Achievement Unlocked: Tortillas! And Soup! But Mostly Tortillas

Bread.  It’s my weakness.  Maybe it’s because I mix everything by hand, maybe I’m too casual about kneading (guilty), maybe the temperature control in our house is poor at best and it’s too cold for yeast (my pet theory).  In any case, sometimes it’s edible, and sometimes it’s a brick.  Tortillas, though, take no yeast, so they were as good a recipe as any for me to get back into breadmaking.

I also started making my peace with cast iron through this recipe.  I’m a little scared of pans that get SO HOT and stay SO HOT for SO LONG.  Also, the cleaning and seasoning and DO NOT TOUCH WITH SOAP EVER thing.  But I lack a griddle, so I heated up my housemate’s skillet and went to work.  Quite well, incidentally.

I made the tortillas for the express purpose of cutting them into strips and serving with soup, but the first half of the recipe is perfect for normal tortilla-eating occasions.  (I also didn’t get the shape quite right, but that hardly mattered once they were sliced up.)

Oh, and I made you some soup.

******

Vegan Tortilla Soup With Homemade Tortilla Strips

  1. Chop ALL OF THE THINGS.  Two bell peppers (I used yellow and green).  Two fresh tomatoes.  One small onion; you could certainly use more, but this is what I had.  Three green onions.  Three cloves of garlic (slice these).
  2. Pile ALL OF THE THINGS into a pot.  Add a generous drizzle of olive oil and toss to coat.
  3. Open ALL OF THE CANS.  One of corn, one of black beans, and one of diced tomatoes.  Drain corn, then add all to pot.
  4. Add three cups of veggie stock, two cinnamon sticks, and generous dashes of cumin, oregano, and whatever other spices strike your fancy.  I would normally add cayenne, but the boyfriend’s spice tolerance isn’t back up to snuff yet after mouth surgery.  My “other spices” included lemon pepper and fresh cilantro.
  5. Cut half a lemon into quarters and add those to the pot, because, why not?  (This step only recommended if you have half a lemon sitting around, as I did.)
  6. Bring to a boil, then down to a simmer for…a while.  The soup is forgiving.
  7. While that’s happening, preheat oven to 400.  Mix 3/4 cup of cornmeal with 1 1/4 cup white flour.  Add 1/4 cup oil-of-choice and enough water to make a workable, but not terribly stiff, dough.  (I didn’t measure the water; I added it in splashes from a glass.)
  8. Add flavorings of choice.  For me, this was a little salt and the juice of one lime.  Given the chance, I put lime in most everything.
  9. Divide into lemon-sized balls and roll thin.  Apologize to the sorceror for getting flour on his character sheet.
  10. Heat cast-iron pan on medium-high; test by tossing droplets of water at hot surface, then jumping back when they spit.  Cook tortillas until brown spots appear on both sides.  Stack on plate and repeat with rest of tortillas.
  11. (Realize that you stacked all the dough on top of each other and some of it melted together.  Go re-roll-out half your tortillas, grumbling optional.)
  12. When tortillas are finished, let cool and check on soup.  Add more cilantro.
  13. Slice warm awkwardly-shaped tortillas into strips (between turns of hacking at an otyugh) and toss into bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with flavorings; for me, this was more salt and some garlic powder.
  14. Lay strips on ungreased baking sheets and bake for somewhere between 6 and 9 minutes.  (Mine took closer to nine; perhaps thinner tortillas would have taken less time.)
  15. Remove strips from oven, pile onto plate, and place on serving table.  Remove soup from heat, fish out lemon quarters and cinnamon sticks, and carry to table.  Serve with plenty of lime!
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