A number of people have asked me for this delicious tortilla soup recipe that I posted on a previous blog a few years ago.
This hearty and rich soup can be made a number of ways. If the cream and cheese are left out, this is a wonderful low-fat vegan soup, roasted or poached chicken can be added for an amazing *chicken tortilla soup, or my favorite, with the cream and cheese added keeping it vegetarian but not vegan. All of the variations are delectable!
Monte Vista Tortilla Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup bell pepper, diced (this time I used 1/4 cup roasted poblano pepper and 1/4 cup fresh green bell pepper)
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced fine
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (sweet, not hot)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (adjust to your taste)
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes (fire roasted are best)
5 cups vegetable or chicken broth (I make a vegetable stock with water and a one or two Rapunzel herb bullion cubes)
6 corn tortillas torn in 1 inch pieces
3/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
1/2 to 1 cup Colby Jack, Monterey Jack or Velveeta cheese (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped coarse
Sauté onion, pepper, celery and carrot in the olive oil until tender. Add the garlic and all of the spices except for the cayenne pepper and cook for a minute or two to release the flavors. Add tomatoes and broth and bring to boil. Toss in the corn tortillas, turn the heat down and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Just before serving, add cream and cheese and warm the soup thoroughly until cheese is melted and incorporated. Stir in the cilantro and half of the cayenne pepper, taste for desired spiciness and add more if you prefer more heat.
Garnish with tortilla strips or chips, sour cream, fresh cilantro and even some diced avocado.
* For Chicken Tortilla Soup – 10 minutes before serving, add 2 cups roasted or poached chicken that has been shredded or cubed and use chicken stock instead of vegetable stock.
Makes 6-8 servings.