Roasted Tomato and Chipotle Tortilla Soup



Now that the holidays are over, I’m back in the swing of things. Back to a regular schedule, no more Christmas baking, and back to a normal (and much healthier) diet. Thank goodness!

Amanda from Fake Ginger selected Texas Tortilla Soup for this week’s Project Pastry Queen.  I changed the name because I quite drastically changed the flavor profile by adding chipotle chilies and using much more chicken stock.

Neither Andy nor I are tomato-based soup fans. With enough tweaking, I knew I could come up with something tasty. Unfortunately, Andy didn’t really care for it but that just means I have more leftovers for lunch the next few days!

The best part of this meal? It’s healthy, so eat up (and don’t add too much cheese)!!!


4 plum tomatoes
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 Tbls olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
4 C chicken stock
1 dried ancho or pasilla chili
1 canned chipotle chili
14.5 oz. can whole tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
meat from 1 rotisserie chicken
1 C corn (fresh or frozen)

1 ripe avocado
Tortilla chips or bake strips
1 plum tomato, diced
¼ C cilantro, roughly chopped
½ C cheese (I used the pre-shredded Mexican mix)
Sour cream (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Slice the tomatoes in half. Spread ½ Tbls of the olive oil on a baking sheet and place tomatoes on sheet, skin side up. Brush top of tomatoes with ½ Tbls olive oil.
  2. Roast the tomatoes for 25-35 min until skin is partially peeling off and slightly browned.
  3. Heat remaining 1 Tbls olive oil in a heavy-bottomed, soup pot over medium-heat. Add the onion and garlic. Saute for about 5 min.
  4. Stir in chili powder and cumin and cook for 1 min.
  5. Add chicken stock and ancho chili. Bring to a boil, then cover. Reduce heat. Simmer for 15 min.
  6. Remove chili (discard stems if you don’t want the heat). Place chili, chipotle chili, canned tomatoes and juices, and roasted tomato in food processor. Puree for 1 min.
  7. Add tomato puree back into soup. Simmer for 1 hour, covered.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Add chicken and corn. Simmer for 5 min.
  10. Garnish with avocado, tortilla strips, tomatoes, cilantro, shredded cheese, and sour cream.


4 meal-sized servings. This recipe can easily be doubled.

Adapted from The Pastry Queen’s Texas Tortilla Soup.


Baked Hint of Lime Tortilla Chips

I’m a sucker for tortilla chips but especially the Hint of Lime Tortilla Chips. Why do they have to be so darn bad for me? It’s something like 10 chips and 140 calories. Not cool. How many of you have actually ever just eaten 10 chips? Not me, that’s for sure.

Recently, I made Guacamole Hummus and needed something to dip into it. I wasn’t going to buy tortilla chips but had some leftover corn tortillas. I knew there had to be a way to make these things healthier.

Yes, I could dip carrots, celery, or other healthy vegetables but that just wasn’t going to do. I needed a crispy, salty fix. Plus, I needed something to send with Andy to work.

This is what I came up with and they are awesome! I haven’t calculated the calorie and fat difference but I know it’s much better since they aren’t fried.

8 6” corn tortillas
2 Tbsp olive oil or Misto
Sea salt or kosher salt
¼ tsp. chili powder
1 lime


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Brush or spray each tortilla with olive oil. Flip and repeat.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and chili powder.
  4. Cut tortillas into 6 wedges and place on two baking sheets. Be sure not to crowd the chips.
  5. Squeeze the lime over the chips.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden and crispy.
  7. Remove from oven and let completely cool. Chips will become crispier as they cool.

Makes 48 chips.

Be careful not to cook the chips too long. They burn quickly.

Try mixing up the seasonings: sprinkle with garlic or cheese, leave off the chili powder if it’s too hot for you, leave out the lime, or even try with flour tortillas. The combinations are endless!

Ground Beef Gorditas

Another Project Pastry Queen assignment! This week, Amanda picked Ground Beef Gorditas or “Little Fat Ones.”


I love cooking with these other bloggers because it keeps me from cooking the same things in my kitchen. I rarely cook beef and I never fry anything so this tested me in a few ways. Plus, I was cooking this for friends. Talk about pressure!

Since I never fry anything, it makes me very nervous. I burn myself enough without hot, sputtering grease flying around. Geez!

You’re supposed to split open the gorditas and fill them with the toppings. Mine didn’t puff up as much as I think they were supposed to so we just put them on the plate and loaded them up with the toppings.

If you don’t want to go the trouble of making the gorditas, you can put it on a tortilla. The filling is the best homemade taco filling I’ve ever tasted and it was so quick. I doubt I’ll ever buy the packaged kind again.

Next week, we’re cooking Southern Comfort Apple Pie.


For the dough:
4 cups corn masa mix, or 12 ounces fresh masa dough
1 teaspoon salt, if necessary
1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Safflower oil, for frying (I used vegetable oil)

For the beef filling:
1 lb lean ground beef
1 Tbls finely chopped yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbls Tabassco or hot pepper sauce
1 8 oz can plain tomato sauce

For serving:
½ head iceberg lettuce, shredded
½ C chopped tomatoes
1 C queso fresco, crumbled
sliced black olives
½ C sour cream


For the Dough:

  1. If using masa mix, mix in large bowl according to the directions. Beat the masa, butter and salt in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment until it forms a ball. If using fresh dough, add the butter and mix until a ball is formed.
  2. Separate the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll until roughly 4″ across and 1/2″ thick.
  3. Grease a large skillet with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. Cook the gorditas until lightly browned on each side, about 5 to 10 minutes on each side.
  4. Fill a large skillet with enough oil to come about 1/2 inch up the sides. Heat on medium heat until hot enough that the oil bubbles when a small ball of dough is dropped in.
  5. Using a spatula, lower the gorditas into the hot oil.
  6. Fry the gorditas for about 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crisp.
  7. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

For the Beef Filling:

  1. Saute the beef and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the meat is brown, 8-10 min.
  2. Drain off the fat.
  3. Add the garlic, salt, cumin, pepper, hot pepper sauce, and tomato sauce. Cook for 5 minutes.


  1. Split gorditas in half and set them on individual plates.
  2. Spoon the beef mixture over the bottom halves. Sprinkle with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and anything else your heart desires.
  3. Lean the top half of the gordita at an angle on top of the beef mixture and serve.

Serves 4 (2 gorditas each)

from The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather

Mexican Corn Chowder


A little more Mexican for you!

Andy and I have a new favorite roadside stand. They have a large variety of fruits and vegetables. The owner showed us what had been picked that morning so we’d have the freshest vegetables and she even showed us the fields with what they were going to have ready to harvest in the fall. We’ll definitely be visiting them again.

We ended up buying some late summer sweet corn before it’s gone until next year. I’ve had my fill of corn on the cob this summer but I wanted something that was going to showcase the corn. After an amazing bowl of corn chowder I had at a restaurant in Seattle, I had to make my own.

This recipe has been family-in-law and even 20 month old approved! It was a hit at a family birthday gathering the other day.


2 tablespoons butter
2 T plus 1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp cumin
6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups canned chicken stock
2 cups 1% or 2% milk
2 Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
1 can green chiles
2 C shredded chicken (optional)
6 ears corn (approximately 6 C)
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ C chopped cilantro (optional)


Preheat oven to 450.

Cut the corn kernels off the cob and toss with 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp salt. Spread corn on baking sheet and roast for 15 min or until golden. (Roasting the corn is optional.)

While corn is roasting, start making the soup.

Heat the butter and 1 T olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, chili powder, cumin, and thyme and cook until onions are translucent.

Stir flour into vegetables until fully combined. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Add the cream and potatoes. Bring to a boil for about 7 minutes, gently stirring.

Carefully, ladle about half of the potatoes and some broth into blender. Liquefy potatoes and add back to soup pot. (The more potatoes you blend, the thicker the chowder.)

Stir in corn, green chilies and chicken (optional). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Simmer for 10 min. Garnish soup with chopped cilantro.


10 servings

Adapted from Tyler Florence’s Corn Chowder

This chowder isn’t spicy and could definitely be kicked up depending on who’s eating it. I would try garnishing the chowder with jalapeños and/or increasing the chili powder.