September 6, 2009

Tortilla Soup

My tomatoes are slowly ripening, and so I decided to make use of some of them in this simple soup (or I'm in denial about it apparently being fall in Maine).

Is there a theory on why Mexican food is spicy? Does the heat of peppers, sweat breaking out across your brow, your lips starting to tingle actually cool you down in a hot climate? Here, you can see how I slow roasted a serrano pepper (only one!) and some garlic.

I pureed the hot pepper and sweet roasted garlic with four big red and yellow tomatoes (the recipe calls for a 28-oz. of canned tomatoes, but that seems silly in September when local tomatoes are so abundant).

And after a little saute with an onion and some thickening time over the heat, it was time to garnish the soup with cubed cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, sour cream, and some crushed tortilla chips. I also added some chopped Swiss chard and cooked shredded chicken, as the Joy of Cooking recommended to 'hearty' up my soup.

If you like to cook Mexican food like I do, you probably already have all these simple ingredients on hand. This soup can be served as a stand-alone dish for a weeknight dinner or as an hors d'oeuvres.