Rainy days and Mondays, you guys. Those two things in conjunction are something far worse than just a Carpenters song or something that doesn’t simply get you down. The wicked combo forces you to find inspiration to not just consider the day cancelled and sleep for an extra 24. Unfortunately, the jerk who invented work made it down from the Big Rock Candy Mountain and made Monday the start of the work week. And so it goes, that’s just how it is.
But, thanks the ingenuity of the human race, we have developed cures for the doldrums of the rainy monday– the soup and grilled cheese combo. The very definition of comfort food. It’s a combo that makes you feel like you are in a snuggie that is somehow stylish and you are proud to strut along the promenade.
Of course, a simple grilled cheese and tomato soup combo is not what you demand. Had to kick it up and notch with a South of the Border (Mexico, not Pedro’s amusement park on the Carolina border on I-95) soup and quesadilla combo that is spicy, warm, creamy, and decadent.
The soup is a basic vegan soup with a vegetable broth base that is loaded with veggies, spices, poblano, and lime. The non-vegan portion, the quesadilla, is a standard queso fresco grilled cheese with simple avocado spread.
This meal is well balance and perfect pick-me-up for this dreary day.
Mexican Vegetable soup
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, finely chopped
6 Cloves Garlic, pressed
1 Poblano pepper, ribs and seeds removed and cut into strips
2 tbsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp oregano
1 14 once can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 14 once can of black beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups vegetable broth
Juice of 2 limes
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Bunch cilantro, chopped
Heat the oil in a large sauce pan or dutch over over medium low heat. Add the onions and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. In frying pan, roast the poblano strips until the skin on the outside blisters. Remove from pan and finely chop. Add the peppers and garlic with the onions and saute for another couple of minutes. Add all the spices, then the tomatoes and beans. Stir and saute for anther minute. Add the oregano the broth, raise the heat to medium high and stir in the lime, salt and pepper, and 1/2 the cilantro. Once it is at a boil, reduce back to medium low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Garnish with remaining cilantro.
During the simmering, make the quesadillas.
Avocado filled quesadilla
1 tortilla per diner
1/2 tbsp butter per quesadilla
1 hunk of queso freco
1 tbsp heavy cream
2 pinches salt
Juice of one lime
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Peel the avocados and place in a bowl. Add the salt, garlic, cream, and lime and beat together with a wisk.
Heat a large frying pan to medium low and melt the butter. Once bubbly, add a little garlic powder and salt to the butter. Swirl the pan until the butter coats the pan and place the tortilla into the butter. Crumble queso frseco to cover the tortilla all over. Cover for 30 seconds to accelerate the melting. Once the cheese has melted and the tortilla is browning on the edges, spoon two scoops on avocado on one side of the tortilla and fold the other half over the avocado. Press to make the cheese stick. Cook an additional 20 seconds per side, until crisp. Cut in half to serve.
Nom on get happy.