Thursday, January 31, 2008

Beef Tortilla Soup

My last poll - "Which recipe from the Healthy Beef Cookbook should I feature next?" - resulted in a three-way tie between Beef Tortilla Soup, Bistro Beef Kabobs, and Pot Roast with Maple Sweet Potatoes and Cider Gravy. Poor Thai Noodles with Beef & Broccoli - it was left all alone with only one vote.

I've never had a poll result in a tie before, so I decided I will feature all three recipes. I chose Beef Tortilla Soup as the first, because soup sounded like a good antidote for today's snow storm. As mentioned above, this recipe is from the Healthy Beef Cookbook. If you love beef, have a freezer full of beef, eat beef occasionally, or even eat beef only rarely, you should buy this cookbook. I truly think everyone should own this book, even vegetarians. Because I think it might even make vegetarians want to eat beef (and no, I am not getting paid to say this . . . I think my seven readers are already beef eaters, and half of them have received the cookbook from me as a gift). But consider yourself warned, I'll probably continue to gush about this book throughout the next three features.

Without further adieu, here is the recipe:

Beef Tortilla Soup
1 pkg. refrigerated fully cooked boneless beef pot roast
1 tsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14 oz.) beef broth
1 cup frozen corn
Optional: 1 tbsp. hot sauce
Optional: 2 tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro
Optional: 1/4 c. shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
Crunchy tortilla strips (recipe to follow)

1. Heat pot roast according to directions on package, but for half the amount of time suggested. Remove beef from package, discard gravy/juice. Shred beef with 2 forks. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in a large saucepan (or small stockpot) over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 3-5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Add cumin, cook and stir one minute. Stir in beef, beans, tomatoes, broth, corn (and hot sauce, if using); bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Meanwhile, make Crunchy Tortilla Strips: Cut corn tortillas into 1/4-inch-wide strips, place in a single layer on a baking sheet and lightly mist with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 6-8 minutes at 400 degrees or until crisp.

4. Ladle soup into bowls; top each serving with cheese and tortilla strips. Garnish with cilantro, if desired (or add avocado slices if you have an avocado you need to use!).

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: Calories 405; fat 11 g; cholesterol 85 mg; fiber 10.3 g. 8 points.
This soup is an excellent source of fiber, protein, vitamins B6 and B12, iron, selenium, and zinc and is a good source of niacin.

Possible substitutions:
1. Substitute 3 cups shredded, fully cooked traditional pot roast for the packaged pot roast.
2. Substitute 2 small jalapeno peppers, seeded and thinly sliced, for the hot sauce. Cook peppers with onions and garlic.

Note: Next time, I think I'll use an additional cup of liquid - maybe more beef broth or some tomato soup or juice, or maybe a combination. Or maybe not, because it was pretty good the way it was!

Shortcut ingredients . . .

Make this soup easier to prepare than to photograph =) . . .

Note: this recipe could easily be dairy free if you omit the cheese (and it does taste good without the cheese!)

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