Oh yea baby! I made a killer Tortilla soup on Friday thanks to a recipe from my "125 Vegetarian Slow Cooker" cookbook by Judith Finlayson. The flavor blend was wonderful and the toppings of avocados, crunchy tortilla and sour cream made it so freakin' good that I sucked down the first bowl in about 5 seconds and had to have a second bowl (shucks) to really get the true essence of the soup. Okay that is total bullshit, I just wanted to make a pig of myself and have 2 bowls.
Recipe was pretty easy to make and you can make most of it the night before, which I did. In the a.m. I just added the vegetable broth and turned on the crockpot. Viola!
Tortilla Soup with Corn and Chilies -
**This soup can be partially prepared the night before it is cooked. Complete Steps 1 through 4. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, continue cooking as directed.
1 dried New Mexico chili pepper
2 cups boiling water
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried oregano leaves
1 tsp grated lime zest
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked black peppercorns
1 can (14 - 19 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (28 oz) tomatoes, including juice
6 cups vegetable stock
1 can (4.5 oz) mild green chilies, drained
2 cups corn kernels, thawed if frozen
3 tortillas, perferable corn, cut into 1 inch strips
1-2 avocados, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Finely chopped red onion
Sour cream (optional)
Finely chopped cilantro
1. In a heatproof bowl, soak chili pepper in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain and discard stem and soaking water. Set aside.
2. In a dry skillet, over medium heat, toast cumin seeds until they release their aroma and just begin to turn brown. Transfer to a mortar or a spice grinder and grind coarsely. Set aside.
3. In same skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions to pan and cook, stirring until softened. Add garlic, reserved cumin, oregano, lime zest, salt, peppercorns and reserved New Mexico chili and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a food processor along with beans and 1 cup tomato liquid and process until smooth.
4. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. If you prefer a smooth soup, add remaining tomatoes to food processor and process until smooth; otherwise, chop coarsely before adding to slow cooker stoneware.
5. Add vegetable stock. Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours, until mixture is bubbling and flavors are combined. Stir in mild green chilies and corn. Cover and cook on HIGH for 15-20 minutes, until corn is tender.
6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush tortilla strips with oil, place on baking sheet and bake 4 minutes per side, until crisp and golden.
7. When ready to serve, ladle soup into bowls, lay tortilla strips across surface and top with chopped avocado, red onion, sour cream, if using and cilantro.