Mexican Vegetable Soup Has a Little Kick

The addition of chili powder is what gives this soup it’s kick and it’s a kick you can control by the amount you add!

I have made this soup twice now and I love it! The first time I eased back on the spices, worried that my family wouldn’t be able to handle them.  Last night, I made the recipe exactly as it was in the book and I was much happier with it.  It has very good flavor, but is still mild enough for my kids.

This is the prefect accompaniment to the Chicken Quesadillas recipe.  I made them at the same time since the soup has to simmer which leaves time to brown the chicken.  Check out the recipe here in the Food Category.  Your family will love them too!

This recipe serves 4-6 and is taken from Cookshelf Mexican by Marlena Spieler.

mexicansoup2Ingredients List:

  • 2 tbsp. vegetable or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ – ½ tsp. cumin
  • 2-3 tsp. mild chili powder, such  as ancho or New Mexico
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 waxy potato, diced
  • 1 ½ cups diced fresh or canned  tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • ¼ small cabbage, diced
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock or water
  • 1 ear of corn, kernels cut off the cob or 3 oz. canned corn
  • About 10 green beans, topped and tailed, then cut into bite sized lengths
  • Salt and pepper

To Serve:
4-6 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
Salsa of your choice, or chopped fresh chili, to taste
Lime wedges

*I just want to note that the ingredients list above is exactly as listed on Marlena Spieler’s recipe.  The instructions below are my words and the method I used to make the soup.  We didn’t use the toppings she suggested for serving including the cilantro, salsa, chili or lime wedges.  We did break out the Fritos though!


1. Dice the onion and the garlic.


2. Chop up the rest of the vegetables.

I should have read ahead and put the corn and beans on a separate plate to make things just a touch easier.  They are added late in the cooking.


3. Heat the oil in a heavy based pan.  Add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes until softened.


4. Then sprinkle in the cumin and chili and stir.


5. Next, stir in the carrot, potato, tomatoes, zucchini, and cabbage and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.


6. Pour in the stock.  Cover and cook over a medium heat for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked and tender.


7. Add extra water if necessary, then stir in the corn and green beans and cook for a further 5 – 10 minutes or until the beans are tender.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, bearing in mind that the tortilla chips may be salty.

Marlena Spieler suggests ladling “the soup into soup bowls and sprinkle each portion with fresh cilantro.  Top with salsa or chili, and then add tortilla chips and a wedge of lime.  Serve at once.”

At our house we do things a bit more plainly.  Everyone was thrilled to add either tortilla chips or Fritos to their soup, but the cilantro, salsa, chili and lime weren’t part of our equation.

But, that’s the kind of fun you can have with a recipe, altering it to fit your family’s tastes!  We really enjoyed it and I hope you get a chance to this Cinco De Mayo, or any time soon!


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