We’ve had some really intense wind storms around these parts lately. I live near the Columbia River Gorge, which is a beautiful area with large hills on either side of a huge river. It has wonderful hiking trails and is green and lush at all times of the year, but it also acts as a giant wind funnel that brings pummeling winds over from eastern Oregon to the western part where I live. The temperature has also dropped down to wintery levels, making for an especially cold start to winter. Every time I open the door I’m blasted with a gust of icy air, which basically makes me want to stay inside my warm house with my bathrobe on all the time. I’ve been trying to make stews and soup on the regular lately to combat the cold winds whipping through the cracks of my old house, and so far it’s working pretty well. Work has also been crazy, all the food companies I work with want their recipes developed in time for the holidays so I’ve been cooking and shooting like a mad woman.
- 1 15 ounce can white hominy
- 1 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes, or 2 cup diced fresh tomatoes
- 2 large radishes thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 avocado
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried ancho chile powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried chipotle chile powder
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Quarter the lime. Stack the tortillas; cut in half, then into ½-inch-wide strips. Peel and small dice the onion. Peel and mince the garlic. Drain and rinse the hominy. Pit, peel and medium dice the avocado; toss withthe juice of 1 lime wedge to prevent browning. Trim off and discard the stem ends of the radishes; very thinly slice the radishes into rounds. Crumble the queso fresco. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems; discard the stems and thinly slice the leaves.
Place the tortilla strips on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to thoroughly coat. Arrange in a single, even layer and bake, stirring halfway through, 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; immediately season with salt.
While the tortilla strips bake, in a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion, garlic and spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.
To the pot of aromatics, add the crushed tomatoes, hominy and 2 cups of water; season with salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until thickened and slightly reduced in volume. Turn off the heat and stir in the juice of the remaining lime wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place some of the baked tortilla strips, avocado, radishes and queso fresco in 2 bowls. Divide the broth between the bowls. Top with the remaining baked tortilla strips, avocado, radishes and queso fresco. Garnish with the cilantro. I hope you enjoy this recipe for tortilla soup as much as I did!