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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sopa de Tortilla

Tortilla Soup, Peninsula style:

Have you ever noticed how blogs tend to be little moons of the mother planet orbiting endlessly around, well, the mother planet? Me, me, I, me! It pains me to do it but this post is going to be all about me and my sopa de tortilla. Why? Honestly? I made it up myself. Yes, I am the proud parent of a soup recipe and it is delicious. I, me, yo.

In the dining halls back on campus "Tortilla Soup" and "Green Chicken Chili" were staples. I won't lie, I scooped out big ladles of the stuff and ate it with hot sauce and a smile. But I'm not talking about pulled chicken and soggy strips of fried corn tortilla. In Spain tortilla de patatas is a beautiful dish full of deeply fried potatoes and onions cradled in egg two to three inches thick with juicy strips of red pepper sandwiched between. *That* is the sort of tortilla soup I am talking about, the kind that leaves brown bits and a crust on the potatoes and in the bottom of the pan. And, like the humble tortilla de patatas, this soup is simple, easy to make and perfect for almost any meal. So put down that plastic spoon and try my first soup creation. I couldn't be any more excited to share it with you! No really... I couldn't!

Note on Ingredients: Broth
Living at home I always know there is a bag of the stuff in the freezer. But a college kitchen isn't home and no student in their right mind aims to stew chickens regularly. So buy something good, something rich and something that isn't on clearance.

Makes 3-4 servings

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small onion, diced
1/2 red pepper (or two small), sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 red skinned potatoes
3 cups good chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon paprika
black pepper and cayenne (or a little shot of hot sauce) pepper to taste

1. Heat the olive oil in a deep soup pot. Peel and dice an onion finely. When the oil is hot add the onion and the salt. Cook for 5 minutes over low-medium heat.
2. Wash the potatoes. Remove any eyes or blemishes. (I leave the skin on but feel free to remove it with a vegetable peeler). Cut the potatoes in half and then in half again as if to make wedges. Then chop. Keep the pieces close to the size of a quarter. Too large and they'll take forever to cook.
3. Add the butter and the potatoes to the onion mixture and cook 5-6 minutes. Stir occasionally as they will start to stick to the pan. That's okay you want them to start to brown and caramelize.
4. Add the broth, whole garlic clove, paprika, cayenne and black pepper. Stir and bring to a simmer over medium low heat. Cook 8 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.

¡Buen Aprovecho!

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