SMOKY SHIITAKE TORTILLA SOUP

SMOKY SHIITAKE TORTILLA SOUP (vegan) - The First Mess
SMOKY SHIITAKE TORTILLA SOUP (vegan) - The First Mess
SMOKY SHIITAKE TORTILLA SOUP (vegan) - The First Mess

Whew it’s been a while! A few minor recipe failures (peanut butter swirl brownies, if you were wondering) turned into a SLIGHT creativity/self doubt rut and that eventually gave way to a nasty flu bug that had me laid up on the couch for a couple days. I wouldn’t say that I’m totally back in the groove, but I’m tryin’ :)

I used to really beat myself up over these unintentional breaks. There’s a lot of gurus, writers, motivational speakers, podcasters, and prosperity hustlers constantly telling us that we have to stay busy, focused on all the tasks, commit to a 14-step morning routine, multitask like it’s our job because it now 100% certifiably IS, and to just GET TO WORKIN’ RIGHT NOW because if you’re not absolutely crushing it (ugh hate that expression), what are you even doing with your life?

You know that little stylized square that pops up in your Instagram feed, reminding you that Beyonce has the same 24 hours in a day that you do? It’s true, but it’s also bullshit because it’s based on the IDEA of Beyonce and less on the consideration of Beyonce as a real person. I’m pretty sure Queen Bey knows when to take a rest, outsource some assistance for the menial tasks of everyday life, or just when to disappear for a little while. Nobody is fully on, fully creating, fully expressing, fully loving on themselves and their people, fully making all that money ALL AT THE SAME TIME as a constant state of being. It’s impossible.

Everyone needs rest without guilt. Real rest that goes deep. Or just time to do things that aren’t work and productivity exercises for the sake of it–time to just be! I turned 34 yesterday and I’m still learning that a clear separation of work/productivity time and just-being-me time is PROBABLY a good idea. Setting boundaries in 2019!

With that, I’ll leave you with this cozy shiitake tortilla soup. What’s with me and mushroom recipes lately? See these meatballs and this epic bolognese. Guess it’s just a Winter craving kinda thing! This is that point in the year where I keep wondering if Spring will ever come haha. There’s a lot of variations on tortilla soup and debate over what is authentic. All I know is that I like a LOT of crunchy tortilla strips on top of mine, but also a bunch of them blended into the liquid portion of the soup to thicken it up. Catch ya here next week with something that isn’t mushroom-y or tomato-y hopefully ;)

SMOKY SHIITAKE TORTILLA SOUP (vegan) - The First Mess
SMOKY SHIITAKE TORTILLA SOUP (vegan) - The First Mess
SMOKY SHIITAKE TORTILLA SOUP (vegan) - The First Mess
SMOKY SHIITAKE TORTILLA SOUP (vegan) - The First Mess


SMOKY SHIITAKE TORTILLA SOUP (VEGAN RECIPE)

Print the recipe here!
SERVES: 4-6
NOTES: A few drops of liquid smoke would be amazing in this!
-I honestly went for shiitake mushrooms here because they look kinda chicken-like when sliced. Any mushroom you like is fine though.
-Homemade stock will give you the best result in this simple soup! I like to simmer mine with the shiitake mushroom stems for an extra flavour boost.

6 6-inch corn tortillas
2 tablespoons avocado (or other) oil, divided
1 15-oz can crushed tomatoes (I prefer fire-roasted)
4 cups vegetable stock, divided
1 small white onion, small dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
½ teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
¾ lb shiitake mushrooms, caps thinly sliced
1 15-oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup corn kernels (frozen or fresh)
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

TO SERVE:
diced ripe avocado
chopped cilantro
lime wedges

First, we make tortilla strips. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the tortillas into thin strips and place on a baking sheet. Toss the tortilla strips with 1 tablespoon of the oil until all are evenly coated. Spread tortilla strips out into an even single layer and bake until golden and crunchy, about 10-12 minutes, flipping and tossing the strips at the halfway point. Set aside to cool.

In an upright blender, combine the crushed tomatoes, 1 cup of the stock, and half of the tortilla strips. Bring the blender’s speed up to high until you have a completely smooth mixture. Set aside.

Set a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the remaining oil to the pot. Once the oil is hot, add the onion. Saute the onion until the edges are just starting to get soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeño, oregano, cumin, and chipotle powder to the pot and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the shiitake mushrooms to the pot and stir. Let them sit for a full minute. Stir again and let them sit for another full minute. At this point they should be slightly softened and glistening. Add a splash of the vegetable stock to the pot and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.

Add the black beans and corn to the pot and stir. Season everything liberally with salt and pepper. Add the blended tomato mixture and remaining vegetable stock to the pot and stir. Cover the soup and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer, remove the lid, and let the soup cook for 10 minutes.

Serve the smoky shiitake tortilla soup hot with tortilla strips, avocado, cilantro, and lime wedges.

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