Vegetarian Mexican Tortilla Soup

                           Vegetarian Mexican Tortilla Soup

Sometimes, in the dead of winter, I just feel the need to eat healthier! This vegetarian soup is loaded with vegetables. In the ingredient list there are numerous garnish suggestions. My favorite is fresh lime juice. It brightens the soup’s flavors.

Vegetarian Mexican Tortilla Soup

3 dried New Mexico chile peppers
1 cup boiling water.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups diced yellow onion, ½ inch dice
1 poblano pepper, ½ inch dice
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground ancho chile pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (14.5 ounce) cans fire-roasted tomatoes with juice
1 (32 ounce) carton vegetable broth
4 taco size corn tortillas, cut in ¼ inch strips
Canola oil non-stick cooking spray (I use Pam)
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (12 ounce) bag frozen corn
Garnishes: Tortilla strips, shredded cheese, fresh cilantro,
radishes, jalapenos, chopped onion, or lime wedges.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Remove stems and seeds from chilies and place in a skillet. Cook on medium high heat, turning over several times until chiles just begin to brown, and become fragrant( about 1-2 minutes). Place chiles in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let steam 15 minutes. Puree chilies and water with a blender or mini food processor. Reserve.

While chiles are steaming, place oil in a large stockpot. Heat oil on medium high heat until rippling. Add onion and poblano pepper. Cook until onion is transparent. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Sprinkle with thyme, cumin, ancho chile pepper, salt and pepper. Stir 1 minute to bloom seasonings.

Add pureed chilies, tomatoes, and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes. While soup is cooking, cut tortillas into strips and place on a parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet. Spray with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle with iodized salt. Bake 10-12 minutes watching carefully to prevent burning. Remove from oven and reserve.

After soup has simmered 45 minutes, add black beans and corn. Bring back to a boil then serve. Garnish. Makes 4-6 servings.

Published in The News and Neighbor on January 17, 2018

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