I love cool weather foods, but they don’t have to be unhealthy!
I adore autumn with the crisp air, crunchy, colorful leaves, wearing a new pink motorcycle jacket (I know!), and the comfort of a hot soup.
I stopped by the farmer’s market at Grove Path Plaza in Jersey City this week and picked up a big bag of soft tomatoes. They’re usually marked down because they’re a bit too ripe and/or soft, or maybe bruised, and are perfect for sauce or soups, but not much else.
I used a fat-free half-and-half with this because I don’t want to blow out my fat macros for the day, and still have a couple of bowls. If you’re not worried about that, feel free to use whole milk or regular half-and-half.
This is a larger recipe because you’ll want a couple of bowls yourself, and if anyone is around, so will they!
2 TBSP of olive or coconut oil
7-8 large, very ripe Jersey-type tomatoes cut into quarters, or if you use roma tomatoes, you’ll need to double the number.
1 medium onion, diced
3-5 garlic cloves depending on size, chopped
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, including some of the sauce, chopped roughly. The more sauce, the smokier the flavor, but also, the spicier!
1/4 cup tomato paste or sauce, or if you have some marinara or something like that leftover in the refrigerator, you can use that, too!
4-5 soft corn tortillas, torn into 2 inch or so pieces
2-3 tsp Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute (you don’t have to use this, you can grab chili spices, or your favorite blend. I wanted to make it easy to make without buying a ton of spices, and the combination is great)
1-2 tsp Mexican or Italian oregano
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups water or broth
1.5 cups fat-free cream or milk
Heat oil over medium-low heat in a 3-4 quart pot. Saute onion in heated oil until the onion is transparent and starting to get some color around the edges. Add garlic and saute for a minute or so, not allowing the garlic to burn. Add tortillas and saute for 30 seconds or so but don’t let them get crisp or burn the other ingredients.
Add tomatoes, chipotle peppers, tomato sauce, herbs and spices, and saute together for 2-3 minutes.
Add water or broth, bring to a boil and immediately turn down to a simmer.
Simmer for 30 minutes uncovered, or until some of the broth has reduced.
Remove from heat and either blend with a stick blender until smooth right in the pot (carefully), or let cool 15-20 minutes and blend in batches in a blender. If it seems very watery, you can simmer on low for 10 more minutes until it thickens up a little, but remember, it’s a soup, not a stew, so it should not be the consistency of your Sunday Sauce.
Slowly stir in cream or milk with a whisk, making sure to keep it moving so it doesn’t curdle.
Salt and pepper to taste and if necessary, re-heat on low heat.
Serve over sliced avocado and tortilla strips if you like.