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Tired of tamales? Put them in this soup with kale, beans, avocado

Addie Broyles
abroyles@statesman.com

I won’t ever fully confess to being tired of tamales, but there are moments this time of year  when my fridge and freezer are overflowing with them that I think, “Am I really ready to eat tamales again for lunch?”

Over the weekend, I put some of those tamales to use in this mishmash of a stew. With the shredded cabbage, cilantro, avocado and fried tortilla strips on top, it’s a hybrid between pozole and chicken tortilla soup, with kale and a few cans of beans throw in because I like them.

Because it was the weekend, I had time to cut up fresh corn tortillas into strips and fry them while the soup was cooking, but regular old tortilla chips would be just fine.

Tamal Soup with Kale, Beans, Avocado

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 onion diced

1/2 poblano pepper, seeded and diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup tomatillo (or regular) salsa

1 (15-oz.) can charro beans (undrained)

1 (15-oz) can kidney beans (drained)

1 cube chicken bouillon

1 cup chopped kale

8 tamales, husks removed

For garnish:

Shredded cabbage or slaw

Tortilla chips

Chopped cilantro

Sliced avocado

Sliced jalapenos

Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Saute onions and pepper for about 10 to 15 minutes until the aromatics soften. Add garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Add salsa and beans. Cover the ingredients with water, about 8 cups or more, depending on how much liquid you prefer in your soup. Add bouillon cube.

Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes so the beans don’t burn on the bottom of the pot. Add kale and cook for 5 minutes. Tear tamales into bite-sized pieces and add to the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes and serve.