Tortilla Soup with Shrimp and Avocado

Tortilla Soup with Shrimp and Avocado

This soup is incredibly good!  Plus, it’s fast to make. Perfect for a weeknight dinner. If you are in a rush, you can just skip baking the tortilla strips and just crumble some purchased tortilla chips over the top.

Tortilla Soup with Shrimp and Avocado

Tortilla Soup with Shrimp and Avocado

corn tortillas, about 12
cooking spray

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 onion, chipped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes (with juices)
8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

avocado, diced
fresh cilantro, chopped
lime, cut into wedges

Preheat oven to 400° F.  Stack the fresh corn tortillas and cut in half. Re-stack and then cut into then strips. Arrange the corn tortilla strips on a baking sheet, spray with cooking spray, and sprinkle with a little salt. Bake in the oven until golden (about 8 – 10 minutes), stirring occasionally to ensure even browning. Remove from oven and let cool.

In a soup pot, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened and starting to brown. Add the garlic and jalapeno and continue to cook for another minute or two. Stir in the ground cumin. Next, add the petite diced tomatoes and juices, broth, cayenne, Mexican oregano, and tomato paste. Stir well and bring to a boil. Once the soup has come to a boil, add the peeled and deveined shrimp and cook until the shrimp is done, about 5 minutes.

Ladle the soup into a bowl. Top with diced avocado, fresh cilantro, and a handful of the baked tortilla strips. Serve with a wedge of lime to squeeze over the soup before eating.


Avocado Citrus Salad

This is a beautiful salad.  It tastes as good as it looks.

Avocado Citrus Salad

Per two servings:
1 ripe avocado
1 grapefruit
1 navel orange
2 cups arugula
1 tablespoon olive oil

Using a knife, peel the grapefruit, making sure to also remove the pith.  Segment the sections of the grapefruit over a bowl (to catch the juice) by cutting carefully along the membranes.  Squeeze the juice from the remaining membranes into the bowl. Repeat with the navel orange. Cut the avocado in half, remove the peel and pit and then slice.  Place the arugula on a serving dish.  Arrange grapefruit segments, orange segments, and avocado over the arugula. In a small bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons of the citrus juice with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch each of salt, pepper, and sugar. Drizzle dressing over the salad and serve.

Avocado Fries

When I first saw this recipe I thought it was so off-the-wall, I just had to try it. My conclusion:  the author of this recipe was smoking something when he created it.  Honestly, I couldn’t decide if I liked the avocado fries or not.  It’s not that they are bad – they aren’t.  They are just different.  My main issue with the avocado fries was the contrast of the creaminess of the avocado with the crispiness of the Panko crust….it just didn’t work for me in this case.  My avocado may have been a tad too ripe though.  Also, I couldn’t find the right condiment to dip the avocado fries in.  I tried ranch dressing, salsa, and then ketchup.  I liked the ketchup best (but I love ketchup!) and the salsa was ok.  The ranch dressing didn’t do it for me…too much creaminess going on.  I think the chipotle ketchup that was included in the original recipe would be the best choice for the avocado fries.  I wish I would have made it.  I’m including that recipe, although I haven’t tried it.

Avocado Fries

oil for frying
2 avocados (just beginning to ripen)
1 c. flour
1 tsp. each, cumin, coriander, salt & white pepper
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1 c. panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

Heat oil to 350 degrees in deep fryer.  Cut each avocado in half,  remove seed,  quarter each half (you’ll have 8 wedges per avocado),  and gently peel skin away.  Combine flour, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper in flat bowl.  Put Panko in another flat bowl.  Lightly beat eggs and milk, and put in yet another flat bowl.  Dredge avocado slices in flour, then egg mixture, coat with Panko.  Deep fry until golden brown. Remove from oil and place on paper towels to drain. Serve with Chipotle Ketchup.
Makes 4 servings.

Chipotle Ketchup

2 tbsps. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 chiptole pepper, in adobo sauce, chopped
4 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp. Chinese Five Spice powder
1/4 c. cider vinegar
1/2 c. light brown sugar

For ketchup, heat olive oil in saucepan and saute onion and garlic for 6 minutes.  Add chipotle pepper and tomatoes, cooking over low for 5 minutes.  Add spices, vinegar and brown sugar, simmer for 8 minutes.  Puree in food processor, add salt to taste.

Avocado Cilantro Cream

avocado cilantro cream

This avocado cilantro cream is good stuff.  You can use it as you would typically use sour cream to accompany Tex-Mex dishes.  I love it on tacos, burritos, and quesadillas.  I go ahead and usually use the whole avocado when making this recipe.  It also makes a good avocado dip for tortilla chips.  It keeps well in the fridge for a few days after you make of the

Avocado Cilantro Cream

1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
1/2 cup light sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 drops (or more) of Tabasco

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Whirl until smooth.