Sunday, May 17, 2009

Summer Salsa "Soup"

This is for Emily, who needed something that her whole family would eat! Hopefully this works. :)

I love salsa. I mean, I could eat it with a spoon, straight from the container (and have been known to do just that). I’m talking about the salsa from the refrigerated section, full of tomatoe-y, garlicky goodness. I finally figured that maybe I should stop eating salsa from the container because a) it gets expensive (seriously – do you know how much those little containers COST?) and b) it’s not really all that good for you. I came up with this to split the difference. One of the things I like best about this recipe is the "build your own" component with all the add-ons at the bottom. I usually have all but the tortilla chips on hand, and I just throw things together as they sound good. It adds nice variety, and if you're serving this to guests (or families), everyone gets something they like.

The most important thing below is to make sure that you have RIPE tomatoes. Don’t even bother making this in the wintertime, and if you shoot for early summer or early fall, at the beginning and end of tomato season, it’s probably best to get tomatoes on the vine. Get the big round ones, too, not the skinny little Roma ones. You need the JUICE for this to work. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The Recipe:
Serves 6

6 large hothouse tomatoes or tomatoes on the vine, chopped
1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
2 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
juice from 4 limes
½ -1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and FINELY minced (if you like spicy food, use the whole pepper; if you HATE spicy food, just leave it out)
¼ cup olive oil
2 10 ¾-oz cans broth (I prefer beef broth, but vegetable broth works, too. Chicken broth tastes WEIRD, though. Just FYI.)
1 pound cooked steak strips (optional – I don’t usually include them, but sometimes I need some extra protein)
sour cream, for serving
guacamole, for serving
crushed tortilla chips, for serving
shredded Mexican cheese blend, for serving

Combine everything not labeled “for serving” above in a LARGE bowl. (The picture below is a 4-qt. bowl, and it has no steak in it. This makes a LOT of soup.) Stir to combine, and (ideally) refrigerate several hours or (even better) overnight. (Note: it’ll be good even if you don’t have time to refrigerate it, but it’ll be FANTASTIC if you do.) Also, you probably will NOT need salt for this. I know, I know, I’m the salt queen, but the broth is already salted. Mix it up, let it chill and taste it before you add salt. Seriously. I’m NOT KIDDING. You might be sorry otherwise.

Serve with optional garnishes (not shown below):
sour cream
crushed tortilla chips
shredded cheese


  1. ok, this cracks me up because i am the only one here who eats tomatoes.

  2. ...I can't decide if you're on crack or if your genius is outshining the sun. o.O


  3. Emily, NO!! Really?! Who doesn't eat tomatoes? Hey, as far as I'm concerned, they are their own food group, ok? Humph. Back to the drawing board. (What about cucumbers? I could play with cucumbers . . . )

    Jen, I'm going to go with genius. As soon as I hide my stash. Ha! ;)

  4. Oh, but Emily, if you ever want to eat tomatoes, just let me know, and you can come over. I'll fix lunch or something and feed you tomatoe-y goodness. I'm just saying. :D


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