THERE’S A BABY COMING TO OUR HOUSE. No, not for a visit. For like…ever. I know. I know! It’s crazy. But also really cool and really exciting. And, come to find out, there’s a lot of weird things that happen to a pregnant woman’s food life during the time that she’s growing a baby (who knew). You always hear stories of the ravenous pregnant lady who eats anything that comes within 10 feet of her or the one who eats and eats and never gets full. They’re lies. All lies. Not really, but my experience has been pretty different. I went through the “Let’s see if i can keep this down today!” phase and now I’m in a “I have no appetite” phase. And for a foodie, this is pretty troubling. To see glorious food and simply say, “…meh”.
But. BUT. There are some foods that I encounter these days that still lift me into the air and drag me across the room with their aromas. French fries. Southern biscuits. And this TORTILLA SOUP. I sorta wondered if my body was going to be interested in it when I thought about the recipe because Mexican food, in the beginning, was my you’ve-crossed-the-line-now food that my body rejected 100% of the time. But I always wanted it. So I kept eating it. And my body kept saying, “…ahaha….No.”. So, I wondered if this soup was something my body would turn its nose up at. IT WAS NOT.
So, let me encourage you. If you’re reading this and you’re 1. pregnant, 2. have no appetite, or 3. simply are in a blah mood, this soup may be able to do wonders for you. Because it’s delicious. And it’s filled with yummy flavors and textures and warmness. And you get to top it with crispy tortilla strips. Crispy tortilla strips.
vegetarian tortilla soup
1 bell pepper
1 poblano pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
4 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
15 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups corn kernels
tortilla strips (recipe follows)
Move the rack in your oven to the top shelf and set the oven to broil. Place the peppers on a baking sheet and broil until slightly charred, about 3-4 minutes. Let the peppers cool, remove the seeds from the bell and poblano, and dice. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and let cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until the onions are soft, about 3 minutes more. Add the cumin, chili powder, paprika, and salt and pepper and cook for a few more minutes until everything is coated and fragrant.
Add the tomatoes and tomato paste to the pot and stir until well combined. Add the vegetable stock, cilantro, and broiled peppers and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
Optional: At this point I took an immersion blender to the soup to make it slightly creamier. I blended about half of the soup so that some of it would be smooth, but there would still be chunks left. If you like your soup chunky, it’s totally fine to leave it how it is.
Add the black beans and corn to the soup, cover, and let simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot with toppings.
5 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
2-3 tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 450º. Place the cut tortillas in a baking sheet and toss evenly with the oil. Bake for 6-8 minutes until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt.