Yes we did!

November 5, 2008 at 3:28 PM | Posted in Musings, Recipe | Leave a comment

The other day on the radio I heard a quote that I can’t get out of my head…

“Rosa Parks sat and Martin Luther King walked so Barack Obama could run.”

I get choked up every time I think about the magnitude of what happened last night and how far we have come as a country. Not only because Barack Obama is black, but because he has moved people who many had dismissed as unable to be moved. He has inspired generations and demographics who thought that politics didn’t concern them and that their voices were meaningless, and has given the rest a reason to vote FOR a candidate, instead of voting against a bad one. He has proven that inspiration and hope really can trump fear and hatred, and let’s hope that this is only the first of his many great legacies to come.

One of the very minor but nonetheless great things about Barack Obama is the ability to make puns off his name. My friend told me that last night her husband made Roasted Red State Pepper Soup, and another friend just told me that she made Barack-oli and cheese pasta, Yes-we-(pe)can pie, and blue-state-berries. I had my second biennial election returns watching party, at which–as a precautionary good luck charm–we ate primarily blue food. Contributions from guests included “Baracklava,” Blue Moon beer, blueberry pie, mini blueberry cheesecakes, blue-frosted cookies, blue M&M-studded pretzels, and wine with a blue label. I made my signature Election Night dish of tortilla soup with blue corn chips. The first time I made it, at the mid-term elections in 2006, the Democrats took back the Senate and the House. And now look what we have accomplished. This recipe is going to be a fixure on election night at my house for years to come!

LUCKY ELECTION NIGHT TORTILLA SOUP
(scribbled at the bottom of the recipe, which is dated 11/11/06: “Note: It worked!!!”)

Soup:
1-2 T olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 jar roasted red peppers (about 2 peppers), drained and chopped
2-3T ground cumin
1 T chili powder
1 can pureed tomatoes
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
2 cans drained black beans
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, peppers finely chopped and with 1-2 tsp of adobo sauce
4-6 cups vegetable stock, chicken stock, or water
Salt to taste
1 bag frozen roasted corn

Accompaniments:
1 bag blue corn tortilla chips
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 diced avocadoes
1-2 limes, cut into wedges

Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened. Add garlic, cumin, and chili powder and saute about 1 minute. Add roasted peppers, pureed and diced tomatoes, beans, chipotle peppers, and vegetable stock, stir, and bring to a boil. Simmer until reduced and thickened, about 30 minutes. It can be made ahead up to this point (it’s actually better if it sits for a day) and stored in the fridge. Salt to taste.

Add corn and warm soup until corn is melted and soup is heated through. To serve, put a handful of tortilla chips in the bottom of the bowl and a few ladlefuls of soup over the chips. Top with cheese, avocado, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.

Serves about 6, easily multiplied.

This is a great recipe for a party because almost everything comes out of a can, and if you have a few last-minute guests you can just add a can of beans and/or tomatoes and up the seasonings accordingly. All the proportions are pretty loose anyway.

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