Tex-Mex Minestrone with Chimichurri
Southwest flavors add dimension to a hearty minestrone soup, then is made even better with chimichurri on top! Save your extra chimichurri to top our chicken, fish or other meats.
- 10-12 tomatillos, peeled
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for drizzling
- Salt and pepper
- 4 1/2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock, divided
- 4 jalapeño peppers, seeded
- 1 shallot or 1/4 red onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 1 cup cilantro, loosely packed
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley, loosely packed
- 2-3 sprigs fresh marjoram or oregano or 1 teaspoon dried (about 1/3 palmful)
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1/3 pound bacon, chopped (optional)
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2-3 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 zucchini, seeds scraped and cut into small dice
- 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or chopped
- 1 package corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch squares
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 can red beans, drained
Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
On a baking sheet, arrange the tomatillos, drizzle with EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender and ready to pop, about 12-15 minutes. Puree with 1/2 cup stock and reserve.
Using a food processor, pulse together 1/3 cup EVOO, the jalapeños, shallot (or onion), garlic, cilantro, parsley, marjoram (or oregano), lime juice and vinegar into a chimichurri sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.
Heat a couple of tablespoons EVOO, two turns of the pan, in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and render, about 2-3 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, zucchini, onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Add the reserved tomatillos and the remaining stock. Cover the pot and sweat the vegetables for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Lay the corn tortillas on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Bake until crispy and slightly brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the red beans and stock to the soup and bring to a boil. Adjust the salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the chimichurri to taste (leftover chimichurri goes well on any grilled or broiled protein, such as steak, chicken or fish). Add half of the tortillas to soup to soften for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve in bowls and pass the remaining tortilla chips at the table.