¿En el humor para la sopa?

26 Oct

That’s Spanish for “in the mood for some soup?” I am! More on that in a bit…

About six months after Brady was born (June 2001), my husband and I decided to make a serious effort to lose the baby weight. My father-in-law had just joined a program through work that included Weight Watchers. To help support him in his endeavor, and to lose weight ourselves, we decided to follow the diet and exercise program without the meetings. We measured our foods, we counted points, and we walked every day with the kids in the stroller. It worked. Both of us lost about 30 pounds in six months! (Sadly, we both put weight back on when baby number three came along.)

In the Weight Watchers program, most vegetables are zero points. This is the key to losing weight on this program. Tons of vegetables means a full belly without using up all your daily points. One of the most filling and satisfying ways to eat vegetables is in soup. So we ate soup. Lots of soup. I would make it for dinner one night and the next day we would both eat the leftovers for lunch. Then the day after that, I’d make another kind of soup for dinner and we’d eat the leftovers for lunch the next day.

I have tons of recipes for every kind of soup imaginable, but there’s one that was always there to save our butts when we didn’t leave ourselves enough points for a big dinner. One day, way back then, I started throwing all kinds of vegetables into a big soup pot with broth. Then I started adding seasonings and came up with a zero point Taco Soup. It was delicious! Lately, I’ve been wishing I had soup in my fridge ready for me to warm up for lunch. Last night, I decided to make a pot of the Taco Soup. Once I got started, I changed things a bit and I think the end result is even better than the original. (It’s now about one-and-a-half points per cup instead of zero, if you happen to be a points counter.) The recipe makes 12 cups but can easily be halved.

I served this for dinner last night and will be devouring it for lunch today. The homemade tortilla chips and chopped cilantro on top are the perfect garnish.

Tortilla Soup
makes 12 cups

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup shredded or sliced carrots
1 large onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small zucchini, shredded or diced
1 cup shredded cabbage
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
3 cups frozen corn kernels
1 tablespoon Bob’s Cajun Spice Mix (see October 22 post)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
tortilla chips for garnish

In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onions, green pepper and garlic and saute until carrots are just tender. Add zucchini and cabbage. Stir in the vegetable broth, water and tomato paste until the tomato paste dissolves into the soup. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in the diced tomatoes, corn, Bob’s Cajun Spice Mix and cumin. Continue to simmer for 5 more minutes. Add the black beans and lime juice and stir until beans are heated through. Stir in the cilantro, reserving a tablespoon or two for garnishing. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. You can also add more of Bob’s Cajun Spice Mix if you want to heat it up even more.

Serve hot with crushed tortilla chips and cilantro on top. Enjoy!

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