Roasted Potato Tomatillo Pureed Soup with Cilantro Pesto and Chili Oil

Omg, this soup is insane! It’s an awesome soup just as it is, but if you take the time to make the cilantro pesto, chili oil and roasted poblano, you will be in soup heaven!

Roasted-Potato-Soup copy

The last few days have been a lot of fun because I had the privilege to hang out with our goddaughter Sabastian.  She is moving from Arizona to Oregon to live with a friend and stopped by on her way for a few days.  She is always a pleasure to have around.  We had a nice lunch in Los Gatos, went for a couple of walks on the beach, made yummy food and cruised around the farmers market while she grazed on all the samples.

Roasted-Potato-Tomatillo-Soup

While at the farmers market I picked up everything I needed to make this soup as well as the cilantro pesto, chili oil and poblano chilis.

The chili oil is so great for adding a little heat to soups, salads, stir frys, etc…  I usually make the tomatillo salsa, pesto, chili oil and roast the poblano the day before I plan to make the soup.

Creamy-Roasted-Potato-Soup copy

I love this soup with a dry crisp white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc, unoaked Chardonnay or a nice Spanish white.  It is also great with a Pinot Noir or a Tempranillo.

Potato-Soup

Recipe: 10 – 12 servings

Roasted Potatoes

  • 6 Yukon Gold Potatoes ( about 2 lb)
  • 2 Tablespoon Thai Chili Olive Oil – or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Dry White Wine
  • 2 Clove Garlic – minced
  • 1- 2 Jalapeno – sliced

Roasted Tomatillo Mandarin Salsa (this is a half batch of the original recipe.  You can make a whole batch and use the other half for these chili renellos.)

  • 6 – 7 Tomatillos – 3/4 lb.
  • 1/4 White Onion
  • 1 Serrano Chili Peppers
  • 1/2  Cup Cilantro
  • 1 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Mandarin (Satsuma) Juice –  fresh squeezed
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Mandarin Zest (optional)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt

The rest

  • 8 oz or 2 1/4 Cups Jack Cheese – shredded
  • 1/2 Onion – 1 1/4 Cup – Diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Oil or Regular Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 2 Cup Milk (I used 1%)
  • 6 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Garnish (make ahead)

Instructions:

Tomatillo Salsa

Peel the paper skin off of the tomatillos, cut the cores out and cut in half, then spread them out on a baking sheet cut side down.

Turn on the broiler and broil tomatillos for 6 – 7 minutes then flip over for another 3 – 4 minutes or until very soft and slightly burnt.

Add the onion to a pot of water and bring to a boil, then remove, let cool and put in a food processor.

When tomatillos are finished cooking, let coo and add to food processor.

Cut the stems off the serrano then de-seed and add to the food processor along with the cilantro, garlic, lime, and salt.  Puree.

Potatoes

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees

Dice the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes.  Put the potatoes into a 9 by 14 Pyrex baking dish and add the oil, garlic and salt.  Mix together to coat all the potatoes evenly.

Cover with foil and place into the oven on the middle rack for 45 minutes.  Turn the oven to broil, take the foil off and place the potatoes on the top rack and broil for  7- 10 minutes or until they start to brown.  Make sure to keep an eye on them.  Remove from oven and let cool.

The rest

Shred the cheese and set aside.

Dice the onion and add to a 5 1/2 quart soup pot along with the oil and saute on medium-low heat until onions are soft and translucent.  Add the wine and reduce to a syrup.  Add the tomatillo salsa, milk, lime juice, salt and pepper.

In a food processor add half the potatoes and about 2 cups of the water and puree then add to the soup.  Repeat with the remaining potatoes and 2 more cups of water.  Then add the final 2 cups of water to the soup (total of 6 cups of water).  Stir and cook until hot, then slowly add the cheese and cook until the cheese is completely melted.

Serve it with diced roasted poblano, drizzled with chili oil,  sprinkled with blue corn chips and topped with a dollop of cilantro pesto.

Creamy-Potato Tomatillo Soup

Health benefits:

Yellow Potatoes – Yukon gold’s content of potassium is higher than many foods and can help reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke. They have twice the amount of vitamin C as a Russet, which helps protects your cells from free-radical damage. Yukon’s are rich in B6 and antioxidant properties. It has a bit of Iron but the C helps the body absorb it. They contain fiber that helps reduces cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, helps prevent constipation and aids in weight loss.

Tomatillos have been found to have anti-bacterial and anti-cancer properties from the Ixocarpalactone-A, a phyto-chemical.  They contain niacin, which helps convert food into energy. They are a rich source of vitamin C and flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants, vitamin K  that increases bone mass, potassium that helps electrolyte regulation, nerve function, muscle control, and blood pressure, folate that supports red blood cell formation and fiber.  They are without sugars, low in salt and cholesterol-free.

Black Lentil Roasted Purple Potatoes Salad with Cilantro Pesto Vinaigrette

This rustic salad is extremely flavorful and satisfying.  It makes a great side dish and is filling enough to be a meal all in of itself!
Four and a half years ago my body changed and I started to gain weight.  First, it was a couple pounds and the next thing I knew, I was 15 pounds over weight. 15 POUNDS!  I
am talking within a month!  I am only 5′ 3 and 3/4, yes I said 3/4 quarters.  When you are my height every 1/4 inch counts, haha!  I have had to change so many things in my diet and I have had to become very diligent with my exercising.  You have to realize, I have never in my whole life had to think about what I was eating.  It really has been a blessing though.  I have eaten relatively healthy my whole life, but now I had to cut out sugar, wheat, soy and corn for the most part.  I will eat them on occasion.
Lately, I have been eating dishes like this lentil salad as well as kale salads, soups and falafel.  My body seems to like this and I have FINALLY achieved my goal weight.  It only took 4 and 1/2 years but hey, I’ll take it!  Bottom line, there is no such thing as the perfect diet.  You really do have to make lifestyle changes.  Have you struggled with weight?  What’s your story?  And what works for you?
This salad goes great with a nice red Rioja, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, white Rioja, or a Sauvignon Blanc.
Recipe: 6 – 8 servings

Roasted Potatoes

  • 1 lb. Purple Potatoes -1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic – minced
  • 1 Clove Garlic and 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
Lentils
  • 1 1/2 Cup Black Lentils – dry
  • 7 Cups Filtered Water

Vinaigrette -Incase you want to make more of the Cilantro Asiago Pesto, here is the whole batch.  I use a half batch for this salad with the addition of the lemon juice, vinegar and a bit more salt.

  • 1 1/2 Cups Cilantro Leaves
  • 1/2 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Asiago – finely shredded
  • 1/4 Cup +2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Cloves Garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 3 Tablespoons Champagne Vinegar
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Salt

Veggies

  • 1/4  – 1/2 Fennel Bulb (about 1 cup) –  thinly sliced
  • 1/4 Cup Fennel Fronds
  • 1 Carrots -(about 3/4 cup) shredded
  • 1/2 Cup Red Cabbage – sliced or minced

Instructions:

Potatoes

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash the potatoes and dice them into 1/2 inch chunks.  Put potatoes in an Pyrex baking dish and add the olive oil, garlic and salt.  Mix throughly, making sure to coat all of the potatoes with the oil.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until soft enough to pierce with a fork.  Then turn oven to broil and place potatoes under broiler uncovered for 7 minutes.

Lentils

While potatoes are cooking, sort lentils to make sure there are no rocks then rinse and drain.

Add the lentils and water in a medium pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and simmer.

Cook until just tender approx. 15 – 20 minutes, you don’t want them too soft or they will be mushy, so check them at 15 minutes.

While the lentils are cooking start the vinaigrette.

When the lentils are done, drain them into a mesh colander, rinse with water to help them cool down and allow them to cool to room temperature.

Vinaigrette

Pick the leaves off of the cilantro stems, finely shred the cheese, measure the cilantro, walnuts, garlic, olive oil, salt and put them into a food processor. Turn the processor on then pour in the lemon juice and vinegar until smooth.  Once the lentils are cooled mix them into the vinaigrette.

Veggies

Cut the stalks off the fennel and cut in half then cut out the core.  Slice as thin as you can then add them to the lentils.  Thinly slice the fennel fronds and add to lentils.

Shred the carrot and slice or mince the cabbage and add to lentils.

Mix well and serve with the potatoes.

Roasted-Potato-Black-Lentil-Salad

 Health benefits:

 Lentils have very high levels of soluble fiber and a good amount of insoluble fiber, which is a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels giving you a steady steam of energy.  A half-cup provides about a third of the daily requirements.  Not only is the fiber good for your heart the amount of folate and magnesium is very beneficial for cardiovascular health. Lentils provide a steady stream of glucose to your brain.  Glucose is a sugar and key source of energy for cells in the body, and is the only fuel your brain can use.  The high fiber regulates the release of the glucose, providing a steady stream of fuel that powers your brain cells, and is a key component in keeping your brain in excellent shape. They are loaded with an impressive amount of blood-fortifying iron and when paired with a food containing vitamin C, like citrus fruits or peppers the iron is enhanced, which can also increase your energy.  They are also a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K. They are truly a nutritional fountain of youth. Lentils originated in Southwestern Asia along the Indus River have been eaten for over 8000 years

Purple potatoes are originally from their origins in Peru and Bolivia.  They contain 4 times as much antioxidants as Russet potatoes. The deep blue or purple color produces an flavonoid antioxidant called anthocyanin which helps boost the immune system, the same that can be found it blueberries, blood oranges,  pomegranates and black rice.  They are high in potassium and have anti-inflammatory properties.  Purple potatoes have a high concentration of phytochemicals and one called chlorogenic acid and has been linked to lowering blood pressure.  They are also a good source of complex carbohydrates, vitamin C, folic acid and iron.

Cilantro is an extreme anti-oxidant immune-booster that helps detoxify the body by loosening them from the tissue, binding to and pulling out toxins and heavy metals.  It helps promote a healthy liver function and is an overall digestive aid.  It is a powerful anti-inflammatory that may help symptoms of arthritis and joint pain. Cilantro can lower bad cholesterol level and increase the good cholesterol level.  It also helps with insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar. It is rich in essential oils, vitamins and is one of the richest herbal sources for vitamin K and dietary fiber. It is also an excellent source of omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids and calcium.

Homemade Black Bean Recipe

 Homemade black beans are yummy, nutritious, very easy and inexpensive to make!

Homemade-Black-Beans

I make a pot of these every week so needless to say we eat a lot of black beans.  We eat them in burritos or by themselves we obviously drain them with a slotted spoon so there is always bean broth left and I use it along with some of the beans and make a soup out of it.  Just add some tomatoes, maybe some roasted poblano, Hot Sauce de Arbol y Ancho and/or Pico De Gallo then top it with some cheese and you have an instant soup.

Black-Beans

Recipe:  8 – 10 Servings

  • 4 Cups Organic Black Beans
  • 12 plus 6 Cups Filtered Water
  • 4 – 8 Whole Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili Peppers Flakes or 2 -3 whole dried chilies like new mexico, habanero, ancho or !0 arbol
  • 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt or to taste

Instructions:

In a 5 1/2 quart pot put small hand full of beans in the pot at one time, making sure there are no rocks. Then rinse the beans and add the water, garlic and chilies.

Bring to a boil on medium high heat boiling for approx. 45 minutes or until water starts to evaporates and add more water then cook for another 45 minutes or longer still checking on water levels.

* Add Sea Salt to taste AT THE END or they will be tough.

Taste to see if soft, if so turn heat down to medium and add salt to taste and let cook for 5 more minutes to infuse salt.

It depends on how old the beans are as to how long it will take to cook, older beans will take longer.

* If you have a problem with gas after eating beans. Try soaking dried beans in water for at least six to eight hours before cooking to reduce gas formation.

 Or place beans in a sauce pan with cold water, cover and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let sit for an hour.

 Health benefits:

Black beans are high in cholesterol lowering dietary fiber, 1 cup of cooked beans provides you with over 1/2 of your daily requirements and reduces blood cholesterol that helps prevent heart disease.   The fiber supports the digestive tract and the colon, which helps constipation, diverticulitis and other gastrointestinal disorders.  They also maintain normal blood sugar levels, helping to prevent diabetes.   Black beans are a very good meat substitute because of their 15 grams of protein in 1 cup and contain only trace amounts of saturated fat and no cholesterol.  They contain phytochemicals, substances found only in plant foods that help fight cancer and other chronic diseases.  They increase energy with the good amounts of iron in them and have more antioxidant activity than other types of beans. They neutralize cell-damaging free radicals that may help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.  Black beans are also rich in B vitamins, Folate, potassium (helps regulate your blood pressure and heart rate), magnesium, calcium (builds and maintains bones) and other heart-healthy nutrients.

Roasted Poblano Cilantro Quesadilla

You won’t believe how delicious this quesadilla is! Everything tastes good with roasted poblano in my opinion though.  It goes perfect with the homemade Black Beans, Pico de Gallo and/or Hot Sauce de Arbol y Ancho.

Roasted-Poblano-Cilantro-Quesadilla

Roasted Poblano Cilantro Quesadilla-Recipe at cali-zona.com

Recipe: Makes 2 Quesadilla

  • 2 Poblano Peppers – roasted & chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro Leaves
  • Quesadilla Cheese or Jack Cheese – shredded
  • 2 Flour, Spelt, Whole Wheat or Gluten Free Tortillas
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions:

Roast the peppers – How to Roast Peppers.

Remove stem and seeds then cut peppers into small cubes.

I used a cheese called quesadilla which taste like a cross between jack and mozzarella.

Shred the cheese.

Put about 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan then place two tortillas in the pan.

Coat one then flip them both over to coat the other tortilla.

 Place oily sides of tortillas together and coat each of the tortillas other side then heat until slightly cooked.

 I like to heat the tortillas this way because it slightly cooks the insides and allows you to cook the outside as little or as much as you like.

Flip tortillas so uncooked sides are on the outside.

Take one tortilla out for a minute and put cheese on half of the cooked side, add poblano peppers and cilantro then fold.  Repeat with the other tortilla.

 You can add more cilantro and poblano if you like.

Flip a few times to evenly heat.  When golden they are ready to eat!  Serve with Refried Beans or Black Beans.

 It is good with Pico De GalloRoasted Poblano Cilantro SalsaHot Sauce de Arbol y Ancho and Chipotle Hot Sauce.

Health Benefits:

Poblano Peppers are extremely high in vitamin C;  just one pepper has 95% of your daily value. They are great for your immune system; poblanos help reduce inflammation like in arthritis and asthma. They contain lycopene (a powerful antioxidant, giving many fruits and vegetables their color, especially tomatoes), which is great for the prevention of cancers in the bladder, prostate, cervix and pancreas. They are also helpful with increasing oxygen so the body can burn more calories 20 minutes after eating peppers.

Cilantro is an immune-booster that helps detoxify the body by loosening them from the tissue, binding to and pulling out toxins and heavy metals.  It helps promote a healthy liver function and is an overall digestive aid.  It is a powerful anti-inflammatory that may help symptoms of arthritis and joint pain. It also helps with insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar. It is rich in antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins (one of the richest herbal sources for vitamin K), and dietary fiber.

Black Bean And Pureed Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup

This is packed with flavor and healthy ingredients.  The pureed roasted red bell peppers, pico de gallo and the tomatilla salsa verde add a whole other dimension to it.  It’s one of the best black bean soups I have ever had, which makes it really hard to stop eating! : )

Black-Bean-and-Pureed-Roasted-Red-Bell-Pepper-Soup

I had made pico de gallo and tomatillo salsa verde for some other meals and had left overs so I made up this soup which was perfect for the cold weather we have been having.  It is good the way it is but I do like to add some cheese on top!

Black-Bean-and-Pureed-Roasted-Bell-Pepper-Soup

Recipe – 10 to 12 servings

  • 5 Cups Black Bean Broth (water of Beans)
  • 4 Cups Homemade Black Beans
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper
  • 1 – 2 Jalapeno
  • 1/2 Cup Corn
  • 1 Cup Pico De Gallo
  • 1 Cup Tomatillo Salsa Verde
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 2 Teaspoons Paprika
  • 2 Teaspoons Sea Salt or to taste

Instructions:

Make the Homemade Black Beans and then measure the beans and bean broth and add to a large pot.  (can be made the day ahead)

Roast all the peppers, make the pico de gallo and tomatillo salsa verde.  (can be made the day ahead)

Add all peppers in a food processor except the yellow pepper, puree and add to the black beans.

Dice the yellow bell peppers and add to the black beans along with the pico de gallo, tomatillo salsa verde, corn and spices. 

 Black beans are high in cholesterol lowering dietary fiber, 1 cup of cooked beans provides you with over 1/2 of your daily requirements and reduces blood cholesterol that helps prevent heart disease.   The fiber supports the digestive tract and the colon, which helps constipation, diverticulitis and other gastrointestinal disorders.  They also maintain normal blood sugar levels, helping to prevent diabetes.   Black beans are a very good meat substitute because of their 15 grams of protein in 1 cup and contain only trace amounts of saturated fat and no cholesterol.  They contain phytochemicals, substances found only in plant foods that help fight cancer and other chronic diseases.  They increase energy with the good amounts of iron in them and have more antioxidant activity than other types of beans. They neutralize cell-damaging free radicals that may help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.  Black beans are also rich in B vitamins, Folate, potassium (helps regulate your blood pressure and heart rate), magnesium, calcium (builds and maintains bones) and other heart-healthy nutrients.

Bell Peppers are matured green bell peppers and have more nutrition as they mature.  They are super high in vitamin A which helps to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision and are extremely high in vitamin C, so much so they have twice as much as an orange which makes it really good for the skin.  Red peppers are one of the highest veggies in lycopene, and have been successfully tested in the prevention of many cancers.  They have a good source of the antioxidant mineral manganese and B-complex and vitamin E.  They help reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, helps controls diabetes and helps reduce pain.  They are also a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin K, molybdenum and manganese.