In the Kitchen

Vegan Tortilla Soup

Vegan & Gluten-Free // Serves 4


4 cups vegetable broth

2 avocado

Fresh cilantro

2 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (or diced tomatoes with chilies)

Lime juice

Salt & pepper

2 cup onion

4 cloves garlic

Tortilla chips


Toss veggie broth, diced tomatoes, lime juice, onion and garlic into blender and blend well. Pour puréed soup into small pot on stovetop and bring to a low boil, adding salt and pepper.

Transfer soup to bowls. Slice avocado horizontally and vertically, removing stone. Scoop out with a spoon and add to soup. Chop or tear cilantro and add to soup. Enjoy!

 Nicole Navratil is a local blogger devoted to creative meatless recipes. Find her blog, “Pepperoni Is Not a Vegetable,” at Got other family-friendly veggie recipes to share? Join her Sundays on Twitter for #veggielovechat at 8:00 p.m.


Eat them now — they’re going fast

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal brought sad news. Many avocado trees are being pulled from the ground in California’s San Diego County, in favor of plants that require less water to grow. According to the WSJ, the amount of water needed to tend to this luscious fruit is five times greater than what grapes need. On a 15-acre property, for example, that saves thousands of dollars annually. 

San Diego County has long been the nation’s top avocado-producing region and is home to one of the U.S.’s biggest avocado festivals held in October every year, Avofest in Carpinteria.

Let’s support the plucky farmers who continue to bring us this green delight, encased in its perfectly portable shell. Here’s a quick recipe to get you started. —Kathleen Stoehr

Chunky Guacamole


2 perfectly ripe California avocados (they should “give” a little when you squeeze them gently)

1 small vine ripe tomato

one small red onion, finely chopped

1 T chopped fresh cilantro

¼ lime, juiced

pinch of salt

Make this easy on yourself: the finished product can be as chunky or as smooth as you wish it to be, depending upon how large or small you dice your veggies. Basically, just dice your tomato and onions as small as you wish them to be; cut your avocado in half, remove the seed, then cut it in criss-cross dice while still in the skin. Scoop out the avocado with a large spoon into your bowl or Molcajete, add your veg and cilantro, squeeze your lime over the top, add a bit of salt to your liking, and eat immediately, or let sit for an hour, covered, so flavors mingle.

Minnesota Parent Tested

The Molcajete is a mortar and pestle carved from natural volcanic lava rock, large enough to mix up a party-sized batch of guacamole and serve it in the same bowl. One caveat: this is not an easy product to lift. With the pestle, it weighs about 11 pounds!; about $40 on sale

Minnesota Parent Tested

This simple Chef citrus juicer will be your main squeeze in the kitchen. The manual juicer can extract juice from citrus fruits easily with the one lever operation that requires a “push” on the fruit versus a “squeeze” (more difficult).; about $14 on sale