Whenever I get discouraged in the middle of the dark, cold winter, I like to cook a dish that reminds me of summer. This one fits the bill perfectly.
There are many different types of sopa de lima recipes out there, but this one is one of the easiest ones I've seen. It's also healthy and, if not laughably cheap, at least relatively inexpensive to make. I hope it reminds you that summer is just a few months away!
Sopa de Lima
(adapted from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant)
3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
1-2 medium onions, chopped coarsely
4-6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
black pepper to taste
1-2 fresh jalapeno peppers, chopped finely
3-4 medium tomatoes, chopped (roughly 4 cups)
3 cups vegetable stock (see here for a stock recipe)
Grated Monterey Jack cheese and cilantro, both optional.
1) In a large pot, saute the onions, garlic and spices in the olive oil for 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Add the jalapenos and saute for another 5 minutes or so.
2) Add the chopped tomatoes, cover the pot and cook on medium, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes begin to release their juices, perhaps 10 minutes or so (depending on the tomatoes).
3) Add the stock, bring everything to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the lime juice and serve immediately. Garnish with optional Monterey Jack cheese and cilantro.
A few recipe notes:
1) This is a highly scalable recipe--a great recipe to cook for a dinner party or any large group. A double or triple batch of this soup could be made in under an hour.
2) A word on potential recipe modifications: If you want to add even more heat to your soup, you have a few options: You can add the jalapenos to the pot when you first start sauteing (sauteing them longer in oil will release more of their heat). You can also use a hotter chili instead of the jalapenos (say Serrano peppers, or if you're completely insane, bhut jolokia peppers). Of course the easiest option is to leave a bottle of Tabasco on the table and let people choose their own heat.
3) One more modification idea: You can also certainly add meat to this soup. Chorizo or other sausages, chicken or leftover roast turkey--any of these would complement this soup.
4) I highly recommend making homemade corn tortilla chips an accompanying side dish. You can even use crumbled tortilla chips as a garnish for this soup, by crumbling a few chips right over the top of each bowl. The two foods go together perfectly.
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