Vegan Tortilla Soup

Vegan Tortilla Soup

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It has been a cold and rainy few days here (although today feels very balmy for late October!), so I thought I’d share a great vegan soup recipe a dear friend passed along a few years ago. I love how this soup is chock-full of veggies, but also has a depth of flavor that is sometimes harder to cultivate in a vegan soup. Like most of my soup recipes, you can edit the amount of veggies and variety of toppings (feel free to come up with some new ones and pass on your favorites!) and for those of you who aren’t actually vegan, we like a little bit of cheese sprinkled over the top. I tend to serve this soup with cornbread baked in a cast-iron skillet and straight out of the oven.

Enjoy!

Vegan Tortilla Soup
Adapted from Oh She Glows

1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1/2 c frozen yellow corn
1/2 c green onion, chopped
1 jalapeño,  seeds removed and diced
3 T cumin
1 can no salt added, diced tomatoes
2 c vegetable broth
2 T chia seeds
1 can no salt added kidney beans
salt and pepper to taste
4-5 6″ round corn tortillas
chopped avocado
cheddar cheese (if not making this a truly vegan meal)

In a 3-5 qt. soup pot, heat your olive oil. Add onion, garlic and bell pepper and sauté until just tender. Add zucchini through cumin and heat through. Add tomatoes through kidney beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, using a pizza cutter, cut your tortillas into 1/4″ strips. Place on baking sheet and spray with cooking spray on both sides. Broil in oven for 1-3 minutes depending on the intensity of your broiler and how crispy your like your tortillas.

Taste soup and season with salt and pepper. Serve with tortillas, avocado and cheese.

Serves 4-6.

Lemon Chicken and Orzo Soup

Lemon Chicken and Orzo Soup

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Lemon Chicken and Orzo Soup is a classic recipe. There are hundreds of recipes there for the taking, but this one has become our favorite. First introduced to me by my friend Becca, over time I’ve adapted and edited the soup to make it my own. The more times I’ve made it, the more refined it becomes, and the more firmly it stays among our other favorite recipes.

I love how tender the chicken becomes with poaching and you get the double benefit of fresh chicken broth. That said, if you are looking for a short cut, use store-bought chicken broth and pan fry some diced boneless-skinless chicken breasts. You’ll get a similar result in a much shorter time. Also, we like it pretty spicy, so I generously coat the chicken with spices before poaching it; however, if you like things a little milder, cut back there just a bit–you can always add more later. Finally, this one is especially kid friendly! I’ve been serving it to our daughter since she was 9 months old and, now that she’s a toddler, she loves feeding herself all the pieces of orzo, chicken, and carrot. It is a surefire way to get some veggies in those little bellies!

Serve with your favorite bread (we like Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins).

Lemon Chicken and Orzo Soup
Adapted from my friend Becca

1.5lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
garlic salt and pepper
8 c water
olive oil
2 c carrots, cut into rounds
1 large onion, diced
1 1/2 c celery, diced
2 t salt
1 t pepper
zest of 3 lemons
juice of 3 lemons
8 oz uncooked orzo
1/4 c fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Place chicken breasts into a large soup pot. Season liberally with garlic salt and pepper. Add water. Bring water to boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Let simmer for 30-45 minutes. When center of chicken breast reaches 165°, turn off pot. Using pair of tongs, remove chicken to plate and allow to cool. Pour water (now chicken broth) into mason jars and set aside.

Add a splash of olive oil to the soup pot (same pot you used for cooking the chicken) and turn heat to medium. Add carrot, onion, celery, salt, pepper, and lemon zest and sauté for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Add reserved chicken broth and lemon juice and bring to boil. Add orzo and cook according to package directions in your soup. When orzo has one minute left, return chicken to pot.

When orzo is done cooking, stir in parsley and serve.

Serves 6-8.