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Kitchen Adventures: Soup: Spice it up for fall

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Food column by Becca Owsley

By Becca Owsley

For a foodie, the advent of fall means soup and chili season has arrived.

Spicy tortilla soup is a good step between soup and chili. It’s spicy like chili but is a soup so it’s not as thick.

I used less chili powder and cumin than the recipe suggests. Spices in a recipe usually can be adjusted for an individual’s taste.

If you’ve cooked much with spicy chili peppers such jalapeno, you know there’s a risk of slight pain. Contact to the skin can cause a burning or stinging sensation.

It happened to me while prepping this dish. It was slightly painful after exposure but was more painful when the burn came in contact with water. The sting is temporary but an annoyance.

If you get a pepper burn, vegetable oil seems to be the best treatment. WebMD suggests washing the area with soap and water and then putting a large amount of vegetable oil on it for at least an hour. If the pepper burn is on your hands, dipping your hands in vegetable oil for an hour is suggested.

It’s best to wear gloves when preparing spicy peppers to avoid skin contact.

And never, never, never rub your eyes while working with peppers.

Between the pepper sting on my hand and the onions causing my eyes to water, this recipe was an interesting cooking experience.

My mom once told me if you put a wooden toothpick in your mouth while cutting onions your eyes won’t water as bad. The trick didn’t work this time.

Another trick I’ve heard is to chill the onion before cutting it.

One thing is for certain, after chopping onions and smelling the spices and peppers going into the soup, my sinus were wide open.

All the trouble was worth it because the result was a slightly spicy and tasty soup, perfect for a fall afternoon.

If fresh corn on the cob is not available, drained whole-kernel corn from a can would work.

The recipe calls for a lot of fancy toppings, which I didn’t use.

I topped my soup with some cheese and corn chips. A nice dollop of sour cream is a cooling touch, especially if you make a spicier soup.

On this adventure, wear gloves, watch out for onions and enjoy your soup.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270- 505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

Spicy Tortilla Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium size yellow onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

1 pablano pepper, seeded and diced

Kernels from 2 ears of fresh corn

4 Roma tomatoes, finely chopped

1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons chili powder

4 cups of chicken stock

Salt and pepper to taste

Tortilla chips for garnish

Optional garnishes:

Sliced avocado

Chopped cilantro

Plain Greek yogurt

Sliced radishes

In a large pot over medium heat add the olive oil for a minute. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the corn, peppers, tomatoes, beans and spices. Cook for a minute. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes.

Pour soup into bowls and garnish with a healthy spoonful of plain Greek yogurt, sliced avocado, sliced radishes, cilantro and tortilla chips.

 

Source: www.dishingupthedirt.com