In the wake of New Years resolutions–to lose weight, to eat right, or to save more money–I find that soup motivates me to achieve any of my targets this season.
Or, at least, warm my belly while preparing my body for some serious resolutions.
Today, I present readers with one of my all time favorite soup recipes: Tortilla Soup flavored with the spices of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine and the healthy (albeit filling) ingredients for a New Years resolution. Traditionally prepared in their more popular chimichanga American formats, Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes don’t always need to be heavy.
As much as I love thick bean burritos dressed in cheese or sour cream, I recognize that the Mexican cuisine perhaps offers some of the easiest ways to keep cooking healthy with its emphasis on corn, beans, and other fresh ingredients.Since the staples of Mexican cooking are corn and beans, Tortilla Soup uses such popular ingredients in a format that’s equal parts hardy and light. Corn chips garnish a robust broth where black beans, corn, and smoked turkey pack the broth with natural flavors.
As for garnishes that are part guilty and part fresh, any combination of ripe avocado, cilantro, cheese, or sour cream dress the soup wonderfully as well.
This past Saturday, I ran in the annual Louisiana Marathon and Cypress Challenge 5-K with my good friend Ellen (of this cake and this cake). Although preparing for race day was paramount, eating delicious Tortilla Soup that’s as good for you as it is good made getting ready for the race just a little bit easier….
After a few days of warming my winter body with Tortilla Soup, 3.15 miles was just the right distance for me or anyone looking to get into racing this year. Pair the post-race experience with a Tortilla Soup filled with every ingredient from your favorite burrito and crispy restaurant-style tortillas, and perhaps even you can start on those resolutions with a little race.
This variation of Tortilla Soup includes smoked turkey as an easy way to improvise on a Mexican classic. Don’t have smoked turkey? Pull the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken for a similar effect.
*1 onion, chopped fine
*2 large or 3 small red peppers, chopped fine
*2 Anaheim peppers, seeded and chopped fine
*5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
*4 tablespoons olive oil
*8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
*2 (15.5 oz) cans whole tomatoes
*1 (15.5 oz) can corn
*1 (15.5 oz) can black beans
*2 teaspoons cumin
*1 teaspoon chili powder
*Salt and pepper, to taste
*1 1/2 lbs smoked turkey or chicken
*cilantro, lime wedges, avocado, tortilla chips, pepper jack cheese, and sour cream
1.) Prep ingredients: chop onion, peppers, and mince or press garlic. Add onions and peppers to oversized cast iron pot and cook over medium-high heat until tender in 4 tablespoons olive oil (about 6 minutes).
2.) Add garlic to pot and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add broth, tomatoes, corn, black beans, cumin, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix to combine, cover, and bring to a boil. Stir soup and crush plum tomatoes with spoon or fork. Cover and reduce soup to simmer for 15 minutes.
3.) Add pre-cooked (smoked) turkey to pot and cook for 5 minutes simmering until meat is heated all the way through. Taste soup and adjust spices as necessary.
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Written by: Helana Brigman