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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tortilla Soup

Towards the end of August or beginning of September, I made some tortilla soup with fresh vegetables from the farmer's market to commemorate the last of summer. Except I don't really know if it's tortilla soup, per say. It might be more of a taco soup. Either way it was delicious.

I got too busy to write a post about it at the time, so I'm writing it now. Hopefully I can remember what all ingredients/amounts I used. I'll try my best. 

Here goes:

Tortilla/Taco Soup
1-2 jalapenos, to taste
1 small onion, diced
1 lb ground beef
5 tomatoes
2 ears corn
1 1/2 cups black beans
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cilantro
1 tsp cumin powder
Red pepper flakes to taste
Sour cream, shredded cheese, tortilla chips for topping if desired

Now, I really am just purely guessing on the amount of seasonings. I didn't really measure them out when I made it, and even if I did, I wouldn't remember the amounts at this time. So just use the seasonings listed and add to taste. Add a little at a time and keep tasting to see if you need more. That's how I roll anyway.

Ok, first step: chop the jalapenos. Be careful not to rub your eyes or nose after/while cutting them and all that jazz. Use gloves if you have them. Try to make sure you don't have any cuts or peeled skin around your fingernails while you're cutting. Because that juice will burn a little. I may or may not be speaking from experience. 

Anyway, jalapenos:

Look at those tricky jalapenos. They look all sweet and innocent like a green bell pepper. But they're not. As you can see, I like to leave some of the seeds with them when I chop. Mmmm, spice.

Next, cook the jalapeno and onion with the ground beef (excuse my slightly blurry photo): 

Cook that, drain it, and set aside.

Use the method outlined here to turn your tomatoes into the broth. Basically, peel, puree, and add water/salt as necessary to make the broth. 

After you have your broth to the consistency/flavor that you like, add your beef mixture back in.

Cut your corn from the ears like so and throw that into the building soup:

Corn is good in soup. More corn is better. It adds a nice crunch. Add as much as you like. 

Then add your beans. If you use canned beans, use 1 can. However, you can use this method to cook dried beans and have on hand. It's super easy! Less sodium! No more canned beans for me! So I used one of my bags of frozen beans, which is about a cup and a half. If you want some vegetarian soup, add two bags (or two cans) and leave out the beef!

Don't forget to add your spices/seasonings! Like I said, just add a little of the spices listed at a time and keep tasting to get the right amounts.

Let it boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for about a half an hour. That's it! 

Top with sour cream, a little shredded cheese, and crushed tortilla chips if desired. Enjoy!


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