Fire Sign Café Tortilla Soup

(courtesy of Amy Herman, co-owner of Fire Sign Café in Tahoe City. Makes 6 cups)

Start by reading the whole recipe (don’t cheat).

1½ stalks celery, diced

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 teaspoon garlic, diced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped (save remainder of bunch for garnish)

2 tomatoes, diced

2 ears fresh corn (cut corn off cob and discard cob)

Sauté all items above in a stockpot (preferably stainless steel) with vegetable oil until onions are translucent.

Then add:

2 cups vegetable stock

Bring to low boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for five minutes.

Now add:

2 cups crushed tomatoes

1 cup V8 juice

2 cups black beans, cooked

2 bay leaves

¾ teaspoon dried oregano

Return to low boil, then turn down heat and let soup simmer for additional 20 minutes. Now add:

Salt and pepper, to taste

Tortilla chips, to garnish

Sprig fresh cilantro

Fan 3 avocado, thinly sliced, next to sour cream (optional for extra “wow factor”)

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