Tortilla soup is very satisfying and soulful.
This recipe is based on the traditional way to make it, however I’m leaving the option to add courgette, sweetcorn and beans to make the soup into a more substantial meal.
The combination of beans, sweetcorn and squash provides a hearty base for the tortilla soup, but it’s lovely and light without it. If you’re making this outside of squash season, courgette is a great alternative.
The broken tortilla chips add texture and flavour – traditionally, day old tortillas are cut into thin strips and flash fried until crunchy, but tortilla chips can be used instead.
This tortilla soup calls for chipotles – they’re smoked jalapeños. And if you’re using chipotle paste, it’s easy to find in big supermarkets. If you’re able to find chipotles in adobo (whole chipotles in a tomato garlic sauce) they’re a great finishing touch.
6 large plum tomatoes or medium regular tomatoes
1 small onion, peeled and cut in half
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 litre vegetable stock or water
2 tsp chipotle paste or chipotle in adobo
Salt and pepper
300g winter squash, cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes
150g frozen sweetcorn or fresh, removed from the cob
400g tin pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
Tortillas cut into thin strips and fried or tortilla chips, broken
Grated cheese (optional)
Fresh coriander leaves
Wedges of lime
Whole chipotle in adobo as a garnish
Use vegan cheese for garnish or omit altogether
Heat a heavy frying pan over a medium high heat.
Add the tomatoes, peeled onion and unpeeled garlic cloves.
Dry roast in the frying pan with no oil, turning regularly until the garlic is soft, which should take about 5-8 minutes.
When the garlic is soft and slightly blackened, remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
Continue roasting the tomatoes and onions until charred and blackened, about 5 minutes.
Peel the garlic and place in a blender or food processor along with the charred tomatoes and onion. Blend until smooth, then pass through a sieve.
Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the sieved tomato mixture and fry until it thickens a bit, about 5 minutes.
Add the vegetable stock and chipotle paste and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, taste and adjust the seasoning.
At this point, any of the optional additions can be added. Cook the soup until the vegetables are tender.
Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with broken tortilla chips, avocado, cheese and coriander. A bit more chipotle paste can be added to individual bowls to make it a bit spicier.
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