I love bold flavours which is why Mexican food is one of my favorite cuisines. Got a cold rainy night that needs warming up? Let this soup be your best friend. It's got texture and heat and it's definitely not boring.
There's lots of spice here and if your taste buds tend to sit on the sissy side of the fence, you are welcome to lighten the heat as you wish. Skip the hot sauce and jalapeño. But note that jalapeño peppers are not all the same. The one I used here wasn't spicy at all, but if you've got one that is, just use as little (or as much) as you like.
If you're feeling up for it, please to make your own tortilla chips! It's easy. Start by frying strips of fresh corn tortillas in a little bit of oil. Flip when golden, remove from heat, and let them crisp up on paper towels. But if it's late and you're hungry, store bought tortilla chips are almost as delicious. You won't hear me complaining one bit (and it's what I usually tend to do anyway).
The garnishes are the best part. Besides the tortilla chips, I love to add some grated cheddar cheese and sour cream. My husband goes one step further and adds in cubes of avocado. Cilantro is up to you! But if you've got some extra lime wedges, those are nice squirted in each bowl as well. Just saying!
Salsa and Black Bean Tortilla Soup
This soup is perfect weeknight fare. I used leftover homemade salsa (using canned tomatoes no less) and homemade vegetable stock because that's how I roll. Store-bought will work just as well, so no fretting.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 can of diced tomatoes
3-4 cups vegetable broth (depending on how thick you like your soup)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn
your favorite hot sauce (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
juice of 1 lime
avocado, diced (optional)
cheddar cheese, grated (optional)
sour cream or yogurt (optional)
cilantro leaves (optional)
In a large pot, heat olive oil over med-high heat. Add in the onions and let soften, stirring occasionally. Add in the garlic, jalapeño and green pepper, and let saute for a minute or two before tossing in the cumin, coriander and chili powder. Stir until everything is evenly coated and fragrant.
Pour in the salsa and diced tomatoes and stir with the spices and onions. Add in the broth along with the beans, turning down the heat to medium. Let simmer for 15 minutes covered. Remove cover and stir. Add corn. If the soup is too thick, add in a bit more stock or water. If it's too thin, let the soup simmer uncovered at a higher heat. Shake in some hot sauce if you like heat and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, if necessary. Remember, your tortilla chips might be salty, so keep that in mind! Squeeze the lime juice into the soup and stir.
Add slightly crushed tortilla chips to each serving bowl and ladle in the soup. Garnish with avocado, cheese, sour cream and/or cilantro. Makes about 6 servings.
By Jeannette Ordas of Everybody likes Sandwiches