I can't lie about the fact I am slightly excited about Fall being around.
I think it's the season that has life the hardest - it immediately follows everyone's beloved summer, it gives shorter days, and it means you can't walk around in your bathing suit top at 9pm because you're SO HOT. It's easy to hate on Fall.
However, somewhere between your first pumpkin spiced latte and smelling fresh chimney spoke, you succumb to the idea that Fall can't be too bad. Longer, dark nights to hunker down and not feel bad about watching It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia on repeat? Jumbo pumpkin cookies? 80's style Halloween parties?
Poor Fall - it spends half it's days trying it's damdest to awaken your senses to its glory, and then when we do, it's just about winter.
It's cold season around here - it seems like everywhere I go, there's someone fighting or getting over one. Including our household. We crossed our fingers, hoping it was just allergies, it will work out in the morning. But no, this girls has got a full-on stuffed nose with a sore throat that nothing but soup can soothe.
Hence, Fall's Vegetarian Tortilla Soup made it's way onto our stove this evening, and thank goodness for that. True, Fall may bring a few more germs, but if you get a gastronomical treat like this in exchange, it's allll goooood.
Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
adapted from Epicurious
1 small white onion, diced
1 heaping tablespoon garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon taco seasoning
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 quart vegetarian broth
1 cup black beans
1 head broccoli, cute into bite-sized pieces
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 cup frozen corn
3 tablespoons diced jalapenos
6 six-inch corn tortillas, sliced into 1/2 strips
cilantro, for garnish
S&P, to taste
1. In a dutch oven or large soup pot, soften the onion and garlic in Pam over medium heat for about 3 minutes; stir in 1/2 cup broth, the tomato paste, the cumin, and the taco seasoning.
2. Add broth, black beans, broccoli, tomatoes with juice, corn and jalapenos. At this point, I also added 2 tomato can-fulls of hot tap water so I can get more broth. More broth = happy (un)sore throat. Crank the heat up to a boil; once it boils, turn back down to medium until the broccoli are soft; about 5 minutes.
**A note here about the fire-roasted tomatoes - you can use any kind of tomato you wish, but I strongly recommend these bad boys. They contribute so much more flavor, but not in a selfish, all-eyes-on-me way. Subtle, roasted flava. Get 'em. Try 'em. Stick with 'em or not.
3. Once the broccoli are tender, add in the tortilla strips. Give the pot a quick stir to ensure all the strips get dunked in, and let cook a few minute more until the tortillas are soft.
4. Once soft, sprinkle in some S&P and ladle into mixing bowls. Garnish with cilantro and add some of your favorite hot sauce. Relax, and enjoy your over-sized bowl of Fall.