This is a recipe for Vegetarian Tortilla Soup. Rich in both flavor and color, this is a can’t stop slurping this tortilla soup that gets a kick from Chipotle pepper and earthy with mushrooms and goat cheese.
I accidentally made something vegetarian this week. We’re pretty much meat and potato folks around here but there are times when I prepare a dish that is so full of flavor and comes complete with a meatless “chew factor” that I find myself questioning the morality of our carnivore habits. You know, that guilty nag about taking a life to nourish myself.
I could blame my parents. All meals growing up consisted of meat, potatoes and a vegetable side. But I’ve always claimed that if I had to kill my own food, I’d be a vegetarian. On the other hand, I love hamburgers so much that I’d probably kill cow to to have one. And speaking of my favorite meat, have you ever noticed that cows like to stare? And when I look into those gigantic friendly eyes, I have to remind myself that if a cow could eat me…it would. And it probably wouldn’t kill me very humanely…and probably wouldn’t wonder it it were right or wrong. With that said, I think I’ll stick with my “want it…then eat it” mentality.
This vegetarian tortilla soup definitely falls into that “want it…then eat it” category. A broth rich with onion, garlic, shiitake mushrooms and tomatoes is ladled over chopped avocado, watercress, chipotle chile and tangy goat cheese. Your chew factor is satisfied with thick wonderful pieces of shiitake mushrooms. Topped with home baked tortilla strips you’ve got a fabulous version of tortilla soup. So delicious that I wouldn’t feel guilty about ripping those mushrooms from the comfort and safety of their decaying tree trunk homes.
Let’s take a look.
Recipe for Vegetarian Tortilla Soup with Chipotle Chile and Goat Cheese
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- 1 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil or lard
- A little oil to spray or brush on corn tortillas
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and left whole
- 1 small sweet onion sliced
- 1-15 ounce can chopped tomatoes in juice or 4 - 6 plum tomatoes, rough chopped
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 8 ounces full flavored mushrooms (shiitake preferred) cleaned and sliced
- Salt to taste
- 6 corn tortillas
- 2 to 3 canned chipotle chiles en adobo removed from canning sauce, seeds and veins removed if you want less heat
- 4 ounces goat cheese broken apart into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 inch large ripe avocado pitted, peeled and cut into 1/2- cubes
- 1 leaves large bunch of watercress only, rough chopped
- In a medium large saucepan heat the oil or lard over medium. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring regularly until golden. About 7 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to scoop up the garlic and onion, pressing them against the side of the pan to leave behind as much oil as possible and transfer to a food processor or blender. Set the pan aside. Add the tomatoes to the garlic and onion and process to a smooth puree.
- Set the saucepan over medium-high heat. Wen hot, add the puree and stir nearly constantly until it has thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 10 minutes. Add the broth and mushrooms and bring to a boil, them partially cover and gently simmer over medium to medium low heat for 30 minutes. Taste and season with salt, usually 1/2 teaspoon depending on the saltiness of your broth.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the tortillas in half, then cut crosswise into 1/4 inch strips. Spread the tortilla strips in a single layer on a baking sheet and spray or lightly brush with oil and toss to coat. Set in the oven and bake, stirring around every couple of minutes or so, until lightly browned and crispy. About 8 minutes.
- Serving the soup. Cut open the chipotle chiles and scrape out the seeds. Cut the chiles into thin strips. In each soup bowl place a portion of the cheese and cubed avocado, a generous sprinkling of the watercress leaves and a few strips of the chipotle. Ladle the broth into the bowls and top each with a handful of crispy tortilla strips.
- Serve immediately.
Vegetarian Tortilla Soup with Mushrooms, Chipotle Chile and Goat Cheese…It’s what’s for Dinner.
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