Saskia’s Tortilla Soup

My good friend Saskia (yes the same one who designs the incredible jewelry we sell) has been tempting me with her Tortilla Soup for months. I finally gave it a go a few weeks ago and it is delicious, easy and a crowd-pleaser….what more can you ask for. Here is my interpretation of the recipe she shared with me in the aisle at the grocery store.  It is really a blueprint and quite flexible. Any confident home cook can make amendments and add to its flavor. My friend just made it the other night and added coriander. I love the idea and amended the recipe.

Ingredients:

Fresh:

  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic minced (this can be left out but i love garlic)
  • 1 carrot
  • Green and/or red peppers

For topping:

  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice)
  • Optional: Chicken pieces. (I often buy a pre-roasted chicken if I am in a rush and shred the meat for topping)

Spices:

  • 1-2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder or more to taste
  • 1 tsp Coriander
  • Salt & Pepper

Pantry/Freezer:

  • 1 qt chicken stock
  • 1/2- full pkg frozen corn (roasted frozen from Trader Joe’s is my fave)
  • 1 or 2 jars of your favorite salsa. I say 1 or 2 since one is enough (if that is all you have) but two is better.
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans or chick peas
  • Tortilla chips or tortiallas cut into strips and lightly fried in pan

Directions:

1. Sauté onions and garlic in 1-2 tbls olive or veg oil for a few minutes until transulcent on med/high heat

2. Add carrots, peppers and any other fresh veg you may want and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes until softening.

3. Add spices and mix to distribute

4. Add chicken stock to pan and bring up to light boil before reducing heat to med/low

5. Add salsa, corn and beans and cook for at least 10 minutes if not more to meld flavors.

6.  At this point you can add chicken if you are using it and mix in the meat to bring to temperature.

7. While it is cooking you can lightly fry the tortilla strips if you plan on using them. Tortilla chips are fine too.  Also while cooking, you can prepare toppings…chop the cilantro, shred cheese and cut avocado

To Serve:

Ladle soup into bowls and top with the cheese (add first so it is sure to melt into soup), tortillas, avocado, and cilantro. Fresh lime juice really adds to the flavor. Any other toppings you might like are fine to add here. I put sour cream or yogurt on the table with hot sauce for those who need spicier food.

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