Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tortilla Soup with Black Beans...

Hmm... I'm thinking we should start a "Treat of the Month Club". We just sent off another package to Jeff's niece as we've done for the last 4 months. If you've been reading for awhile, you know that we promised to send her a box each month for her first year of college!

The very first box we sent contained those crazy good Outrageous Oreo Brownies... the next were those famous Chocolate Malted M&M Cookies... the third was that sweet Smaller Batch Penuche Fudge... the fourth was that crunchy Gingerbread Popcorn and that finally brings us to what we sent this month, Butterfinger Crunch Blondies!

We first made these back in '07 when we had leftover Butterfingers from Halloween and have done them a few more times since for thank you gifts (well, and because we wanted some too!).

Tonight's dinner, Tortilla Soup with Black Beans, just goes to show you that a veggie meal can certainly be hearty, filling and comforting, without the need to add any meat. Another benefit to not needing any meat? It certainly makes the cost very reasonable to prepare it!

To get the soup running, we tossed minced garlic cloves, chili powder and smoky cumin into a heated pot with a lean layer of olive oil coating the bottom. Once those start to groove and their mesmerizing aromas drifted into my nose, we stirred in fire-roasted chunky diced tomatoes, black beans, vegetable broth, water and kernels of corn that we froze from the sweet supply gathered late last summer. Sadly, that supply of kernels is getting low... summer can't come quick enough!

Left to bubble for just a few minutes to give the ingredients a chance to meld, crushed tortilla chips are stirred into the soup - they absorb the well-seasoned liquids and begin to thicken the soup. To add a clean burst of freshness right before serving, a couple squirts of fresh lime juice are added, along with a handful of additional crushed chips for a little texture. With lots of protein and fiber from the beans, a touch of heart-healthy olive oil and generous amounts of vegetables, this combination leaves you with a satisfying soup that uses easily accessible ingredients. Feel free to use your favorite tortilla chips, but we used a baked variety just to continue with the light theme. If you'd like to mirror that smoky depth with some heat, I bet a spoonful of minced chipotle might be a sneaky way to add in a little kick!


  1. That soup is right up my alley! And by the way, I'm all for a treat of the month club. I believe I've already asked you nicely if you'd do mail order.....


  2. I would love to do a treat of the month club. I love baking and would love to send it to some family/friends.

  3. I love that you're sending Jeff's niece a package every month. I was always so happy to get mail in uni, but never so lucky as to have a box full of awesome baked goods each month!

  4. This is my favorite kind of soup.

    That's nice that you send his niece some treats. I'm very jealous of her.

  5. Yay for veggie (or vegan!) meals! That soup looks perfect for our cold MN weather lately. I hear it is supposed to be 20 is a heat wave! Whoo-hoo!


  6. Ooooo, my tummy is rumbling - and that squeeze of lime is a brilliant idea! On the menu for the weekend - thanks!

  7. Quinn - I was thinkin' of you when we made it!

    Stephanie - If you get one going, let me know the details!

    Brilynn - We thought it would be something fun for her to look forward to!

    Emily - I just hope she is able to enjoy them!

    Courtney - So true... though, with the rough wind outside, it doesn't feel much warmer!

    Katrina - Thanks!