Spicy Vegetable Soup with Corn Tortillas
This flavorful soup was inspired by my time in South Miami where everything seems to be hot, hot, hot...the food, the fashion, the people. This makes a great start to a hearty feast.
extra virgin olive oil
3-4 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, split lengthwise, seeds removed, thinly sliced
1 carrot, diced
1 yellow summer squash, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
4-6 fresh plum tomatoes, diced, do not peel or seed
1 cup cooked chickpeas
4 cups spring or filtered water
4-6 soft corn tortillas
3-4 sprigs fresh basil, leaves removed, finely shredded, for garnish
Place a small amount of oil, garlic and onion in a soup pot and turn heat to medium. When the onions begin to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and saute for 1 minute. Stir in jalapeno slices and carrot, another pinch of salt and saute for 1 minute.
Add yellow squash and zucchini, another pinch of salt and saute for 1 minute. Finally, stir in tomatoes and chickpeas. Add water, cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and simmer 5-7 minutes more
When the soup is nearly ready, place about 2-inch avocado or light olive oil in a deep skillet, over medium heat. Slice the tortillas into wedges--8 per tortilla. When the oil is hot, fry the tortillas until golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Drain on paper and repeat until all tortilla pieces are used. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
To serve, stir basil into soup and ladle into individual bowls. You may top the soup with a handful of tortilla chips or serve them on the side. Makes 5-6 servings.