Forgive the title, I did at least restrain myself on the ! front.
This is a great supper if you feel like a Mexican hit, but without any heaviness or cheese. It is essentially a tomato based soup with chilli and cumin, topped with tortilla chips, avocado and lots of lovely coriander. Light but packed with flavour, I added chicken, but it would be just as good without. Or with some fresh prawns, or even firm white fish.
The recipe it self is based on ones I found in Mexican Food Made Simple, by Tomasina Miers, and Lighten Up by Jill Depleix, with some tweaking to fit what I actually had in the pantry.
makes three generous portions
1 red onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
Squeeze of tomato paste if you have it
1 small tin crushed tomatoes
4 small ripe tomatoes, chopped (or another small can if you don't have any fresh)
Half a chopped fresh red or green chilli, or a large pinch of chilli flakes
2-3tsp sauce from a tin of chipotle chillies (optional but adds wonderful flavour)
1.2 litres chicken or vegetable stock
1 skinless chicken breast if using, finely sliced, or fresh prawns
Put the oil into a medium saucepan, and add the onions. Cook over a medium-low heat until the onions are soft, then add the chopped garlic. Cook for a further two minutes, then stir in the cumin, tomato paste, oregano, tomatoes and chilli . Pour over the stock and stir it all together. Bring to a gentle simmer, and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the chicken if you are using it and cook a further 10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. If you are using prawns only cook for 4-5 minutes or they will become tough. Check the seasoning and spoon into bowls. Add plenty of the following toppings to taste
Handful corn chips or baked fresh corn tortillas
Fresh red chilli, finely sliced
Avocado, peeled and diced
Squeeze of lime
Slivers of red onion
Lots of fresh coriander
This is such a great supper, filling but not heavy or greasy, even my nephew was satisfied, and he can eat like only a sporty 20 year old can....Who am I kidding, I can eat like a sporty 20 year old too, just seems I have forgotten the sporty bit...I do have it on good authority I was 20 once at least.
The chipotle chillis (actually jalapenos which have been smoked) are spicy and smokey and well worth including. I always find far to many in a can, so I fresh them in little ice cubes, and use them as needed. They defrost perfectly, just don't plop one into your drink by mistake.....
I also freeze fresh corn tortillas, these I defrost as needed, brush lightly with oil and pop into a 170C oven for about 5 minutes to crisp up. This is a great alternative to frying, and unlike a lot of brought corn chips has no weird flavourings.
For more Mexican ideas go here