tortilla soup.

it's soup weather.  it may be a bit warmer than normal (not that we're complaining) but the cool evening temperatures are perfect for a warm bowl of soup.  last night we made one of our favorites: tortilla soup, minus the chicken.  for "missing" a major component of the recipe, i thought it was excellent.  as did a.  and that's when you know a meatless-meal is a keeper.
chicken-less tortilla soup
serves 8-12

1 large onion, diced
2 large bell peppers, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
2-3 large carrots, sliced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and diced
2 tsp cumin
1 tbs oregano (mexican variety preferred)
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
6-8 cups vegetable stock (homemade preferred)
1/2 cup cilantro, diced
fresh lime juice from 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste

cheddar cheese (optional)
tortilla chips

in a large pot saute onions and garlic in olive oil.  add bell peppers, carrots and jalapeno.  saute until onions are translucent and bell peppers are soft.  add cumin, oregano and a pinch of salt and pepper.  pour in vegetable broth and crushed tomatoes.  cover the pot and bring to a boil.  

simmer for approximately 25 minutes or until flavors are combined.  add cilantro and lime juice to the pot and let simmer for another 5-10 minutes.  

once served in the bowls, garnish with 1/4 of a sliced avocado, shredded cheese and crushed tortilla chips.  serve with a lime wedge for an extra citrusy kick.  

enjoy (it'll be hard not to)!

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