Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

I can hardly think of something that is more comforting than a big bowl of hearty, delicious soup on a cold day. Tortilla soup comes in many different varieties and is one of my favorite kinds of soups. This one is particular, I was literally craving for days afterwards. Here’s what you’ll need:

1 poblano pepper (or if you can find 1 dried smoked chili pepper)
olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 to 2 medium jalapenos (depending on how spicy you want it)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
14 oz. can crushed tomatoes or chunky tomato sauce
32 oz. vegetable stock
14 oz. can hominy, rinsed and drained
14 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
salt
6 corn tortillas (for chips!)
1 avocado
2 to 4 radishes (options – did not use)
2 oz. queso fresco or feta cheese
1 handful cilantro leaves
1 lime, sliced into wedges

**soo…accidentally forgot to take a picture of the ingredients, but i’m sure you get the picture.

First, prep all of your ingredients. It will help make the process go by way faster if your mise en place in all ready. First, try to toast the chili pepper if you don’t already have a dried chili pepper. This was a little bit of a difficult feat because we have an electric stove top so I was more concerned the peppers were going to catch on fire…but if you are able to toast it, do so. Then, cut the pepper open and remove all the seeds.

In a medium pot, heat olive oil, onion, garlic, jalapenos, and the poblano pepper. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cumin, canned tomatoes, and vegetable stock and simmer for about 3 minutes.

IMG_6570 (1) IMG_6571 (1)

Once that has simmered, add the hominy, black beans, and the seeded chili pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Once that is finished, it’s time to start assembling your soup. In a bowl, place the avocado, tortilla strips (see below for recipe) and queso fresco/feta. Ladle the soup into the bowl and then top with the same toppings.

IMG_6572 (1)

 Top with some cilantro and hot sauce, and enjoy!

To make the tortilla strips, cut 6 corn tortillas into strips and bake in the oven at 475 degrees for about 6-8 minutes. Top with salt while still hot.

As I said before, I was literally craving this soup for days after. Luckily, it was still just as delicious the next day as it was freshly made. The great thing about this as well is that there is a lot of flexibility with the toppings. We substituted sour cream when we had no avocados, and you could use jack/cheddar cheese instead of feta if needed. The tortilla strips are also extremely easy to make and super addicting, so don’t forget to add those! It had a nice warming flavor and adding some hot sauce or extra jalapenos really helps bring out the spice which is my favorite part. So good, easy to make, and definitely a crowd pleaser. Would highly recommend.

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