I’ll admit: I actually planned to make the soup without really reading the recipe. When looking for recipes, I tend to read the ingredients but disregard the steps involved. Come Monday afternoon, when I was sending it to Eric in the context of, “So you’ll be starting dinner tonight; here’s how…” I realized that it was kind of an annoying recipe. It just has a lot of steps. A lot of chopping. A lot of dishes.
I debated copping out. “Can’t I just use the ground beef?” I whined to Leah. “Do we really have to make it into balls first?”
But if Cosmo has taught me anything, it’s that you can’t skip the balls!
So Eric and I toughed it out and even though it was a kind of pain in the ass to make, it was so good! And — lucky for you — I now have some ways to make the whole process a little easier!
First, break out the gadgets! I hate chopping veggies, and coring peppers is one of those annoying tasks that I’d love to make easier. When I saw this pepper corer at HEB a few weeks ago, I didn’t even think about it — I just added it to my cart.
It definitely came in handy for this recipe; I was able to core the pepper for the soup without nearly slicing off my fingers in the process.
On the other hand, you could just skip this step altogether and buy bottled roasted red peppers. Pre-heating the broiler to cook the peppers (and the tortillas, which I burned the first time around!), waiting for them to cool, and peeling them added a lot of waiting and work to this recipe that I could have done without.
Another way to make the recipe less complicated is to use black beans instead of red potatoes. That means less washing, chopping, and cleanup, and black beans make more sense to me anyway.
A few other changes I recommend, both for making things easier and making things more delicious:
- Used bottled minced garlic.
- Swap out the shredded cheese for queso fresco.
- Add diced avocado as a topping.
- Top with a dollop of sour cream — I tried it without sour cream and with sour cream…sour cream won. (When doesn’t it though?)
I must say, the soup was way better than I expected. I guess I was expecting some sort of average Mexican chain restaurant appetizer tortilla soup, but this was so much better than that. I think the chipotle chile pepper is what did it — it adds a little smokiness and depth that made it better than average.
So…don’t skip the balls and give it a try!