1. Easiest Tortilla Soup

    I’m a bit cautious in making the following statement, as individuals from anywhere but Southern California will undoubtedly mock me: it is actually kind of cold here in Los Angeles. (Remember, we’re used to 75 degree weather.)  The notion of walking home from class at 10pm in such arctic conditions, therefore, is rather daunting.

    (Alright, now I’m just being dramatic, but bear with me—there’s a recipe in it for you.)

    Upon arriving home, I’m obviously going to want something hot—and something that my frostbitten hands will still be able to prepare.  Cue the easiest and most delicious recipe for winter comfort food: Tortilla Soup.

    20 minutes is all it takes to prepare this budget- and time-friendly dish. It’s flavorful enough to serve as an entrée, and hearty enough to keep you satisfied. And, best of all, it tastes even better reheated—just pop it in the microwave and you’re ready to go.

    I guarantee it’ll warm even the coldest of hearts, whether they are beyond Los Angeles or not.

    Tortilla SoupTortilla Soup
    1 medium white onion
    2 tbsp vegetable oil
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    ½ lb. ground turkey
    1 tsp cumin
    ¼ tsp salt
    1 can diced tomatoes with chili
    1 8oz can tomato sauce
    4 cups chicken stock
    1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
    1 can corn
    1 tsp enchilada sauce mix OR 1 tbsp enchilada sauce
    ½ cup shredded Mexican mixed cheese, or cheddar and jack
    1 cup tortilla chips, crushed
    Sour cream, sliced avocado and cilantro to garnish (optional)

    Coarsely chop the onion and add it, with the vegetable oil, to a large pot on medium-low heat. Cook until the onion semi-transparent, about 7-8 minutes, being careful not to let it brown. Add the garlic and stir for an additional minute.

    Bring the pot to medium heat and mix in the ground turkey, breaking it up as it cooks. Continue to stir until the meat is cooked throughout, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cumin, as well as the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Once thoroughly incorporated, add the chicken stock, followed by the black beans and corn. Mix in the enchilada seasoning/sauce and allow it to simmer for another few minutes.

    To serve, divide the soup into bowls. Sprinkle each with a portion of the shredded cheese followed by the crushed tortilla chips. If desired, garnish with sour cream, avocado and cilantro. Makes 8 servings.