Mi Amiga Katie

August 26, 2010

Tortilla-less Soup

Katie is a cook and friend extraordinaire. She has not made me her tortilla soup (uh, what up, Katie?) but she raves so unabashedly about it (she has high self esteem) that I know it’s super delicious. To note: if Katie raves about something, listen up. She is never wrong. Well, hardly ever. The only thing we disagree on are ice cream flavours* and in this case we agree to disagree.

* I love vanilla. Real, almost boozy vanilla bean. If I’m having ice cream, and I’m DQ’ing something different, I will order vanilla if I can discern that grey-ish flecked pallour of vanilla bean. Or chocolate. If I’m having gelato, oftentimes pistachio will win. Katie’s ice cream flavour? Muesli. I know, right? Without further disagreement or ado, here is Katie’s Tortilla Soup recipe. Thanks for guest blogging Katie!

Tortilla Soup

1 litre chicken or vegetable stock

½ of a large onion, diced

2 or more cloves of garlic, minced

2 ears of corn, shucked, kernels stripped (save cobs)

2 anaheim peppers, charred, peeled, seeded and chopped  (the flavour of charred Anaheim pepper is irreplaceable, but they can be difficult to find…swap out whatever interesting pepper you can find at the market – sweet or hot)

1 small zucchini chopped (skin on)

2 or 3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

3-4 juicy limes

dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano – can be found at Granville island)

bunch of cilantro

1 plump chicken breast, poached or grilled and then shredded

1 diced, perfectly ripe avocado, tossed with a bit of lime juice

extra lime wedges to serve on the side

optional:

– fried strips of corn tortilla (for a cleaner version, brush with olive oil then bake until crisp)

– shredded white cheddar cheese

In a big pot, sweat garlic and onions in olive oil. Toss in corn kernels (and cobs – just be sure to take them out before serving!), zucchini, peppers and oregano.  Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Pour stock into pot and bring the whole lot to a simmer.  Cook until vegetables are tender but still have a slight bite to them. Add tomatoes, chicken, salt to taste and lime juice. Just before serving, add chopped cilantro. We like to have our chopped avocado on the side to add as we eat.   The cold, creamy avocado contrasts beautifully with the hot citrusy soup.  If you are willing to go a little less clean, serve crunchy corn tortilla strips and shredded cheese on the side as well.  These should be added to your bowl of soup just before you eat.  Sometimes I will also serve a bowl of hand cut chunky salsa on the side, to add even more vegetables and flavour.

This is a very flexible recipe.  You can add or subtract as many vegetables as you like (we added finely sliced savoy cabbage yesterday and it was awesome) and of course this is easily vegetarian minus the chicken. Chopped, rehydrated dried chiles (such as guajillo) are an excellent addition….and if you can’t find Mexican oregano, you can use catnip in a pinch (I wish I was joking about this, as it happened when we were cooking for guests, but I’m not….that little bag of catnip looks almost exactly like the little bag of oregano you can buy at South China Seas…..oops…). The only thing that is non negotiable in this soup is the lime juice…use lots!  Somehow this soup manages to taste light and refreshing in the summer and spicy, warm and comforting in the winter. Sometimes we make it quite thin, and other times it is stew-like with so many vegetables.

Enjoy!

PS. I would like to defend my ice cream choice.  It is Cranberry Muesli frozen yogurt (I’m sure it is at least 10% fat – so creamy) and I always like it with a side scoop of biscottino gelato.  Agree to disagree.

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6 Responses to “Mi Amiga Katie”

  1. katie said

    Yay! I love guest blogging! Your soup looks muy autentico and delicious…. xo

  2. jevanshead said

    Great post! nice collaboration ladies.

    Dawne-O I have a great taco recipe that would fit nicely with that Tortilla soup. You just say the word.

  3. Ken Gourley said

    Just ate my version (now) of this recipe very, very, delicious, filling also! No changes except the oregano was grown on my window box and the Chilliwack corn cobs were very succulent and about fourteen inches long and quite thick. Balance (only two diners) on its way to the fridge. I believe this may be as nice cold as it is hot, will try it for lunch either way is okay with me. Thedda ate a huge bowl, bigger than mine by far! Thanks for the Recipes! KDG

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