Vegan Tortilla Soup

If there is a cuisine I am partial to after Indian, it is definitely Mexican. I think its to do with the common spices in the cuisines. I tasted tortilla soup for the first time at Qdoba and the myriad of flavors was quite intriguing. That’s when I thought it cant be too difficult  to make this at home and I was right. With just a few ingredients, this aromatic soup can be prepared in 30 minutes. You can make this with just tomatoes or add other vegetables. I usually like to blend the vegetables to give a smooth texture to the soup.

Home made Mexican seasoning ( source: about.com)

1/4 cup dried oregano

3 tablespoons red chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 pinch ground cloves

1 pinch ground cinnamon

Method

Mix all the ingredients well and store in an airtight container. This seasoning mix can be used for tacos, salad dressings, soups.

Ingredients for tortilla soup

1 can tomatoes with juice ( I used fire roasted tomatoes)

1 medium onion chopped

3 cloves garlic chopped

1 jalapeno

3 cups water

3 cups veggie broth

2 cups of vegetables ( I used kale, carrot and red peppers)

2 teaspoons Mexican seasoning ( I used store bought seasoning from the bulk section of my local store)

2 teaspoons olive oil

Salt

Topping

1 avocado diced into small cubes
1 flour tortilla for tortilla strips or store bought tortilla strips

Method for Tortilla soup

1. Heat oil in a pot big enough to hold the soup.

2. Once oil is hot, add onions, garlic and jalapeno and cook it for 10 minutes.

3. Add vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes.

4. Blend the vegetables, onion, jalapeno and garlic with the tomatoes. Make sure to blend to a smooth consistency.

5. Transfer the blended mixture into the pot and cook for 5 minutes.

6. Add water, broth, salt and seasoning and mix well.

7. Bring it to a boil.

8. Serve topped with avocado and tortilla strips.

Method for Tortilla strips

1. Pre heat oven to 350F.

2. Brush olive oil on tortilla and cut into1/2 inch strips and bake for 10 minutes.

3. Alternatively, you can deep fry the cut tortilla.

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Open faced Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich

I once heard someone say ” if butter were a vegetable, it would be an avocado”. Isn’t that so true? Behind the rugged skin, there is this super smooth, creamy flesh which is rich in fiber and potassium and supposedly lowers blood cholesterol levels. I have substituted avocado also known as butter fruit in India for mayonnaise and hummus for mustard in this egg salad sandwich. In under 15minutes, with almost no cooking you have a healthy, filling lunch or snack ready. You can make this ahead and refrigerate it for up to 3days and feel free to add some tomato, cilantro and cheese for added taste.

Ingredients

2 Hard boiled eggs peeled and diced

2 slices of bread ( I used 100% whole wheat bread)

1/2 ripe Avocado

Juice from 1/2 lime

2 teaspoons store bought  hummus ( I used Trader Joe’s spicy hummus)

1/2 teaspoon Fresh ground pepper

Salt if needed

Method

1. Mash the avocado with a fork or run it for 1-2 minutes in a food processor to get a creamy paste.

2. Add hummus and lime juice and  mix well.

3. Fold in the diced eggs and season with more salt if needed and pepper.

4. Spread on bread and enjoy.