Monthly Archives: September 2012

Comfort with a Kick: Pumpkin Tortilla Soup

Now that Fall is in full swing, we’re all craving everything pumpkin.  You don’t have to look far to find recipes for decadent pumpkin desserts, but they can cause one to “fluff up” pretty quickly if you know what I mean!  This simple Pumpkin Tortilla Soup is vegetarian, gluten-free and packed with delicious fall flavor.

Ingredients (Serves 6):

12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch of finely chopped cilantro, plus more sprigs for garnish
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (Depending how much of a kick you want!)
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
5 cups unsalted vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
Coconut oil for frying
1-2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and cubed

Preparation Instructions:

  • Cut 6 of the tortillas into 1/2-inch squares.

This soup can be prepped in under five minutes!

  • Heat oil (preferably a more stable fat like avocado or coconut oil) in a pot over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, cilantro, and chopped tortillas, stirring frequently, until onion is soft.
  • Add the cumin and cayenne and sauté for another minute.
  • Add pumpkin, tomatoes, vegetable stock, and salt and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and let simmer until you’re ready to serve.

Let the soup simmer awhile so that all the delicious flavors have time to combine!

  • While the soup is simmering, cut the remaining 6 tortillas into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Heat 1/2 inch of coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until it’s very hot, but not smoking. Fry tortilla strips in two batches until crisp and light golden (about a minute). Using a slotted spoon, transfer tortilla strips onto paper towels to drain.  Season with a little coarse sea salt if you wish.

Fry this tortillas in coconut oil, as it’s a much more stable fat and won’t lose all of its nutritional value when heated.

  • To serve, ladle soup into bowls and garnish with tortilla strips, avocado, and cilantro.

Colorful, Hearty, Spicy and Delicious!

If you want even more kick like I did, season your bowl with some habanero or Tobasco sauce.

Give this recipe a try and make it your own by switching up the seasonings or adding some dried peppers or chopped jalapeno.  It can stand on its own, or you can serve it with a side salad and chips and salsa.  The options are endless.

Happy Fall, Ya’ll!

Eating with the Seasons: Autumn

What’s not to love about fall?  From hot drinks to chilly nights to the smell of pumpkin in the air, and it’s so nice to get a break after months of oppressive Atlanta heat.  Whenever the weather changes, it’s time to start thinking about how we can incorporate seasonal produce into our cooking.  Cooler temperatures mean we can look forward to curling up to some good old comfort food!

It’s really important to think seasonally when it comes to selecting your produce at the grocery store.  You’ll get better freshness and flavor, and it will be more affordable.  So literally, you’ll get the most nutritional bang for your buck!

This may sound like a simple enough concept, but today it’s so easy for us to forget about seasons when we eat.  Modern food processing and worldwide distribution make most fruits and vegetables available year-round, and grocery store produce sections look much the same in February as they do in August.  We also tend to be creatures of habit, purchasing the exact same items every week and eating the same foods every day.  Not only does this make life boring, but it keeps us from getting the variety and nutrition our body needs.

So in the coming weeks, build your meals around all things autumn!  Turn toward more warming root vegetables, like sweet potatoes, carrots and squash.  Incorporate fresh pears, apples and figs into your salads and desserts.  Also emphasize the more warming spices and seasonings including sage, ginger, peppercorns, and mustard seeds.

Enjoy these colorful fall veggies as often as you can this fall!

Here are a few fall recipes from Cooking Light Magazine to help inspire you!

Also, check out these recipes for Sweet Potato Chili, Autumn Burst Salad, Roasted Pears with Herbed Goat Cheese, Pumpkin Raisin Bars, Walnicot Chicken Delight, Beet SaladItalian Butter Bean Soup and Apricot and Mushroom Rice Pilaf.

I hope you’re getting into the fall spirit!