Monday, December 12, 2011

Southwest Tomato Tortilla Soup

Sorry for the lack of blogging everyone! I have to be completely ready for Christmas 11 days early this year so you can imagine my stress level and lack of time. We are heading to California for a Christmas visit with Miles' family and we get to surprise our kids tomorrow with the news that not only do they get to see their cousins, miss 5 days of school, and be where it is sunny and 70 degrees, but they get to go to Disneyland! We have a scavenger hunt planned that will lead them all over town and back to the house for a video that will break the news. We can hardly wait to tell them! We will be sure to post video tomorrow night on facebook of their reaction.

That brings me to this soup recipe. Yes I am sorry for posting yet another soup recipe but we have been eating off of this for the past 3 days so there isn't much more for me to share. I hope it helps that this one is a tomato based soup. It might also help you to know that this has been a coveted secret recipe that I have never been willing to give away before now. I learned how to make this at that mini soup making class several years back and yes I know, I have been stingy. I did share it with my mom and sister way back when.
I particularly love this one because look at all that color! There is red, yellow, green, and Anaheim pepper, along with carrots, garlic, and red onion all chopped up and tossed in the pot with some butter. I actually used real butter this time but a butter substitute of your choice is absolutely fine. Sweat the veggies for about 5 minutes.

They will look more like this when they are ready for you to start adding the rest of the ingredients to the pot. That is steam, not a blurry picture.

You will add one large can of each of these. Then fill up the can 1 1/2 times with either water or chicken broth and add that to the pot as well. Sometimes it is necessary to add a bit more broth or water, especially after it cooks down a little.

 Finely chop some parsley and cilantro and add that to the pot.
You need about 1/2 cup of each of them.

In go the magic spices. We have some chili powder, paprika, and a little cayenne. I also add whole cumin seed which I toast lightly in a pan and grind up. I use my coffee grinder because it grinds it up so finely so if you don't have one of those my suggestion is to use already ground cumin. It will only make a slight difference.

Of course by now you know that I must have a couple tablespoons of this in my soup. Add that last and give the soup a good stir. Then turn the heat down and let the soup simmer away for at least a half an hour.

While the soup is simmering begin cutting up some whole wheat flour tortillas into strips. These make the best topping for your bowl of soup. I actually made them this size first and then remembered that I like them really thin in this soup so I did the next few about half as wide, however I didn't take pictures for some strange reason.

There are a couple of ways to get these little things crispy and awesome. They are the thing that puts this soup over the top so you will want to make some for sure! You can heat a little olive oil in a pan and drop them in like this flipping them over after about about 1 minute or so and cooking on the other side. Then place them on a paper towel lined plate. Or......You can also brush them with some olive oil and put them on a cookie sheet you have greased generously with olive oil. I like to brush them on the pan. Put them in a 400 degree oven and bake them for about 3-4 minutes. Watch them carefully. Sometimes they need longer than that and sometimes they cook faster than that. I prefer the oven method. It goes much more quickly!

Don't let them get to brown whichever way you choose to do it. They will continue to brown up a bit after you pull them out and place them on a paper towel lined plate. This is a picture of some of the skinny ones.

Now your soup will have had plenty of time to simmer and you can add some sharp cheddar cheese to it at this point. It is also great with no cheese so it is up to you. We also like to just top our bowl with some cheese and the tortilla strips.

I ate this delicious bowl for lunch and skipped the tortillas this time. Mainly because I can't stop popping them in my mouth while I am fixing the rest of lunch so I probably already ate my share for the day!

We ate it with this delicious salad because I definitely didn't eat enough green food over the weekend. I need some fiber and good food to get me back on track.

Now I must get back to checking things off my list and getting all the laundry done so I can actually start packing tomorrow when I get home from working. I will be so glad to not have to keep this secret anymore. I have about blown it several times! I think several people have about blown it.  It is hard to keep such a good secret for so long!

Southwest Tomato Tortilla Soup
1 each red pepper, yellow pepper, and green pepper diced
2 Anaheim peppers diced
1 red onion chopped
3-4 carrots diced
5 cloves garlic minced
2 Tablespoons butter
1 28oz. can tomato sauce
1 28oz. can diced tomatoes
1 ½ cans of water or chicken broth (you made need a little more)
2 Tablespoons chicken base (Better Than Bouillon)
2 Tablespoons whole cumin seeds, toasted and ground
2 teaspoons Chili powder
1 Tablespoon sweet paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (go easy because there are a lot of peppers)
½ cup fresh cilantro chopped
½ cup fresh parsley chopped
3-4 whole wheat tortillas cut into thin strips
Olive oil
1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese (optional)

Add all diced peppers, red onion, garlic, carrots, and butter to a pan and sauté them until tender. Approximately 5 minutes. To the pan add both the diced tomatoes, and sauce. Then add water or chicken broth.

In a small pan toast the whole cumin seeds on the stove over medium high heat. They will smoke so keep them moving for a few minutes then grind them up. Add the ground cumin to the pot as well as the chili powder, paprika, cayenne, cilantro, and parsley.  Bring to a boil then turn heat down and let simmer for 30 minutes. Add about ½ cup cheese after simmering.

Heat olive oil in a pan and fry tortilla strips 1 minute per side or brush olive oil onto cookie sheet and tortilla strips and bake in a 400 degree oven for approximately 5 minutes. Watch carefully as they will burn easily. Place them on a paper towel lined plate to drain and cool. Top your bowl of soup with a little of the remaining cheese and the tortilla strips.


1 comment:

Jenny said...

Can't wait to see their reaction. And I forgot to say - I don't remember where I got her owl pajamas over a year ago. Target? Old Navy? But I did, in fact, buy her a different pair of owl pj's - blue with a pink owl - last weekend at Wal-Mart because she is having pajama day at school tomorrow, and her other ones were getting snug.