(This post is from a week ago. I apologize for the time warp but hope you enjoy it anyway.)
I had a delightful kitchen victory on a very sleepy Sunday night. When I say “very sleepy,” I mean running on four hours of sleep for no good reason at all. I was sick on Friday and half of Saturday with a migraine, so as soon as I felt better, I decided to take advantage of it. The mister and I stayed up late playing games and having a ton of fun on a dreary, drizzly day. I rolled into bed at 3:30, an unheard-of hour for me. 7:30 struck the next morning, and I was wide awake with no chance of going back to sleep. My internal clock needs to be bashed over the head.
Anyway, I was unable to go back to sleep but still barely functional all day (thanks also to some nasty cramps, TMI), and yet I managed to meal plan, grocery shop, cook soup, and tidy the kitchen afterward. Victory!
I have been thinking about making tortilla soup for about a month now, and the time finally came. After looking at several different vegetarian versions, I based my final one on this recipe from the FatFree Vegan Kitchen. I tweaked the ingredients quite a bit, but the method is still mostly Susan’s. Here’s my version of:
- Cooking spray
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- Pinch of salt
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped finely
- 1 15-ounce cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes (mine had added green chiles, too)
- 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, chopped (seeds removed if you want less heat)
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 4 cups water
- 3 cups beans (I used two cans of a medley of red kidney, pinto, and black beans)
- 1 cup frozen or fresh corn (optional)
- 6 corn tortillas
- 2 limes, cut into quarters
- A bunch of Swiss chard, scrubbed and chopped
- Black pepper (to taste)
Spray a large soup pot with cooking spray and set over medium heat. When warm, add the onions and salt, cooking until softened. When the onions are nearly done, add the garlic and cook about two more minutes.
Meanwhile, pour the diced tomatoes into a bowl and add the jalapeno or serrano, chipotle (if using), oregano, and chili powder into a bowl and combine well with an immersion blender. (If you don’t have one, you can use a regular blender.)
When the onions and garlic are cooked, add them to the bowl (or the blender) and combine. Return everything to the pot and cook over medium heat until the tomato mixture thickens slightly, stirring often. Now add the broth, water, beans, and corn (if using) and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer, allowing the flavors to marry.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375° F. Cut the corn tortillas in half and then slice into 1/4″ strips. Spray a baking sheet with oil, scatter the tortilla strips, and then spray the tops with oil. Sprinkle a little salt over the top. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, stirring once every five minutes, until they get crisp but not browned. Set aside.
When soup is done, serve topped with black pepper, a squeeze of lime juice, and a sprinkling of tortilla strips.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Once again, I prepared this soup in my Le Creuset, much to the mister’s chagrin. It weighs a ton, and he’s the official dishwasher. Sorry, baby, but it’s love. It tastes equally good in a bowl and in a mug.