Whoops (+ soup)

I totally skipped out on posting yesterday. What can I say? This crazy life got in the way. Not a great excuse, but it's the only one I've got. Hope you have a fabulous Tuesday while I was away. Thought I would share a pretty delicious and quite wholesome vegetarian tortilla soup that I made on Sunday. (It save wonderfully, I just had a bowl of the leftovers as my dinner tonight).

I used Heidi Swanson's recipe from 101 Cookbooks with just a few changes (because that's how I do). It's warm and cozy and wholesome. I would recommend it but if I"m being 100% honest I did kiiiiind of miss the chicken a wee bit. That being said, it's a relatively simple recipe (although it does kind of take while) and teh end result is definitely tasty.

6-8 corn tortillas, cut in half and then into matchstick-thin strips
a big splash of extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
20 small yellow or red cherry tomatoes
another splash of extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large white onion, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne or other spicy red chili powder
1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
6 cups vegetable broth (or water, or a combo)
1/2 cup quick cooking brown rice
bag of spinach cheese and cilantro for garnish

Gently toss the tortilla strips with a glug of olive oil and salt. Turn them out onto a baking sheet, arrange them across the pan and bake in a 350F degree oven for 10 minutes or until golden and crispy. Set aside.

Halve (or quarter) the tomatoes lengthwise and put them in a small roasting pan, oven proof dish, or rimmed baking sheet. Toss with a bit of olive oil and a pinch or two of salt. Bake in a 350F degree oven for 40-45 minutes (less time if you use smaller cherry tomatoes), or until the tomatoes are shrunken and golden around the edges. The tomatoes keep nicely in a jar for days (refrigerated), so you can do this part in advance if you like. Set aside.

Now for the soup itself - in a big pot over medium-high heat cook the garlic and onions in a splash of olive oil along with a couple pinches of salt for just a minute or so. Stir in the spices and then the tomatoes. Cook down for about five minutes or so, it should thicken a bit. Remove from heat, add one cup of the broth and puree with a hand blender (or puree in a traditional blender). Add the remaining 5 cups of broth and puree until smooth. Add the brown rice and a few minutes before it's done add spinach.

Serve the individual bowls topped with plenty of tortilla strips, the roasted tomatoes, cheese (I used shredded pepper jack) and cilantro.

I wish I could send each of you a cosmic bowl of this warm comfort. XO