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Finally!

December 30, 2005

After days and days of eating at restaurants, picking up snacks here and there, or making a meal out of shredded wheat, I finally cooked dinner tonight. A real, from scratch, delicious dinner. And guess what it was? Soup, of course!

I was a bit disappointed with my first spoonful of this soup…I thought it was a bit bland. But after it cooled a little (meaning that I wasn’t burning my mouth anymore), all the flavors came through…roasted red bell peppers, corn, cilantro…the flavor was both delicate and complex. I spooned in a few chunks of avocado for good measure, and I have to say that the soup was fantastic…brothy and smooth. I also liked the tortilla strips. I usually spray tortilla strips with cooking spray, then pop them in the oven for a bit, but brushing them with oil and cooking them on the stove resulted in beautiful, golden, separated bits of crunchy-chewy tortilla.

We ate this with a salad of baby spinach, walnuts, dried cherries, and cheese (shaved Parmesan for me, crumbled goat cheese for Justin), topped with balsamic vinaigrette. It was a wonderful way to welcome myself back to the kitchen! (Thanks again to my sister, who sent me this cookbook out of the blue one day.)

Tortilla Soup with Roasted Red Peppers

The Corn-Cilantro Stock

  • 3 1/2 cups frozen corn (or 3 ears of fresh corn, cobs and all)
  • 16 scallions (about 2 bunches), cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 handfuls fresh cilantro
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

The Rest of the Soup

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium-sized poblano chile, seeded and minced
  • 1 medium-sized Anaheim chile, seeded and minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt (possibly more, to taste)
  • 4 medium-sized red peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Cayenne to taste (optional)
  • Minced canned chipotle chiles (a teaspoon or less), optional
  • Tortilla Strips or commercial tortilla chips

Tortilla Strips

  • 4 or 5 thin corn tortillas
  • A little olive oil
  • Salt

The Corn-Cilantro Stock
Place everything in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Partially cover, lower heat to a simmer, and cook gently for about 30 minutes.

The Rest of the Soup
Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion, chiles, garlic, and salt, and saute for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Turn the heat down, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until all the vegetables are very tender.

Place the roasted bell peppers and the tomatoes in a blender or food processor with about 2 cups of the stock. (It’s all right if some of the vegetables from the stock get in there, too.) Puree until smooth, then add this to the onion mixture. Strain in the rest of the stock, pressing every last bit of liquid from the cooked vegetables.

Add lime juice; taste to correct salt and add a little cayenne or a very small amount of minced chipotles, if desired. Serve hot, topped witha generous handful of tortilla strips.

Tortilla Strips
Set a medium-sized, heavy skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, lightly brush both sides of each tortilla with oil. Cut the tortillas in half, then cut each half into thin strips.

Place the strips in the hot pan. Cook and stir gently for about 5 minutes, or until they are chewy-crisp. Remove from heat, drain on paper towels, and salt lightly.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Mollie Katzen’s Vegetable Heaven.

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5 Discussion to this post
  1. Michelle says:

    It looks good! I hope I can get back into the swing of things again. I caught a cold and haven’t done anything since. :(

  2. jeannette says:

    oh, that looks so delicious!

    (and sorry about that above post, it seems whenever i’m at your blog i’m too eager with the return button and always double click too soon!)

  3. Harmonia says:

    This sounds amazing!

  4. crystal says:

    Sis, I hope you’re feeling better…and guys, it was definitely tasty!

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