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Tex-Mex Minestrone with Chimichurri

Serves 4-6

Originally aired

INGREDIENTS
  • 10 to 12 tomatillos, peeled
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, divided
  • 4 jalapeo peppers, seeded
  • 1 shallot or 1/4 red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro
  • 1 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh or 1 teaspoon (about 1/3 palmful) dried marjoram or oregano
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/3 pound bacon, chopped, optional
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 to 3 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, seeds scraped and cut into small dice
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1 package corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch squares
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 can red beans, drained
PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375F. On a baking sheet, arrange the tomatillos, drizzle with EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender and ready to pop, about 12-15 minutes. Pure with 1/2 cup stock and reserve.

Using a food processor, pulse together 1/3 cup EVOO, jalapeos, shallot (or onion), garlic, cilantro, parsley, marjoram (or oregano), lime juice and vinegar into a chimichurri sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.

Heat a couple of tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add bacon and render, about 2-3 minutes. Add carrots, celery, zucchini, onions and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Add the reserved tomatillos and the remaining stock. Cover the pot and sweat the vegetables for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Lay corn tortillas on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Bake until crispy and slightly brown, about 10 minutes.

Add red beans and stock to soup, and bring to a boil. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in chimichurri to taste (leftover chimichurri goes great on any grilled or broiled protein, such as steak, chicken or fish). Add half the tortillas to soup to soften 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve in bowls and pass remaining tortilla chips at the table.

COMMENTS