It hasn’t exactly been soup weather here in Michigan (thank goodness)! Yesterday it was 82 degrees, I’m sure we will pay for that later. I love soup so much, that I couldn’t wait until it was cold to make some tortilla soup. Heidi Swanson from 101cookbooks.com has some of the most simple and delicious soup recipes one could ask for, however, when I have extra delicious ingredients on hand or in the freezer…I like to embellish on her deliciousness. Here is my version of Veggie Tortilla Soup.
- 6-8 corn tortillas, cut in half and then into matchstick-thin strips
- a big splash of extra virgin olive oil
- fine grain sea salt
- 20 small yellow or red cherry tomatoes
- another splash of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon cayenne or other spicy red chili powder
- 1 tablespoon chipotle en adobo
- 1 small can diced green chiles
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
- 2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 6 cups vegetable broth (or water)
- a few sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup of goat cheese, crumbled (omit if vegan)
Gently toss the tortilla strips with a glug of olive oil and salt. Turn them out onto a baking sheet, arrange them across the pan and bake in a 350F degree oven for 10 minutes or until golden and crispy. Set aside.
I usually do this whenever I have tomatoes that have to be used up in a hurry. I call them “crack tomatoes”. They have so many uses…limitless really as a fridge staple. To make: halve (or quarter) the tomatoes lengthwise and put them in a small roasting pan, oven proof dish, or rimmed baking sheet. Toss with a bit of olive oil and a pinch or two of salt. Bake in a 350F degree oven for 40-45 minutes (less time if you use smaller cherry tomatoes), or until the tomatoes are shrunken and golden around the edges. The tomatoes keep nicely in a jar for days (refrigerated). If you are going to keep them for a little longer, douse them in olive oil and store them under the oil in an airtight container, I use a Ball glass canning jar.
For the soup itself – in a big pot over medium-high heat cook the garlic and onions in a splash of olive oil along with a couple pinches of salt for just a minute or so. Stir in the spices and then the tomatoes, chiles, chipotle en adobo. Cook down for about five minutes or so, it should thicken a bit. For a smooth soup don’t add corn or beans then remove from heat, add one cup of the broth and puree with a hand blender (or puree in a traditional blender). Add the remaining 5 cups of broth and puree until smooth. Bring the soup back up to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. If you like chunkier soups to mop up, don’t puree, and add the corn and black beans. Serve as is.
Serve the individual bowls topped with plenty of tortilla strips, the roasted and sun-dried tomatoes, and some crumbled goat cheese. Alternately, as I mention up above, you can finish with sliced avocado, cilantro, white onions, and a squeeze of lime. If you like a creamier soup base add a splash of half and half, or stir in some extra goat cheese.