Tortilla Soup

Yesterday, the ever-helpful weather app on my phone stated that, at 9:54AM, the current temperature was 10F.  Holy freezerpants, Batman!  This weather definitely necessitates using the oven or cooking some warming, stick-to-your-bones kind of a meal.  I was considering making brownies, but I don’t have enough chocolate at home (the travesty!), or some mac and cheese, but I don’t have any super-yummy cheese to make it with (the shame!).  So, I made soup.

This soup.

Tortilla soup

One of my favorite soups in the world is tortilla soup, especially one loaded with vegetables.  What makes this veggie soup tortilla?  Well, I’m no expert, but I think it’s the addition of cumin, chili powder, and a handful of crushed tortilla chips to eat it with.

This recipe can be adjusted to use less or more vegetables, or even substitute veggies you don’t like or have on hand with ones you do.  Feel free to make it your own.  And the seasonings can absolutely be adjusted to taste.  Last night was the first time I had kale in soup, and it will absolutely be something I do again!

Vegetable Tortilla Soup

2 Tb olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 large, or 2 medium carrots, sliced on a bias (or as coins, or diced, whatever you fancy)
3 cups roughly chopped kale (about 1/4 bunch — I picked out about 6 stems and pulled off the leaves)
2 zucchinis, sliced in half moons
1 yellow squash, sliced in half moons
1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
32 oz vegetable broth
3 cups chicken broth/bouillon/stock*
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1-15 oz can corn
1-15 oz can black beans
pinch to 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)
s&p to taste

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a 6-quart stock pot.  Saute onions until slightly softened.

2. Add garlic and carrots, and saute for about 3 minutes, then add kale and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until kale has wilted slightly.

3.  Mix in zucchini and squash, sauteing for about 1 minute.

4.  Pour in all broth and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer, and add cans of corn and black beans, and seasonings (cumin, chili powder, and cayenne).  Simmer for about 10 minutes, until carrots and squash are tender.  Adjust seasoning to taste.

5. Serve hot with shredded cheese (Mexican blend, or a mixture of mozzarella and sharp cheddar), chopped cilantro, a wedge of lime, tortilla chips, and avocado slices.

Tortilla soup with cilantro, shredded cheese, wedge of lime, and tortilla chips

Tortilla soup with cilantro, shredded cheese, wedge of lime, and tortilla chips (no avocado because this is my bowl and I abhor avocado)

*If you want to keep this completely vegetarian, simply add more veg broth and omit the chicken broth.

If you are an omnivore, you can also add cubed or shredded chicken to the soup.  I would recommend seasoning one boneless/skinless chicken breast with S&P, and pan-frying it on both sides until mostly cooked.  Cube or shred it before adding it to the soup when you add the broth.

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