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Mushroom Tortilla Soup and Sweet Potato Pepita Quesadillas October 22, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dinner, soup.
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tortilla soup and quesadilla

I’ve used Bloglines for years and years.  Bloglines is (or was) an RSS feed aggregator–it gathers subscriptions all of my favorite blogs in one place so I can quickly see what’s been updated and read all of the blogs from one location.  With the news that Bloglines is shutting down come November 1, I realized I had to spend some time going through all of the recipes  that I had saved in Bloglines over the years.  It’s been interesting—I’ve spent time cutting and pasting dozens and dozens of recipes from my “saved” folder in Bloglines to my Gmail account, and in the process, have rediscovered a ton of recipes I marked to try and then promptly forgot about.  One of them being this quesadilla recipe.  When I bookmarked it almost three years ago, I didn’t realize at the time it was a recipe from the Rebar cookbook, which I own!  It’s a great book and I knew the recipe must be delicious if it came from Rebar.   Determined not to forget about the recipe for another three years, I printed it out, took the recipe to the store, picked up some small toasted pumpkin seeds (haven’t gotten around to roasting any this year so far), and decided TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT.

Now, I’m sure a quesadilla would be a fine meal on it’s own.  But thinking about the classic combo of grilled cheese and tomato soup, I thought a nice counterpart to this grilled quesadilla would be tortilla soup.  Another recipe bookmarked in my “to try” pile was a tortilla soup with mushrooms and goat cheese from a Rick Bayless cookbook.   I got home from work, peeled the sweet potatoes and got them roasting, and started making the soup.  One mistake I made with the soup was putting an entire chipotle chile (from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce) in the soup.  It was SPICY!!!  By far the hottest meal we’ve had in ages.  Topping the soup with goat cheese cut the spice level a little but I think using half a chipotle is the way to go.  Learn from my errors. 🙂

Mushroom Tortilla Soup with Goat Cheese
(Adapted from a recipe in Mexico, One Plate at a Time by Rick Bayless)

tortilla soup

Ingredients:

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus a little oil to spray or brush on the tortillas
4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1 small onion, diced
One 15 ounce whole or diced tomatoes in juice, drained OR 12 ounces (2 medium small round or 4 to 6 plum) ripe tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
1/2 of one canned chipotle chiles en adobo
6 cups good vegetable broth, store-bought or homemade
8 ounces mushrooms (shiitakes or baby portobellos would be nice), stemmed (discard the woody stems or finely chop them) and sliced 1/4 inch thick
Salt
6 corn tortillas
4 ounces goat cheese, cut or broken apart into roughly 1/2 inch cubes
Baby arugula, for garnish (optional)
Toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)

Method:

Start by making the soup. In a medium-large (4 quart) saucepan, heat the oil over medium. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring regularly, until golden, about 7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to scoop up the garlic and onion, pressing them against the side of the pan to leave behind as much oil as possible transfer to a food processor or blender; set the pan aside. Add the tomatoes and half of one chipotle pepper (from a can of chipotles en adobo) to the garlic and onion and process to a smooth puree.

Set the saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the puree and stir nearly constantly until it has thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 10 minutes. Add the broth and sliced mushrooms and bring to a boil, then partially cover and gently simmer over medium to medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Taste and season with salt, usually 1/2 teaspoon, depending on the saltiness of your broth.

While the soup is simmering, you can make your tortilla strips. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the tortillas in half, then cut crosswise into 1/4 inch strips. Toss the cut strips with a tablespoon of olive oil and salt in a bowl.  Spread out the tortilla strips in a single layer on a baking sheet. Set in the oven and bake, stirring around every couple of minutes or so, until lightly browned and crispy, about 8 minutes.

To serve the soup, top with tortilla strips, crumbled goat cheese, and arugula and pumpkin seeds (if desired).

Sweet Potato Pepita Quesadilla
(Adapted from a recipe in Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook)
(Printable Recipe)

yam quesadilla

Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1/8 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 whole wheat tortillas
1/3 cup honey-chipotle sauce (see below)

Method:

Preheat oven to 375F. Peel the sweet potato and dice it. and quarter them lengthwise. Toss the diced sweet potato with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven until fork-tender and golden (about 20 mins).

To assemble the quesadillas, heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium high heat. Brush lightly with oil. Spread a thin layer of honey-chipotle sauce over the surface of the tortilla, sprinkle with the grated cheese, scallions, and pepitas. Spoon roasted sweet potato cubes over the bottom half of the tortilla. Fold the top half over the bottom, and heat through on the skillet or grill pan until the cheese melts and the tortilla crispens.

Honey Chipotle Sauce

Ingredients:

4 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp chipotle puree (puree a 7 oz can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce)
1 tsp lime juice
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp water

Method:

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk (or blend in the blender) until well blended. Refrigerate up to two weeks.

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