Hispanic Kitchen

Spice It Up!

Vegetable Tortilla Soup

Yields 4 Servings

Prep: 30 minutes; Cook: 25 minutes

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons plus ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 can (14½ ounces) diced fire-roasted tomatoes, with juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 quart vegetable broth
½ teaspoon salt
1 zucchini and 1 carrot, each cut into matchsticks
4 corn tortillas, stale or dry, halved crosswise, sliced into thin strips
1 dried pasilla chili
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded, cubed
¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack or crumbled queso fresco

1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion; cook, stirring, until golden brown, making sure the mixture does not burn, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cumin; cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 5 minutes. Add the broth. Remove from the heat; puree until smooth in the pot using a hand blender or puree in batches in a blender.

2. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Return the soup to the heat. Add the zucchini and carrot; simmer, partially covered, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Add salt.

3. Meanwhile, spread the tortilla strips evenly on a baking sheet. Bake until crisp and beginning to brown, 7-8 minutes. Reserve. Place the chili in a nonstick skillet; toast over medium-high heat until fragrant and puffed but not burnt, 2 minutes per side. Remove the stem and the seeds. Crush the chili in a mortar or with the side of a heavy knife; reserve.

4. Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle each with ½ teaspoon of the lime juice. Garnish each with tortilla strips, crushed chili, avocado, cheese and remaining cilantro.

Recipe by Diane Rossen Worthington, Tribune Media Services


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