This dish created for a cooking game where the ingredients are restricted from a selected list came out very tasty and delighted my family very much. I made a selection of the ingredients, which I had on hand and picked some winter savory (satureja montana) from the garden. For the cooking way I decided to create a new dish inspired by a vegetables stew with cheese, we got in Gran Canaria called “pisto”. Usually this dish is served with eggs, but in this case the cheese took the most important part and a so simple dish turned out in a great stew!
I’ve served this recipe as single portions in clay pots, but you can also place this is only one bigger oven proof mold. Serve with croutons or with a slice of rustic bread.
This year the summer seems still far away, rain and low temperature inspired me to prepare a soup for dinner. Since years I wanted to prepare a tortilla soup and finally today I made it, we loved its strong and wonderful taste. It’s simply, rustic and very comforting recipe, exactly as need during these bad weather days!
To prepare a real special soup I decided to roast the veggies in the oven before preparing this soup and used those for the base of the soup. I did not add chicken and avocado as I did not have them on hand but I certainly would do it next time if available.
1 teaspoon of bouillon paste (broth paste concentrate, chicken, beef or vegetables), to taste
Salt, pepper, lime juice and chili flakes to taste
1/2 cup cooked chicken, bone, skin and fat removed, diced (optional)
2 tablespoon olive oil
4-8 corn or wheat tortillas, cut into thin strips
1/2 avocado, diced (optional)
1/2 cup shredded cheese, to taste
2-4 tablespoons cream cheese softened with 1-2 tablespoons cream or milk, optional, to taste
Place tomatoes and peppers to roast under the broiler or roast in non-sticky skillet (use an old one!). Roast on all sides. Place the veggies in a bowl, cover and let for 15 minutes. After this time it’s easier to remove the skin. Save their liquids.
Blend the veggies together with onion, garlic, cilantro, water and bouillon until smooth.
Pour mixture in a pot and bring slowly to simmer, adjust with salt, pepper, lime juice and chili flakes to taste.
Add chicken if desired. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
While the soup is simmering roast the tortillas in a non-sticky skillet stirring constantly with the oil until crisp as desired.
Serve the soup in the single plates, top with avocado pieces, hot tortillas and the cheese. Dot with the cream cheese mixture. Serve immediately.
The main change was using a fondue mix I had in the fridge that needed to be used. Well, this mixture is not simply grated cheese for fondue, since a combination of cheese, liquids (I’m not sure it was wine) and cornstarch. If you don’t have this mixture I suggest to combine 100 g cheese (as Gruyere), 50 g cream-cheese and 50 ml white wine.
Today inspiration were beets. These wonderful reddish roots are available fresh or already boiled. With a handful of ingredients I created an exotic dish and I found a way to use the same ingredients for different steps.
For examples the beets and roots, were used for the soup but also to create crispy chips as addition to the soup. The coconut milk gives to the soup a delicious taste but I also used some to fry the onion and finally also for the topping.
Cut 1/3 of the roots (beets and potatoes) into thin (about 2 mm) slices and place in the oven at 200°C/400°F on a single layer on a parchment paper. Bake turning from time to time to dry. Remove the dried sliced and set aside. Note: you may also dry a few slices of onion.
In the meanwhile pour 3 tablespoons coconut milk in a non-sticky skillet, heat to reduce the water content and add the diced onions and ginger to “fry” turning frequently until light browned.
Dice rest of beets and potatoes and place them into a pot along with the broth and bring to simmer. As soon as the onions are done add them to the pot.
Simmer at low temperature until potatoes are soft.
Puree using the hand blender.
Reserve about 2 tablespoons coconut milk and add this to the soup, stir gently and serve immediately.
Decorate the dishes with the reserved coconut milk and roots chips
This tasty, fragrant and light soup is so good that you will make this again!
The first time we had this delicious soup was in Sihanoukville in Cambodia in a small restaurant called “Rose’s place” and where it is called Somlaw/Somlor Machu Youn.Similar versions of this soup are known in Vietnam where this is called Canh Chua Thom Nau Ca.
Notes of a simplified version of this soup taken during our vacation in 2004: Heat chicken stock, add pineapples chunks and sliced cabbage. Let boil for 5 minutes, add fish and season with sweet Asian basil, fresh cilantro and sawtooth cilantro.