Salsa Stoup with Avocado Smash and Whole Wheat Quesadillas

Is there a 12 step program for soup?  Because if there is, I should probably sign up.  I’ve made more soup this winter than any other winter I can remember.  I even created a soup chock full of vegetables and then got crazy one day and added pesto to it.  It. was. delicious.  I’ll definitely be posting that some time soon.

Lately, I’ve been craving this soup by Rachael Ray that I originally saw on 30 Minute Meals way back when I first started watching that show.  Actually, it’s a “stoup,” which is what Rachael calls a cross between soup and stew.  Thicker than soup, but not as thick as stew.  It has a lot of veggies, is pretty lite, and is accompanied by the most delicious avocado smash that’s like creamy guacamole, along with crispy quesadillas.

Confession time: I’ve made that avocado smash quite a few times and taken it to parties with just a bag of tortilla chips.  People love it, and people in this household are no exception.  I use fat free sour cream to lighten it up.  I don’t like fat free sour cream as a stand-alone, but in recipes like this, it’s just fine as far as I’m concerned.  When I make the avocado smash for this recipe, since it’s just Tim and me, I buy all of the ingredients for the smash but only make half when I make the soup.  Then I make the other half with the leftovers.  It will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, but it’s better fresh.

[You know the avocado tricks, right?  Cut around the fruit and open it to expose the pit.  To remove the pit, bring a knife down on it so the knife sticks in the pit.  Be careful with this!  It’s easy to cut yourself (not that I’ve ever done that), so hold the avocado in a towel, for safety sake.  Then, score the avocado flesh with a knife to make cross hatches.  To remove the avocado from the skin, just insert a spoon and scoop it out.]

Back to the soup. The recipe has instructions for double-decker quesadillas, but I stuck with single-decker and switched to whole wheat tortillas.  For the cheese, I used reduced fat pepper jack and “Seriously Sharp” white cheddar by Cabot. (LOVE this cheese, by the way. It’s not even in the fancy cheese case.  It’s in the dairy aisle, and it’s really inexpensive!)

A couple more random notes.  There’s cilantro all over this recipe.  We love cilantro, but if you don’t, you can use flat leaf parsley.  Also, the two jalapenos make the soup sort of spicy.  If you want it more mild, just use one.  I’ve also added chicken to this soup before, and it was great.  Just cut up two boneless, skinless chicken breasts and put in the soup once it’s bubbling.  I served the soup with a spoonful of the avocado smash right on top and also on the side to dip the quesadilla in.  Tim’s review of this soup is that it “tastes really fresh, and I can tell it’s super healthy.”  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Salsa Stoup with Avocado Smash and Whole Wheat Quesadillas


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed, then diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, then chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped with greens
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 28 oz. can stewed tomatoes (diced, if available)
  • 1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or flat leaf parsley

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the peppers, onion, celery, and garlic.  Salt and pepper and cook 5-10 minutes until veggies begin to soften.  Add the tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a bubble.  If you wanted to add chicken to the recipe, now would be the time.  Just before you’re ready to serve, stir in cilantro.


  • Whole wheat tortillas, 6 to 8 inches
  • Shredded sharp cheddar
  • 2-3 scallions, chopped
  • Shredded pepper jack

Heat nonstick skillet over low to medium-low heat and spray with cooking spray.  Place one tortilla in the skillet, layer on cheese and scallions, and then top with another tortilla.  Cook slowly on low heat until tortilla is crispy and cheese begins to melt.  Flip and cook the second side until crispy.  Repeat until you have enough quesadillas for your crowd.

Avocado Smash:

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 plum tomato, finely chopped
Put the flesh of one avocado in a bowl and smash with a fork.  Add the juice of one lime, cilantro, scallions, sour cream.  Gently stir in the tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper.

17 thoughts on “Salsa Stoup with Avocado Smash and Whole Wheat Quesadillas

  1. Sounds good! I’m going to try it out. Great blog Cara! I recently did in fact cut myself while cutting an avocado, so bad it needed stitches (two weeks before my wedding, whoops). My mistake was assuming that because the avocado was soft that I didn’t need to set in on the counter while I cut around it. Holding it your hand is a kitchen no no. 🙂

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