it approaches what I have in my head as the perfect chicken tortilla.  At any rate, this recipe based off one in Thug Kitchen, is a delicious, hearty soup.  I have been feeling the need for something filling and warm since the days have been rainy and cool.  This satisfies my desires for hearty, healthy and warm.  I love seeing the piles of cut vegetables just waiting to be turned into something else entirely.  Sometimes when I am grocery shopping I wonder how vegetables have gotten so expensive, but when you compare to any single piece of meat, they aren't.  So buying a pile of them and then dicing them and cooking all the colors together is just so satisfying that I do it all over again in a different combination.  So when we are craving a hearty vegetable soup, this one works well and it comes together quickly.  Give it a try!

Tortilla Soup

serves 4-6

1 yellow onion, diced

10 baby carrots or 1 medium carrot, diced
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
2 jalapenos, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 can (about 15 oz.) fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
5 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice from 1/2 a lime
6 corn tortillas, cut into 1 inch squares
1 15 oz. can chickpeas
Toppings: cilantro, avocado, sour cream, jalapenos, etc.

In a large soup pot, saute the onion in oil until it is a little see-through, about 3 minutes.  Add the bell pepper and carrot and cook until everything begins to brown (about 3 more minutes).  Add the jalapenos, garlic, spices and salt and cook for another 30 seconds.  Add the diced tomatoes and tomato paste.  Stir well so it is evenly distributed.  Add the stock and bring to a simmer.  After simmering for a few minutes, add the lime juice and cut corn tortillas.  Stir and then let simmer for another 10 minutes.  (At this point you can puree until everything is smooth or leave it chunky as I did.)  Taste and add spices as needed.  Remove from heat and serve with chickpeas, cilantro, avocado or whatever toppings you desire.

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