I found this recipe in one of those little cookbooks that the grocery stores sell at the checkstands. The cookbooks that always have delicious looking food on the front cover so that you will be tempted to buy the little cookbook. Just as the candy at the checkout stand is at eye level for small children, the cookbooks are at eye level for tired people who can't figure out what to fix for dinner and the cookbook promises easy and cheap recipes. Or healthy recipes for diabetics, like this cookbook promised. I usually flip through them before making a commitment to spend my $4.95 for the little cookbooks which is probably not a good idea because then I see even more pictures of delicious looking food and wish the cookbook came with a cook to fix it all for me.
Anyway, this recipe for Tex-Mex Tomato Soup caught my eye so I shelled out my $4.95 for the cookbook. Less honest people would probably just tear the recipe out of the book and put it back on the shelf.
I made this the other night and it was rather tasty and healthy, but it does not keep well for lunch the next day, the cilantro starts to get a little too soggy and the small amount of spice from the chipotle chile pepper sauce really seems to intensify. So eat this all up the first time around. Which you could because it only has 138 calories a serving. Actually you could eat the whole pot all at once.
Here's what you need:
2 carrots, chopped or sliced.
2 ribs celery, chopped or sliced or whatever.
1 red bell pepper, chopped.
2 1/4 cups water.
1 tbsp olive oil.
1 onion, chopped. I use sweet onions in any recipe that calls for an onion. Tastes better and less crying when you are chopping.
1/4 tsp salt.
1 can (28 oz) no salt added diced tomatoes. I used tomato sauce since I hate chunks of cooked tomato in my food, but whatever. And also, why is it that the can sizes called for in recipes are never the same size as what is in the store? My tomato sauce came in a 29 oz can.
1 can (15 oz) no salt added black beans, rinsed and drained. Again, my beans come in a 14.5 oz can.
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped. Cilantro leaves are a pain in the you know what to chop.
2 tbsp chipotle chile pepper sauce. I had no idea what this was so this is what I used and who knows if it's the right thing or not but it tasted okay.
Juice of one small lime. I almost forgot this part and remembered to add it after I started pouring the soup into bowls. So I had to dump the soup back in the pot to add the lime juice.
Tortilla chips or strips or whatever for on the side if you are so inclined.
Sour cream (fat free! this is a healthy heart recipe, remember?) for on top of your soup, again if you are so inclined.
Okay, here is how you make the soup now that you've got all the ingredients.
Place carrots, celery, and bell pepper in a small microwaveable bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the water, cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 5 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Warm oil in stockpot over medium heat, add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the steamed vegetables and salt and saute for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are slightly caramelized which I have no idea what this is so I just sauteed for 5 minutes or so.
Add the tomatoes (with juice) or tomato sauce and remaining 2 cups water. Stir in beans, cilantro, and chipotle sauce. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook 25-30 minutes. ADD LIME JUICE DON'T FORGET AND START POURING OUT THE SOUP AND THEN HAVE TO PUT IT BACK IN THE POT!
The recipe says to divide between 6 bowls and put (fat free of course) sour cream on top and serve with tortilla chips or strips on the side. Since there were only two of us I just filled up two big soup bowls and there was enough left over for two more big soup bowls but like I said this doesn't keep well. Soggy cilantro.