Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

  • 1 dried smoked chili pepper or 1 poblano pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced.
  • 1 to 2 medium jalapeños (optional, use one for medium spicy soup and two for spicy soup)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes or chunky tomato sauce*
  • 32 ounces (4 cups) vegetable stock
  • 14-ounce can hominy, rinsed and drained (optional)
  • 14-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Sea salt
  • 6 corn tortillas (6-inch, taco-sized)
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 to 4 radishes, sliced into super thin rounds
  • 2 ounces queso fresco or feta cheese (optional), crumbled
  • 1 handful cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 lime, sliced into small wedges

  1. Prep work: Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Stack the tortillas and slice them into ½-inch-wide, 2-inch-long strips. Remove the seeds and membranes from the jalapeno (and poblano, if using) and chop the peppers. Wash your hands. Pit, peel, and medium dice the avocado, then squeeze some lime juice over the avocado to prevent browning.
  2. Bake the tortillas: Coat a baking sheet with a thin layer of oil. Toss the tortilla strips in the oil to coat and arrange the strips in a single layer. Bake 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown. While the strips are hot, season them with salt.
  3. Toast the chili pepper: Place the dried chili pepper onto a baking sheet and bake for about 1 minute, or until the pepper is warmed through. When cool enough to handle, cut the pepper open and remove the seeds. (Wash your hands afterward and avoid touching your eyes!)
  4. Make the soup: In a medium pot or Dutch oven, heat some olive oil on medium until hot. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno and poblano peppers (if using). Cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cumin, then the canned tomatoes and vegetable stock. Simmer for about 3 minutes, then add the hominy, black beans and the seeded chili pepper. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve the soup: First, discard the dried chili pepper. Place some of the avocado, radishes, tortilla strips, and queso fresco (or feta) at the bottom of 2 to 4 bowls. Divide the soup between the bowls. Top the soup with the remaining avocado, radishes, tortilla strips, and queso fresco (or feta). Garnish with some cilantro and serve with lime wedges and hot sauce, if desired.

photo and recipe: cookieandkate.com

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