Spicy Shrimp Tortilla Soup.
Working my way through my stack of recipes from friends, I came across this amazing soup recipe courtesy of my friend and musical cohort, Julie Fox.
She emailed this recipe to me in August. Shame, shame, shame on me for waiting until October to make it. It’s awesome.
Spicy but full of flavor. You can control the amount of heat by adding or reducing the amout of chipotle peppers you add to your soup.
There are options for toppings as well. Chips or tortilla strips, sour cream, avacado….all good options.
And as a bonus, this soup is healthy, quick, and easy to make.
Here’s what you need:
Shrimp, Onion, Garlic, Carrot, Celery, Chipotle Chili*, Jalapeno Pepper* (optional and really not needed), Diced Tomatoes, Hominy, Vegetable Broth, Olive Oil, Chili Powder, and Cumin. Also your choice of toppings – Avocado, Parsley or Cilantro, Sour Cream (not pictured), and Tortillas or Tortilla Chips.
Tortilla soup is usually made with chicken but this recipe switches that up to use small sized Salad Shrimp instead. It really makes a difference in flavor, lightness and especially time as the shrimp cook in just minutes.
*A couple of notes about the ingredients: The main ingredient for flavor and also for spiciness is Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce. They are easy to find in the Mexican section of most grocery stores. Chipotles are smoked jalapeno peppers. They are fairly hot and spicy but you can adjust the spiciness by removing the seeds, using fewer peppers – 1 or 2 usually do the trick for me, and by adding or leaving out the adobo sauce.
I love Chipotles because they have a ton of flavor and a reasonable amount of heat. If you can’t find Chipotles, you can chop up a jalapeno pepper but you’ll be missing out on the smoky flavor. Once you have a can of Chipotles open, simply freeze the extras in a zipper bag. They don’t freeze rock hard so it’s easy to just grab them out of the freezer and break off a little hunk next time you need Chipotles.
Julie recommends serving this with Tortilla Chips. However, if you don’t have chips on hand but do have some corn tortillas, you crisp them up in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put 4 corn tortillas on a baking sheet and bake them for 10 minutes until golden brown and crunchy.
For best results, flip the tortillas over half way through the baking time. Set them aside to cool slightly then cut them into strips for the soup topping.
On to the soup!
Chop up 1 medium onion (about 1 cup), 1 stalk of celery (about 1/2 cup), 1 carrot (also about 1/2 cup), and 2-3 cloves of garlic.
Heat 1 -2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil over medium high heat in a large soup pot. Add the chopped vegetables to the pot.
Take a Chipotle Pepper out of the Adobo Sauce and slice it open to remove as many seeds as possible. Finely chop the seeded Chipotle.
If you are in doubt about the spiciness, start with 1 pepper. I used 2 very small peppers with the seeds removed and also just a little spoonful of the Adobo Sauce.
Julie tells me that if you want it even milder, you can also rinse the pepper before you chop it. This might be a good idea if you’re serving kids.
Add the chopped Chipotle to the pot of veggies and cook for 4 -5 minutes until tender but not browned.
Season with 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1 teaspoon chili powder.
When the vegetables are tender but still slightly crisp, pour in 4 cups of vegetable broth.
Add 1 (15 ounce) can of white hominy that has been drained.
Hominy is such a cool addition to this soup rather than regular old corn. Hominy was originally created as a way to preserve corn and keep it longer in storage or out on the trail. You can find hominy in the canned vegetable aisle near the corn. Hominy is the main ingredient in the Mexican Pork Stew, Posole. We will be making that sometime soon so now is your chance to get friendly with some hominy.
Add 1 (15 ounce) can of diced tomatoes with all their juices.
Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. At this point you can hold the soup and let it simmer gently until you are almost ready to eat. Like most soups and stews, the longer it simmers, the better it tastes. You could even make it ahead up to this point and reheat it before you add the remaining ingredients.
Just before you’re ready to eat, add 12 ounces of frozen Salad Shrimp. These are those small sized shrimp (but not the itty bitty tiny ones) and are usually found frozen and already fully cooked.
No need to thaw them out, just dump the frozen shrimp right in. They are so small that they cook in a flash.
Cook the soup with the shrimp for a few more minutes then remove the pot from the heat and add the juice of one lime.
Just look at all the good things in this bowl!
If you’re using Tortilla Chips, Julie suggests that you add a handful of chips to the bowl and then ladle the soup right on top.
If you have a ripe avocado (sadly, mine was still rock hard) add a few slices to the top of each bowl and then add a few more tortilla chips.
I added a small dollop of sour cream, a little cilantro and my baked tortilla strips.
This is so good. It’s definitely going into the dinner rotation.
Great for a weeknight when you’re in a hurry or anytime you want really good food.
Here’s the recipe: