I love this recipe from Noble Pig! There are so many great things about it. It is not your typical tortilla soup, or at least not the typical soup I've ordered at many a Mexican restaurant in Texas. For one thing, it is vegan and gluten free! (Note: Apparently some Vegetable Broths are gluten free and some are not, so it depends on what kind you buy.) For another thing, it is very customizable depending on how much time you have to prepare it. You could use all fresh vegetables you prepared yourself or use canned or frozen veggies, or a mix of both, which is what I did. 

Use the link above for the exact recipe, I will just give you a few tips and possible substitutions.
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I started with fresh poblano peppers. If you would rather not roast the peppers yourself you could use a drained can or 2 of mild green chiles. Roasting the peppers is really easy though and makes your home smell amazing for the rest of the day! The peppers are very mild, too. So don't be afraid to try something new and roast them yourself. 
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While these guys are cooling down, you can make your own crispy tortillas for the soup! Alternatively, you could use plain old Fritos. And I admit after I ran out of the baked tortillas, I used Fritos with the rest of the soup leftovers, and it was still super delish. The recipe called for cutting up 6 tortillas into strips. I ran out of these strips long before I ran out of the soup which makes about 8 servings. So next time, I will cut up 8-10 tortillas and add more cumin and vegetable oil to the strips.
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Now for the soup itself! I used frozen corn instead of fresh corn, canned diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, garlic and onion. If you wanted, you could roast and dice your own tomatoes, make your own vegetable broth, and heck even bake your own corn tortillas! One recommendation: I think crushed tomatoes would have made the soup more tomato-ey and a more appetizing color. With the diced tomatoes I used, the soup was not as red as it is in the Noble Pig pictures, and you couldn't taste the tomatoes as much as I would like. But it was still surprisingly delicious! 
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Cilantro and lime are a must. If you are one of those lunatics who hates cilantro, than just keep on browsing because this recipe is not for you. I think the cilantro really pulls all the flavors together and is an essential topping, unlike avocado. I love avocados, and bought two as the recipe demands. I don't know why I bought them because they were rock hard and obviously not ripe, but I was swayed by the dream of creamy avocado goodness and could not resist. To my dismay, the avocados did not ripen in the 4 hours before dinner was ready. But still, I was insistent on eating them, how bad can an unripe avocado be? Horrible! Don't ever try it! It was like chalky wax and I had to spit it out. So, even if you can't find a good avocado this soup is still very very tasty. Enjoy!

UPDATE: I made this soup again tonight (8/20/2010) with fresh corn cut off the cob. Oh...my....goodness, it is so much better. Just wanted to share that with you!

UPDATED UPDATE: Yesterday (9/13/2010) I made this soup with the Fire Roasted crushed tomatoes specified in the Noble Pig recipe (This brand can be found at Whole Foods). Who knew different brands of diced tomatoes could make such a big difference, but they do! The resulting soup was a much more appetizing red color, and the broth was tangier. Also, poblanos are usually pretty mild, but for some reason my hands are still burning today from handling the roasted peppers. So if you are super sensitive to spicy foods, I would wear gloves when chopping and peeling them.
 


Sharon
06/22/2010 08:52

Wow! That looks delicious and it's vegan!! I'm going to try it.

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Matt
06/29/2010 12:09

It does look good....hmmm...maybe I will make it soon too!

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