Friday, November 2, 2012

Bringing a Bit of Mexicana to an Irish Kitchen

Tortilla Soup -- hands-down, this is Matt’s favorite soup. It has a wonderfully smoky flavor, which makes it perfect during the fall months (though that has never stopped us from eating it at least once a week during the summer months!) It’s adapted from Roberto Martin’s Vegan Cooking for Carnivores. Fans of Ellen DeGeneres may recognize his name. He is the personal chef to her and Portia.

When you eliminate dairy from your diet, it takes some creativity to get the richness that a cream soup provides, especially in ways that are healthful. The trick to getting it right in this soup is to char three corn tortillas over an open flame, cut each into strips and then add them to the broth (more to come on that later).

A seasoned cast-iron skillet and a Vitamix go a long way with this dish. (Note on Vitamix: It’s an investment, I realize, but if you can splurge on something for your kitchen, let it be a Vitamix -- the Rolls Royce of blenders. We use it daily, oftentimes more than once).

Here’s the recipe. Don’t be discouraged by the steps. It comes together beautifully and easily. And the aroma that will fill your house is "to die for."

2 medium white onions, diced
4 large plum tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon of olive oil
6 cups of vegetable broth *We use Vegetarian Better Than Boullion No Chicken Base
1 teaspoon of oregano
½ bunch of cilantro (stems and leaves), chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed (I use a mortar and pestle to do the job)
3 corn tortillas (charred over an open flame and cut into strips) *I highly recommend Ezekiel Food For Life Spouted Grain Tortillas. We love all Food For Life products.

In a large bowl, toss the onions with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Do the same with the tomatoes. Pre-heat a grill or cast-iron skillet until it’s really hot. Place the onions on the hot pan and resist the urge to flip them a million times.

Push the onions to the back and place the halved tomatoes on the hot pan as well.

Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, bring the broth to a low simmer and add the remaining ingredients.

Char the three corn tortillas on an open flame, cut into strips and add to broth.

When the onions and tomatoes are charred, add them to the broth. Ladle a cup of broth into the hot grill pan to deglaze the pan picking up any charred bits of flavor left behind.

Return this liquid to the pot and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove it from heat and allow it to cool slightly.

Puree the soup in a blender until smooth.

Ladle each serving in a bowl. Top with avocado slices and a pinch of shredded cheese (we use the vegan brand Daiya Shredded Cheddar). Serve with a slice of whole grain pita bread.

Now sit down and enjoy this marvelously healthful soup!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! This looks delicious! Kellie, I've had a chance to check out your blogs and I can honestly say I'm hooked!! You have a way with words and I'm excited to "follow" you on your journey to Breaking Four! :)