Monday, February 18

Monday's Midweek Supper: Tortilla Soup, Steamed Shrimp with Fresh Lime Margaritas!

fresh cilantro and lime add a burst of flavor
chop your vegetables before

Tamara’s Fresh Tortilla Soup
Tortilla Soup 
is a staple in Mexican cooking, 
and every home cook has their own version.  
It’s usually served as the beginning of an elaborate meal, but for our midweek quick dinners it’s the star of the show.  
My family likes is less laden down with heavy spices of cumin, and made with fresh cilantro a shot of sour cream and homemade fried corn tortillas for a whole meal experience.  Over the years I have perfected the right tonic to create this soup, and quite frankly it takes me a total of 30 minutes to prepare. Ran serves it up with fresh, frozen lime margaritas and we sometimes have a little steamed shrimp on side.  
Voila – midweek supper with style.   
I use a few shortcuts to make it delicious but not time intensive.  First and foremost time saver is I pick up an already roasted chicken for a bargain at my local butcher and shred the chicken into the soup.  Of course I use ripe avocados and good, quality shredded cheese on top with a small dollop of sour cream.  I do take a few minutes to make homemade fried strips of corn tortillas to add as well.  So, here goes and first let’s make the soup: 
the ingredients 
good quality olive oil

1 chopped  onion

4 minced cloves garlic

1 minced jalapeno pepper (take all the seeds out)

2 tsp dried oregano
6 cups rich chicken stock in the carton

3 tsp tomato paste in the tube

ripe tomatoes, but in winter use 1 large can whole tomatoes 

1 diced zucchini
all the white meat and some dark
of a cooked prepared shredded chicken, 
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro – no stems
squeeze one fresh lime

5 corn tortillas sliced in strips and fried in olive oil. 
½ cup shredded Mexican cheese:  Cotija,  Chihuahua or Monterey
1 chopped avocado with a  squeeze of lime (so it does not turn brown)
juice of a fresh lime
1 C sherry cooking wine
 Add onion, garlic, jalapeƱo and oregano in olive oil, but add the garlic the last few minutes to prevent from burning.  Stirring until onion is transculent
Add chicken stock, tomato paste, tomatoes, zucchini, shredded chicken, cilantro and lime juice. Boil for a few minutes, them simmer for 25 minutes. Add the sherry wine and the juice of a fresh squeezed lime to the pot and simmer for another 10 minutes.  In the serving soup bowls add the chopped avocado, ladel the soup with plenty of broth into each bowl, put a few tortilla strips, sprinkle of cheese and a dollop of sour cream on  top.
Note:  fry the tortilla strips in olive oil on high turning only once then draining on paper towel with a sprinkle of salt.
While the soup simmers, chop the avocado, shred the cheese.
 serve it with a wedge of fresh lime.
frozen lime Margarita 
freshly made by my hubby
simple as this:
salt the rim of a glass with kosher salt.
Mix in a blender:
1 1/2 oz  tequila
1/2 oz triple sec
1 oz rose lime juice
a squeeze from a fresh lime
 the cooking sherry added at the end, 
plus a sprinkle of the the homemade fried strips of corn tortilla
into the soup, adds unique flavoring and textures

 while the soup is simmering I cut the tortillas 
and quickly fry them, then dry on paper and lightly salt
 the soup can be made the day before,
and if so, most of the work is chopping of vegetables.  
We arrive home from a busy day at work to homemade soup, 
steam up shrimp, 
and whip together a fresh batch of Margaritas.  
It is an easy home cooked meal!
do not forget to take the seeds from the jalapeno as they can be the spiciest part
 oregano and shredded mixed cheese

Happy Nesting XO

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