Archive | Soup RSS feed for this section

Tortilla Soup or ‘Sopa Azteca’

22 Jan

IMG_8909

This soup isn’t bold and strong but rather mild and delicate, but I promise that after your third or fourth mouthful you’ll be absolutely loving it. There are a few ingredients in this soup that may be quite hard to find in some places – in particular, the pasilla chillies which are typically used to enhance the fragrance and texture of the soup. But it doesn’t matter if you don’t have them. Nor does it matter if you don’t have any enchilada sauce to add. It is nice the way I make it but if you conduct a basic google search for tortilla soup you will soon see that there are literally hundreds of different versions of this soup. It’s just the basic idea that I love. I’ve put a note on substitutions and variations on the theme at the bottom of this recipe.

Here’s what you’ll need

Serves 6 as an entree or 4 as a main

1 cup vegetable oil

6 small corn tortillas

1 dried pasilla chilli, stem and seeds removed, sliced

1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 litre chicken stock

1 small chicken breast or 6 chicken tenders

1 cup enchilada sauce

1 ripe avocado, diced

4 radishes, thinly sliced

1 tablespoons or around 50 grams mild crumbly feta, crumbled

1 lime, quartered

Steps…

1. Heat oil in a medium sized saucepan to a good frying temperature – around 185 celsius, 365 fahrenheit

2. Cut tortillas into 1 inch strips and fry in the hot oil. Drain on paper towel or in a colander. Set aside.

3. Tip out most of the oil except about 2 tablespoons. Fry the pasilla chillies for about 20 seconds. Drain on paper towel and when cooled crumble the chillies slightly to break them up. Set aside.

4. Gently fry the onion and garlic in the oil until translucent. Add chicken stock and enchilada sauce along with chicken. Simmer on low heat until chicken is cooked through – 10-20 minutes. Remove chicken from broth and shred or cut into pieces.

5. To serve, you can either put out all of the garnishes and let people serve themselves at the table, or divide the tortilla strips between shallow bowls and top with a small amount of each garnish. Pour two or three ladles of hot soup into the bowl and enjoy!

Substitutions…

Use mild cheddar instead of the feta. It goes melty and delicious. If you have a local deli that sells queso fresco – this is traditional and delicious.

Cooked black beans, kidney beans, or even leftover re-fried beans are tasty and could replace the chicken.

Any vegetable can be added to the soup – chayote/choko, capsicum, potato, zucchini or squash are all nice.

A sprinkle of cayenne pepper instead of the pasilla chilli would be fine if you don’t have a Mexican importer nearby.

Any other suggestions? Add them in the comments section! 

Advertisements

Enchilada Sauce! WHO CAN? MEXICAN!

22 Jan

IMG_8871

I made this recently for family. We used it in both the first and second courses of a Mexican feast – a ladle full added to chicken broth to liven-up Sopa de Tortilla and smothered over pulled pork stuffed tortillas, sprinkled with cheese and cooked under a hot grill to make super tasty Enchiladas. You can also hike up the heat factor in this sauce and bottle it as a hot condiment for all manner of dishes and snacks – on eggs, added to fresh salsa/pico de gallo, on steaks

. It keeps for ages in a sterilised jar in the fridge.

Here’s what you’ll need…

… to make about 1 litre of sauce…

Around 500 grams fresh, ripe tomatoes (any variety), roughly chopped

Two small onions, roughly chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled

3-4 sprigs thyme, or coriander with roots attached

1/2 cup water

salt

1/2 – 1 whole habañero chilli**

75 grams butter

** These chillies are the dark red and bright yellow ones pictured above. They are EXTREMELY HOT and have a delicious sweet, nutty flavour. Be warned – wear gloves while handling these chillies and if you are not used to spicy food, perhaps you could make the sauce with a milder variety (like the others pictured) or some mild chilli powder.

IMG_8878Here’s what you do…

It’s dead easy… Put all the ingredients except the butter in a blender or food processor and blend until very smooth (1-2 minutes).

Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan until very hot and frothy.

Pour the contents of the blender into the pan – be careful as it may splutter a little. Stir butter and sauce together, reduce heat and simmer slowly, uncovered, for about 30-40 minutes. The consistency you are after is about the same as store bought tomato passata.

IMG_8880

IMG_8881

IMG_8883

IMG_8887

two4six8! Who do we appreciate!?! 😉

WAYS TO EAT IT…

1) Use it as a base for quesadillas – smear some on a tortilla, top with cheese and another tortilla, pan-fry both sides. Serve with sour cream and guacamole. Add some fried chorizo or grilled veg. Drool.

2) Put it on toast with cheese and grill it after a night out!

3) Shred the meat of a rotisserie chicken, mix some of this sauce through it and use it as a stuffing for enchiladas, burritos, chimichangas, flautas etc.

4) Serve it as a sauce with tacos.

5) My favourite… Put a ladle full in some chicken broth for Sopa de Tortillas.

6) Freeze it and dream up something yummy…

Any other suggestions? Please share in the comments section 🙂

Spicy Korean Style Beef and Octopus Soup

19 Jun

two4six8!

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve blogged. Here’s a a yummy winter soup to make up for lost time! The hot bean paste in this recipe is sold in all good Asian grocers, but if you can’t find it, just use cayenne pepper or regular chilli powder. If you don’t have mirin, use dry sherry. This soup is tangy, spicy, beefy and I just love loading it with crunchy bean sprouts just before the end. Bean thread noodles are nice in this soup but don’t add them to the pot as they can overcook and break into little pieces and disappear (especially if you reheat leftovers later). This soup is just as nice with chicken and it’s much quicker obviously. When I was a uni student I ate it with no meat, just veggies and an egg poached in the spicy broth.

Oh and one more thing – if you skip the stock and reduce the quantity of water in this recipe by two thirds you can make a thick stew instead of soup, to eat with hot rice and kim-chi.

You’ll need…

500-600 grams skirt steak, cut on a diagonal, against the grain, into one inch pieces

6-8 baby octopus, roughly chopped up into 3 or 4 pieces (this ingredient is optional)

2 litres water, chicken or beef stock (a couple of stock cubes will do – and I use them all the time although I know they’re awful)

2 tbsps tomato paste

1 tbsp hot bean paste

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 large onion, sliced

1 carrot, sliced

1 1/2 cm slice ginger

2 tbsps mirin, dry sherry or dry white wine

2 tsps sugar

1 tbsp soy sauce

lots of cracked black pepper

a few slices dried mushrooms

A large handful bean sprouts

5-6 spring onions, sliced into 2 inch pieces

sesame oil to finish

Some sliced snow peas, button mushrooms or cabbage.

Here’s what you do…

Fry the beef in a little oil until well browned (you can do this in batches – I find it quicker that way) in a large, heavy saucepan. When all the beef is well coloured, add the onion, garlic, ginger, dried mushrooms, carrot and all other ingredients. Don’t add the bean sprouts and spring onions yet. Simmer over low-medium heat for about an hour or a little more until the beef and octopus are tender.

A couple of minutes before serving (or you can do it at the table when you serve) add the bean sprouts and spring onions. You can have fresh chives or coriander too and a few drops of sesame oil. Be careful not to eat the piece of ginger!