Once again, Rachael Ray's new magazine has inspired me to cook (I do like to get a lot of mileage out of my magazine purchases, okay?). I've had a run of meaty entrees and woke up this morning craving something light and savory. I thought of the Tomato Tortilla Soup that Ray listed in her last issue, and immediately I knew that would fit the bill.
I deviated from Ray's recipe a bit, but her version can be found on her magazine's website. I don't think you will be disappointed by the changes I make, though.
Canned tomatoes really are ideal here--they are picked and canned at the height of the season, and they come with their tough peels already removed. I, for one, find this very handy, as you really shouldn't cook with unpeeled tomatoes, and sometimes I can't be bothered to sit there and peel them.
I served this with simple quesadillas made with whole wheat flour tortillas, fresh mozzarella, and caramelized onions. They were a crispy, cheesy compliment to the fiery acidity in the soup. I will be making this again, it was fantastic.
serves 4-6 (great for leftovers)
I am an outlier among my friends and family, I prefer a smooth soup to the chunky alternative. What I like about this soup is the smoothness contrasted with whatever toppings you should choose. However, if you prefer chunks, just chop the vegetables into a finer dice and go from there. You may want to puree a cup of the soup for thickness, though.
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp crush red pepper flakes
1 28-oz. can whole tomatoes, chopped coarsely, with their juice
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
juice of half a lime
1 tsp cumin
.5 tsp sea salt
3 large handfuls of corn tortilla chips (plus crushed chips for garnish)
diced avocado (garnish)
sour cream (garnish)
lime wedges (garnish)
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a heavy saucepan. Toss in garlic, onions, and crushed red pepper and saute until soft (5-7 minutes).
Add the tomatoes, tomato juice, and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, excluding garnish, and simmer for 2-3 more minutes.
Puree in batches, using a blender or food processor. At this point, you can return the soup to the pot, cover, and keep heated on low until you are ready to serve.
Serve topped with crushed tortilla chips, chunks of avocado, sour cream, cilantro, and lime wedges alongside (or anything else that sounds good to you). Dig in, it's really good!