Soup a-la-elli

40/365 soup's onThis is THE soup, the one I can’t haven’t yet ruined. It’s based on tortilla soup (without the tortillas, huh) so it has the right amount of spice, but is easily altered depending on the veggies in my fridge. The original recipe was shared with me by a friend about ten years ago. Yeah, I don’t have that any more, only the memory of it which leaves a lot to be desired, so this isn’t a real recipe so much as a semi-ordered list of thoughts about my process of making it. Forgive me.


1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1 green chili of spicy variety, finely chopped (Anaheim, jalapeno…)
3-4 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 can Rotel tomatoes (or fresh if you can’t get them, which I can’t)*
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp. ground chili powder**
2 tbsp. cumin**
2-ish tbsp. high heat oil**
4 cups of water** (at least 4 are needed, but have another 4 on the side to top up a bit)
salt and pepper to taste
Garnish:
2 limes
bunch of cilantro
Throw in some veggies:
2 zucchini or
1 leek or
1 c. corn or
green beans or
2 potatoes or
whatever you want to try. Mix it up.
Meat eaters can add a cup of cooked chicken breast.
(Everything varies from pot to pot. Cut it how you like–chunky or slices, etc. just not too varied in thickness.)
Heat oil in pan (or stock pot if you don’t want to clean the pan later). Stir in onion, carrots, cumin and chili powder, cook about 2 minutes. Add 4 cups water, tomatoes, chili, garlic and your veggie selections into the stock pot. Bring to boil, reduce heat and let simmer until, um, done. Which might be in less than an hour? Can’t say. I have been known to top up the pot with water (I have a kettle on the side) once all the veg are in and I see there’s room for it. Over the years I started adding more and more veggies to it, but it works fine with less.
Serve with cilantro and lime. Also you can add Monterey Jack cheese or avocado. Have some bread or even tortilla chips, why don’t you?
I usually freeze half the batch in single serve containers for future no-cook days. Sometimes I make it too spicy and just add a bit more water because there’s so much veg.
*Originally the recipe called for broth/veg stock, but I figured that since my friend added cooked chicken breast to hers and not as much veg, I was safe skipping it. No wait, I used Trocomare veg salts from Switzerland, but not much. I also had no fresh tomatoes this time so I added two whole cans of diced ones.
** I don’t measure, this is approximate.

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