Baja-Style Tortilla Vegetable Soup
Garnished with Avocado, Lime, Serrano, Cilantro
This soup recipe came about from a trip we took to Mexico years ago. It's evolved over the years, the original recipe was made simply with chicken broth and only onion and anaheim chile. I think the current vegetarian incarnation is really flavorful, authentic tasting, and healthy too!
Sauté chopped onion, celery, and carrots in olive oil until softened. Then add finely chopped chiles (serrano or the milder anaheim) and minced garlic, stirring and cook about 5 more minutes. Add ground cumin and dried Mexican oregano, these herbs are important for the authentic flavor. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
Corn tortillas are cut into strips then fried in canola oil. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. The corn tortillas contain no cholesterol and no lard. The fried tortillas are a key component, a bag of tortilla chips is an unworthy substitute!
Then add a good amount of shredded cabbage to the soup, and cook until the cabbage is just softened (don't over cook).
Lastly, add peeled seeded tomatoes to the soup and turn off the heat. Add a small amount of salt if necessary. Add the juice of one lime. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with tortilla strips, diced avocado, cilantro leaves, lime quarters, and thinly sliced serrano peppers.