South of the Border Soup

Last night Big-P and I made some delicious, mexican inspired, tortilla-accompanied soup. I hesitate to call it tortilla soup as we left out a few key ingredients that seem to be ubiquitous when making tortilla soup (green chillies for example). After reading all about tortilla soup in the comments on my last entry and over at all recipes I decided to just absorb the ideas and then go free-style in the kitchen with whatever I had in the pantry. The result was extremely pleasing, especially on a cold and rainy old Autumn night. I’ve called it South of the Border Soup… because that’s where we live unless you happen to live in Tasmania, then you should rename it North of the Border Soup. As it’s all made up feel free to replace any of the ingredients with anything else, and also feel free to use some of that weird hominy stuff if you are so inclined.

Ingredients
blob of butter or olive oil for frying
1 onion chopped
1 clove of garlic chopped
1 stalk of celery chopped
1 can of crushed tomatoes
1 can of 3 bean mix
1 can of chicken consommé (broth)
1 small can of creamed corn
pinch of cayenne pepper (more if you like it hot)
pinch of cumin
pinch of dried oregano
pinch of dried basil
slices of avocado, grated cheese, sour cream, squeeze of lemon and tortilla chips (about one cut up per person) fried in olive oil for garnish

Method
Fry the onion, garlic, celery and spices gently in the oil or butter until onion is soft. Add the tin of tomatoes and cook until bubbling. Add the can of beans and the can of creamed corn. Cook until nice and bubbly and then blend with a hand blender. Add chicken consommé and let it heat through. While this is warming up fry up your tortilla bits in olive oil until they are brown and puffy. Serve in big bowls with slices of avocado, cheese, cream and tortilla chips floating on top. We added a squeeze of lemon juice at the end, but lime would have been better.

In more prepared circumstances I might have added some bite sized bits of chicken. I am sure a vegetarian style soup would be just as good if you replaced the chicken stock with vegetable stock. Make plenty of the tortilla chips as they are really good to munch on.