Monday, February 20, 2012

Soup (episode I don't know which one--I've lost track).

Tonight, for dinner, tortilla soup, vegetarian style. This soup would have occurred last night except for the fact that I had elided, like, four critical ingredients when I was at the store. But that's okay. I scrounged another dinner out of stuff we had/I had recently bought. So I won the kitchen derby on Sunday night, and went on to hit it out of the park on Monday night, tonight: score!

Tortilla Soup.

Take your corn tortillas, about eight of them. Lay them neatly upon one another on the counter or cutting board, if you're tidy like that. Slice them into thin little ribbons, or "matchsticks," as the fancy cooking wizards say. Toss them with olive oil and salt them. Put them on a baking sheet into a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or so, until they are crispy but not scorched. Remove them from the oven and try not to eat them all, because they are delicious but you will need them later.

At the same time, especially if you are a multi-tasking genius, take about 20 (why 20? I don't know. It's a good number. A lot of good things ring in at 20: 20 years old; 20 dollar bill; 20th century had some good things in it, like rockets, robots, the internet and the Beatles; etc. I'm sure you can think of other instances of the goodness of the number twenty--) cherry tomatoes and slice them in half, toss in a little olive oil and salt, and roast them till they shrivel up a little. This might take 40 minutes, so it's probably a good idea to be roasting the tomatoes and toasting the tortillas at the same time. You don't have to take my advice here, but I think you might as well, because, you know, time is money, time's a-wastin', [insert other homey advice/adages about time here].

[NOTE: The above are accoutrements. They are garnishes that are essential to the character of the soup. There are a couple of other garnishes (see below), also essential, but they don't take any preparation. They take purchasing. Which I did, today, but not yesterday. But: sufficient unto the day itself is the garnishing of the soup! Check it, it's in the Bible.]

Now we're at the actual soup. Luckily, it is easy as pie. Easier, way easier. Pie is difficult. But this soup: easy.

Dice up an onion and mince three garlic cloves. Saute in some olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add one can of crushed or diced tomatoes, along with 1 t. cumin, 2 t. ground coriander, and 1 t. cayenne--yes, cayenne!--pepper. Let this cook for five minutes. Then add one cup of broth--I'm going to recommend, yet again, the vegetarian bouillon cube as an essential pantry item--and blend all of this in your blender. Return this to the pan, add 5 more cups of broth, and simmer for a bit.

To serve:

Put some cherry tomatoes in the bottom of the bowl, along with a few julienned sun-dried tomatoes, and a slice of goat cheese, crumbled. Ladle the soup over. Strew a fantastic amount of the crispy tortilla ribbons on top, and eat it right away.

A salad, either green or fruit, would not go amiss.


2 comments:

Dr Write said...

More soup! But really this would be easier if you would just come over and make it.

Ann said...

You talking about food = my personal happiness. Why don't you have Ruth Reichl's job?

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