Mexican Poutine with Carnitas

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Spicy Roasted Tomato Soup with Pupusa Dippers

This is my second year participating in the Del Real Foods food blogger recipe contest. Last year, I was lucky enough to have been selected by the company to make a video for my Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe, even though I wasn’t a winner. It was so much fun!

(Check out my video and post about my awesome trip to Los Angeles here.)

Anyway, it didn’t take much for me to become a fan of Del Real Foods. Their products are all minimally processed – for example, chicken and pork that is marinated and fully cooked, but without all of the additives (and tons of salt) that you typically find in premade, frozen “convenience” foods.

This year, I hope I win the contest, instead of just making a video! I am a huge fan of pupusas (I’ve made my own before), and the Del Real brand pupusas are really delicious. Since a pupusa is basically a handheld, self-contained grilled cheese sandwich, I decided to do a Mexican-style play on the typical grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup combo.

If you can, try to use fresh tomatoes. You can use canned tomatoes if necessary, and it will still be delicious, but the extra sweetness that comes from a fresh tomato is a perfect compliment to the spices in the soup. And don’t be afraid of that whole jalapeno pepper — this soup is a little spicy, but it compliments the pupusas perfectly!

 

Spicy Roasted Tomato Soup with Pupusa Dippers

 

Spicy Roasted Tomato Soup with Pupusa Dippers

(Serves 5)

  • 10 fresh tomatoes (or two big cans of stewed tomatoes)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 avocado
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 cube of tomato chicken bouillon (Caldo de Tomate)
  • 1 package of Del Real Foods Pupusas (5 individual pupusas)
  • 2 tbsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 cups water
  • salt and pepper
  • Cotija cheese (for garnish)

Spicy Tomato Soup ingredients

First, begin with the fresh tomatoes and roast them whole in a broiler or over an open flame. (If at all possible, use fresh instead of canned tomatoes for the best flavor.)

Roast the tomatoes until the flesh starts to shrivel and blister, then set aside to cool.

Roasted tomatoes

While the tomatoes are cooling, sautee the jalapeno, onion, garlic and celery in a large pot, and cook for a few minutes until slightly soft. Then trim the stems off of the tomatoes and add to the pot.

 

Veggies for soup base

Next, add the spices, water and bouillon, and bring to a boil. Then cover and let boil gently for about 15 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are soft. While the soup is boiling, prepare the pupusas — it’s really easy, just cook them in a pan for a few minutes on each side.

Pupusas

When the soup is finished, use an immersion blender to blend all of the ingredients, and serve immediately with a hot pupusa, garnished with cotija cheese and avocado.

Spicy Roasted Tomato Soup with Pupusa Dippers

Save or Pin the recipe card!

tomato soup recipe card

Disclaimer: I was provided Del Real Foods products free of charge as part of the food blogger contest, but received no other compensation, financial or otherwise, for this post. The opinions expressed herein are my own.

TBT: My first recipe video!

You might recall this summer, I participated in a contest for Del Real Foods. I created several recipes: Fast and Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup, Fresh and Easy Pork Pozole (which is really just a variation of my slow-cooked favorite chicken pozole), and Barbacoa Bao Bun Tacos.

Well, although I didn’t technically win the contest, I got to travel to Los Angeles to make a video for the Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup!

chipotle chicken tortilla soup

This is really very exciting. This is a great, easy recipe that anyone can make. I’m glad the Del Real Foods family enjoyed it as much as my family did when I made it. And I had never made a recipe video before!

It was a beautiful week in August, I got to take the train up from San Diego …

Hi, Mom!

Hi, Mom!

… I got to play the tourist around Little Armenia …

La LA

… and hit up Koreatown for some amazing cold noodles and bulgogi.

cold noodles

bulgogi

Once I arrived at the amazing set (a big, fancy mansion in the Hollywood Hills), I learned so much about food art and plating. Even the ingredients look pretty!

pre-video setup

I had a wonderful time getting hair and makeup done, and taking my “chef shot” photos:

chef shot

And, of course, actually working in front of the camera with Liz from Del Real Foods and the wonderful crew.

video 1

video 2

with Liz

So if you haven’t had a chance yet, check out my fabulous video!

Barbacoa Bao Bun Tacos with Avocado-Pineapple Slaw

This is a great recipe to impress a crowd at your next party or impromptu gathering. It uses a Taiwanese-style bun with pre-cooked Mexican-style slow-cooked beef, and the slaw — which is more like a salsa when it’s ready — makes it a perfectly rounded snack or appetizer.

Barbacoa is traditionally made with slow-cooked beef head, and although the name and the low-and-slow style might make some Americans think of BBQ beef or pulled beef, the taste of Barbacoa is more akin to a slow-cooked beef stew with vegetables. The pre-cooked barbacoa from Del Real Foods (which is perfect for a quick snack like this) has great flavor but no spicy heat, but you can spice up the final version of your tacos later.

bao buns

A note about the bao buns: These are available in the frozen section of most Asian markets (like H Mart or 99 Ranch). Sometimes they are called Gwa Pao or Gwa Bao — or my personal favorite, “Taiwanese Hamburger Bun.”

For most brands, like the one I purchased, they are already fully cooked and split in half, and are prepared by simply removing them from the package and microwaving them for about 45 seconds. You can also just let them thaw out for about 20 minutes.

tacos

Barbacoa Bao Bun Tacos with Avocado-Pineapple Slaw

(Makes 10 small tacos)

  • 1 package (10 buns) of frozen Bao buns
  • 1 package fully cooked Del Real Foods Barbacoa
  • about 2 cups chopped green cabbage (approx. 1/2 of a small cabbage head)
  • 1 20-oz. can sliced pineapple with juice
  • 2 large, ripe avocados
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 cup white or apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 cup cotija cheese
  • 1 jalapeno (optional)

First, prepare the slaw, which is sort of a fresh variation on curtido. Chop half of the onion (leave the other half for garnish), and 1 1/2 avocados (save half of one for garnish, too).

Then chop the pineapple slices and place the chopped onion, cabbage, avocado and pineapple in a large mixing bowl. Add the pineapple juice from the can, plus the vinegar, salt, pepper, and oregano.

salsa ingredients

If you’re going to add the jalapeno, dice it and add it now. If you’re serving a crowd with varying tastes, it might be best to cut the jalapeno into larger slices and add it as a garnish when you assemble the tacos, so people who don’t like the extra heat can just remove the pepper.

spicy

Blend all of the slaw ingredients thoroughly (use a food processor or a vegetable chopper) and set aside. You can prepare the slaw up to three hours ahead of time — just not too much longer, or else your avocados might color a little.

This last step of blending the slaw in your food processor might not seem worth it, but trust me, it is. This way the bits of pineapple, onion, avocado and cabbage will adhere to the meat and the bun, instead of falling out.

slaw1

Put the barbacoa in a saucepan over high heat and let cook briskly for about 8-10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and evaporated. Be sure to break up any big chunks of meat.

after

This will concentrate the flavor as well as giving the meat a nice sauce for your tacos.

Prepare the bao buns last — check the package, but more than likely, they are ready in the microwave in less than a minute, so obviously they need to be ready last.

barbacoa bun

Fill each bun with meat first, then add the slaw, cotija cheese and other jalapeno, onion or avocado.

closeup

Serve immediately.

with a beer

Fresh and easy pork pozole verde

This recipe is another shortened version of an old favorite, this time using Del Real Foods pre-prepared chili verde pork.

Usually my posole is made with chicken and slow-cooked in my crock pot, but this will be on your table in under half an hour.

ingredients

In addition to the chili verde, you’ll need stock (vegetable or chicken will be fine), Mexican hominy, green salsa, and lots of fresh vegetables. I used green and red cabbage, fresh limes, sliced radish, diced green onions and diced cilantro.

Fast and Easy Pork Pozole Verde

(Serves 8-10)

  • 1 16-oz package of Del Real Foods chili verde (pork in green sauce)
  • 1 7-0z can of salsa verde (green salsa)*
  • 1 large can (about 24 oz) of  Mexican hominy, drained
  • 32 oz chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 12 oz water
  • 1 head green or red cabbage (or both), chopped
  • 2-3 red radishes, sliced
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped

Chop all of the cabbage and fresh vegetables and set aside for later. Open the package of pork and shred or chop the meat into small pieces, then place in a large pot over high heat. Add the can of salsa verde and the hominy.

pozole verde

Add the stock and water, then cover the pot and bring to a boil. Let it sit on a low boil for about 10-15 minutes.

*A note about the salsa verde: this will add a lot of flavor but not heat. If you like your soup extra spicy, use a spicier or homemade salsa verde, or add hot sauce or salsa to the bowl as you serve it.

pork pozole

The soup will be very thin once the water and stock are added. The fresh vegetables are added when serving, and they will fill up the bowl.

Be sure to squeeze a slice of lime into each bowl as well. Serve immediately.

Fast and Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla soup is one of my favorite soups to make.

I usually make it with homemade stock and seasoned chicken, but I discovered a very fast and easy way to make an even better version.

This recipe takes virtually no time — even when you crisp up the chips yourself. I start with Del Real Foods Chipotle Chicken Tinga, and use premade stock. Also, I use canned tomatoes, chilis and corn, but you can certainly substitute frozen or fresh vegetables if you like. Don’t forget some cheese, avocado and cilantro for a garnish.

ingredients

Easy Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup

(Serves 8-10)

  • 1 16-oz. package of Del Real Foods Chipotle Chicken Tinga
  • 16 oz. chicken stock
  • 5-6 medium-sized corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, separated
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with chiles
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 2 fresh limes, sliced
  • about 1/4 cup cotija cheese (for garnish)
  • salt and pepper

 

Pour about 2 tablespoons of oil into a medium saucepan and bring to medium high heat. Cut the tortillas in half, then slice into multiple strips.

tortilla strips

Place one of the tortillas (in strips) into the hot oil, and fry for about 3-5 minutes or until crispy. Turn off the heat. Remove from the oil, place on a paper towel to drain, season with salt and pepper, and set aside. (Keep the other, unfried tortilla strips.)

Dice the onion and place into the hot oil (you may need to add a little more oil), and fry the onion for 2-3 minutes. Add the corn and tomatoes with chiles, plus a little salt and pepper, and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the Chipotle Chicken Tinga (you may want to shred or chop it up a little, it’s in pretty big chunks straight out of the package) and the chicken stock, and bring to high heat – not quite boiling. Add the remaining, unfried strips of tortilla. Add salt and pepper, then squeeze the juice of the limes into the pot and turn off the heat. Take a taste and make add more salt or pepper if needed.

Garnish the individual soup bowls with chopped cilantro, cotija cheese, slices of avocado, and the crispy tortilla strips. Serve immediately.

chipotle chicken tortilla soup