Vegetarian Tortilla Soup.

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It’s funny whenever I post a picture of something I make that’s vegetarian the usual comment is, “Where is the meat!” I have been vegetarian for well over 7 or 8 years now and yes, when switching over it was a bit of a challenge. The basic things like chicken & rice/steak & potatoes weren’t so basic anymore. It hit me that I might actually need to explore the produce section a little more and perhaps pick up a cook book to get motivated and learn how to cook something new! Don’t get me wrong there are times when meals like Chicken Tortilla Soup or Pozole get lost in this rotation because they are not vegetarian but guess what – I have found a solution! Thank God for Pinterest (obviously)! I know I mention all the time that I go on there to browse and get inspired for what I should make next… but really, it helps when your brain is too tired to think after work @ 5m. This soup was SO good (I am not just saying that) and you can always add some ORGANIC chicken if your little heart desires.

My only request other than Pinterest being amazing is for someone to invent all the right ingredients at ONE grocery store! Wouldn’t that be life changing?! I usually frequent two grocery stores and the farmers market for my weekly food. It might seem like a lot but when you find bargains you realize it is worth the trek.

What you’ll need:

[Produce]

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 14-ounce can Black beans
  • 1 Chili pepper or 1 poblano pepper, dried smoked
  • 1 handful Cilantro, leaves
  • 1 14-ounce can Hominy (or you can substitute corn)
  • 1 Jalapenos, medium
  • 1 Lime
  • 2 Radishes
  • 1 White onion, medium

[Other]

  • 32 oz Vegetable stock
  • 1 14-ounce can Tomatoes or chunky tomato sauce
  • 1 Sea salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Cumin, ground
  • 6 Corn tortillas (6-inch2 oz Queso fresco or feta cheese

 

[Instructions]

  1. Prep work: Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Stack the tortillas and slice them into ½-inch-wide, 2-inch-long strips. Remove the seeds and membranes from the jalapeno (and poblano, if using) and chop the peppers. Wash your hands. Pit, peel, and medium dice the avocado, then squeeze some lime juice over the avocado to prevent browning.
  2. Bake the tortillas: Coat a baking sheet with a thin layer of oil. Toss the tortilla strips in the oil to coat and arrange the strips in a single layer. Bake 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown. While the strips are hot, season them with salt.
  3.  Toast the chili pepper: Place the dried chili pepper directly on the oven racks. Bake for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or just until the pepper is warmed through. When cool enough to handle, cut the pepper open and remove the seeds. (Wash your hands afterward and avoid touching your eyes!)
  4. Make the soup: In a medium pot or Dutch oven, heat some olive oil on medium until hot. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno and poblano peppers (if using). Cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cumin, then the canned tomatoes and vegetable stock. Simmer for about 3 minutes, then add the hominy, black beans and the seeded chili pepper. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve the soup: First, discard the dried chili pepper. Place some of the avocado, radishes, tortilla strips, and queso fresco (or feta) at the bottom of 2 to 4 bowls. Divide the soup between the bowls. Top the soup with the remaining avocado, radishes, tortilla strips, and queso fresco (or feta). Garnish with some cilantro and serve with lime wedges and hot sauce, if desired.

Thank you Cookie and Kate for this recipe!!

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