Caldo‌ ‌with Vegetables, Fried Tortillas, &‌ ‌Spicy‌ ‌Charred‌ ‌Tomato‌ ‌Oil

Image By: Gino Garcia​​

This‌ ‌‌caldo‌‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌delicate‌ ‌and‌ ‌brothy‌ ‌or‌ ‌a‌ ‌sucker‌ ‌punch‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌senses.‌ ‌It‌ ‌all‌ ‌depends‌ ‌on‌ ‌how‌ ‌much‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌spicy‌ ‌charred‌ ‌tomato‌ ‌oil‌ ‌you‌ ‌use.

I created this ‌hot ‌“salsa”‌ ‌when‌ ‌my‌ ‌entire‌ ‌family‌‌—‌who ‌all‌ ‌have‌ ‌different levels of‌ ‌heat-tolerance‌‌—‌‌got‌ ‌a‌ ‌nasty‌ ‌cold‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌same‌ ‌time‌.‌ ‌So I developed a‌ ‌hearty‌ ‌‌caldo‌ ‌de‌ ‌verduras‌‌ ‌that‌ ‌wouldn’t‌ ‌weigh‌ ‌them‌ ‌down‌ ‌afterward.‌ ‌‌

Without‌ ‌the‌ ‌tomato‌ ‌oil,‌ ‌the‌ ‌soup‌ ‌is‌ ‌soothing‌ ‌and‌ ‌familiar. If you choose to opt out of the salsa, I recommend ‌sprinkling‌ ‌a bit of‌ ‌Mexican‌ ‌oregano,‌ ‌rubbed‌ ‌between your‌ ‌fingers,‌ ‌and‌ ‌drizzling ‌some good‌ ‌quality‌ ‌olive‌ ‌oil.‌ ‌

The truth is,‌ ‌the‌ ‌tomato‌ ‌oil‌ ‌is‌ ‌so‌ ‌good‌ ‌you’ll‌ ‌most likely want‌ ‌to‌ ‌double‌ ‌the‌ ‌recipe‌ ‌and‌ ‌drizzle‌ ‌it‌ ‌on‌ ‌everything!

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Caldo with Vegetables, Fried Tortillas, & Spicy Charred Tomato Oil

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yields: 4 servings

Image By: Gino Garcia​​

Spicy Charred Tomato Oil

  • 12‌ ‌cherry‌ ‌tomatoes‌ ‌

  • ⅓‌ ‌cup‌ ‌olive‌ ‌oil‌ ‌

  • 2‌ ‌garlic‌ ‌cloves,‌ ‌thinly‌ ‌sliced‌ ‌

  • 1‌ ‌teaspoon‌ ‌Mexican‌ ‌oregano‌ ‌

  • 1‌ ‌teaspoon‌ ‌smoked‌ ‌paprika‌ ‌

  • ½‌ ‌teaspoon‌ ‌ground‌ ‌cayenne‌ ‌

  • ½‌ ‌lemon,‌ ‌juice‌ ‌

  • ¼‌ ‌teaspoon‌ ‌salt‌ ‌

Preparing Charred Tomato Oil

  1. Heat‌ ‌a‌ ‌small‌ ‌pot‌ ‌over‌ ‌medium-high‌ ‌heat.‌ ‌
  2. Add‌ ‌tomatoes‌ ‌and‌ ‌char‌ ‌evenly‌ ‌on‌ ‌outsides,‌ ‌remove‌ ‌from‌ ‌pan‌ ‌and‌ ‌set‌ ‌aside.‌
  3. ‌Turn‌ ‌heat‌ ‌down‌ ‌to‌ ‌medium-low,‌ ‌add‌ ‌olive‌ ‌oil‌ ‌and‌ ‌warm‌ ‌until‌ ‌a‌ ‌slice‌ ‌of‌ ‌garlic‌ ‌sizzles‌ ‌gently.‌ ‌
  4. Add‌ ‌remaining‌ ‌garlic‌ ‌and‌ ‌fry‌ ‌until‌ ‌garlic‌ ‌is‌ ‌fragrant‌ ‌and‌ ‌takes‌ ‌on‌ ‌a‌ ‌little‌ ‌color‌ ‌(don’t‌ ‌burn‌ ‌the‌ ‌garlic!).‌ ‌
  5. Add‌ ‌oregano,‌ ‌paprika,‌ ‌cayenne,‌ ‌and‌ ‌reserved‌ ‌charred‌ ‌tomatoes‌ ‌and‌ ‌cook‌ ‌for‌ ‌30‌ ‌seconds.‌ ‌
  6. Remove‌ ‌from‌ ‌heat,‌ ‌smash‌ ‌tomatoes‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌back‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌spoon,‌ ‌stir‌ ‌in‌ ‌lemon‌ ‌juice‌ ‌and‌ ‌salt,‌ ‌and‌ ‌keep‌ ‌warm‌ ‌until‌ ‌ready‌ ‌to‌ ‌use.‌ ‌ ‌

Fried Tortilla Ingredients

  • 1‌ ‌cup‌ ‌corn‌ ‌oil‌ ‌

  • 3‌ ‌corn‌ ‌tortillas,‌ ‌julienned‌ ‌

  • Salt‌

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Preparing Fried Tortillas

  1. Heat‌ ‌oil‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌pot‌ ‌to‌ ‌350.‌
  2. ‌Fry‌ ‌julienned‌ ‌tortillas‌ ‌until‌ ‌light‌ ‌brown,‌ ‌remove‌ ‌and‌ ‌drain‌ ‌on‌ ‌paper‌ ‌towels.‌
  3. Sprinkle‌ ‌with‌ ‌salt‌ ‌while‌ ‌warm.‌
  4. ‌Pour‌ ‌out‌ ‌all‌ ‌but‌ ‌2‌ ‌tablespoons‌ ‌of‌ ‌oil‌ ‌from‌ ‌pot‌ ‌and‌ ‌reserve‌ ‌for‌ ‌caldo.‌

Caldo Ingredients

  • ½‌ ‌white‌ ‌onion,‌ ‌diced‌ ‌

  • 2‌ ‌garlic‌ ‌clove,‌ ‌thinly‌ ‌sliced‌ ‌

  • 1‌ ‌bay‌ ‌leaf‌ ‌

  • ½‌ ‌teaspoon‌ ‌ground‌ ‌cumin‌ ‌

  • ¼‌ ‌teaspoon‌ ‌ground‌ ‌coriander‌ ‌ ‌

  • ¼‌ ‌teaspoon‌ ‌salt‌ ‌

  • ⅛‌ ‌teaspoon‌ ‌ground‌ ‌black‌ ‌pepper‌ ‌

  • 1‌ ‌chayote,‌ ‌peeled,‌ ‌pitted,‌ ‌diced‌ ‌

  • 1‌ ‌zucchini,‌ ‌halved‌ ‌lengthwise,‌ ‌cut‌ ‌into‌ ‌¼”‌ ‌half-moons‌ ‌

  • 1‌ ‌(15.5-ounce)‌ ‌can‌ ‌mayocoba‌ ‌or‌ ‌cannellini‌ ‌beans,‌ ‌drained‌ ‌

  • 4‌ ‌cups‌ ‌vegetable‌ ‌stock‌ ‌or‌ ‌water‌ ‌

  • ¼‌ ‌Savoy‌ ‌cabbage,‌ ‌diced‌ ‌

  • 1‌ ‌jalapeno,‌ ‌thinly‌ ‌sliced‌ ‌

  • 6‌ ‌sprigs‌ ‌cilantro‌ ‌

  • Lemons‌ ‌or‌ ‌limes and cilantro for ‌garnish‌

Image By: Gino Garcia​​
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Preparing the Caldo

  1. In‌ ‌the‌ ‌same‌ ‌pot‌ ‌you‌ ‌used‌ ‌to‌ ‌fry‌ ‌tortillas,‌ ‌warm‌ ‌reserved‌ ‌oil‌ ‌over‌ ‌medium‌ ‌heat.‌
  2. ‌Add‌ ‌onion‌ ‌and‌ ‌garlic,‌ ‌lightly‌ ‌frying‌ ‌until‌ ‌onion‌ ‌starts‌ ‌to‌ ‌become‌ ‌translucent.‌ ‌
  3. Add‌ ‌herbs,‌ ‌chayote,‌ ‌zucchini,‌ ‌beans,‌ ‌stock‌ ‌or‌ ‌water,‌ ‌and‌ ‌cook‌ ‌until‌ ‌just‌ ‌tender,‌ ‌about‌ ‌15‌ ‌minutes.‌ ‌
  4. Add‌ ‌cabbage,‌ ‌jalapeno,‌ ‌and‌ ‌cilantro‌ ‌and‌ ‌continue‌ ‌simmering‌ ‌for‌ ‌about‌ ‌5-10‌ ‌minutes.‌
  5. ‌Serve‌ ‌in‌ ‌bowls‌ ‌and‌ ‌serve‌ ‌with‌ ‌spicy‌ ‌charred‌ ‌tomato‌ ‌oil,‌ ‌fried‌ ‌tortillas,‌ ‌cilantro,‌ ‌and‌ ‌lime‌ ‌or‌ ‌lemons.‌ ‌

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About the Author

Gino García

Gino García is based in Seattle, WA, originally from the California central valley, and has family roots in northern Mexico and the Mediterranean. He’s worked in restaurant kitchens, as a recipe developer and cooking instructor, and is an avid researcher and writer on regional Mexican cuisines. Gino has studied traditional Mexican techniques and flavors for many years, but loves to adapt dishes to local and seasonal produce available in the Pacific Northwest.

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