Spicy Summer Soup

My grandma used to say she and her sisters would drink hot coffee in the summer to cool off, because after she finished her cup the heat would feel positively pleasant. Spicy summer soup is kind of the same idea. This soup is delicious, but the original recipe required some tinkering. First of all, I used beef stock instead of vegetable stock, which gave the soup a lot more substantial flavor. I also doubled the amount of stock, because at first the broth barely covered the veggies. I substituted garbanzo beans for pinto beans (because I didn’t have any pinto beans; they would have been great). And unfortunately, the bundle of cilantro I had in mind for the recipe went bad before I could use it, so I had to do without.

By the way: rotten cilantro is smelly and leaks a brown, viscous fluid. So use that stuff up quickly.Ingredients:

-4 cups beef stock

-2 tbsp olive oil

-1 large onion, diced

-1 clove garlic, minced

-1 diced bell pepper, chopped

-1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced

-1 tomato, chopped

-1 can black beans, drained

-1 can pinto beans, drained

-1 jalapeno pepper, chopped very fine

-Lime juice

-1 bundle fresh cilantro

-Spices: cumin, tumeric, salt

Optional (but highly suggested) garnish:

-Avocado slices

-Tortilla chips

-Sliced limes

-Purple cabbage

First, boil water for the beef stock. While the water heats up, chop the tomatoes, pepper, mushrooms, jalapeno pepper, and onion. By the time the stock is ready, you should be finished with your prep.

I like to keep my vegetables fairly large for soups. Those bad boys on the side are jalapenos. If you’re making two different levels of spiciness, keep you jalapenos away from the rest of your vegetables.

Next, heat oil in a large saucepan. Saute garlic and onions, until onions become translucent.

(keep pushing them around so you don’t burn the bottom of your pan).

Add beans, mushrooms, cumin, tumeric, and bell pepper. Cook until vegetables become tender, about 3 minutes. 

Add tomatoes, stock, salt, lime juice, and cilantro.

At this point, I transferred some of the soup into a smaller pot, and added the jalapeno peppers to the big pot.

Cover both pots with good-fitting lids and bring to a boil, then let simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Serve with lime, tortilla chips, more cilantro, avocado slices, and purple cabbage. Or, just enjoy as is.

And of course, because there were two layers of spiciness, I labeled the containers before putting them in the fridge, so my family would know which was which.

I think they got the picture.

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