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I was given the opportunity recently by Smiley360 to test, talk about, and share a recipe using one of my favorite kitchen products – Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Several years ago, my family and I made the switch to using olive oil for most of our sauteing, grilling, baking, and frying needs. I personally began eating a Mediterranean-style diet rich in MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids), and have continued to eat that way. Olive oil is a terrific MUFA, as it has been known to help lower your risk of heart disease, breast cancer, high blood pressure, depression, and may also help with rheumatoid arthritis, which I suffer from.
Pompeian selects only the finest Mediterranean olives for their oils. Extra virgin olive oil is the most sought after, and is extracted using “cold pressing”… a process in which the oil is extracted from olives using only pressure. Extra virgin olive oil has just 1% acid, and has the freshest and fruitiest flavor of them all. I found this quite interesting – Pompeian says it takes about 11 pounds of olives to make one liter of oil. The average tree yields enough olives to produce three to four liters per year. I love it’s robust flavor and buttery aroma. Great to use in salad dressings and sauces, and for dipping chunks of fresh, crusty Italian bread in.
I serve quite a few homemade soups in my home. We all love a nice warm bowl of comforting soup any time of year, but in particular when the weather starts turning cooler. Here’s the recipe for our very favorite – I make this at least 2 or 3 times a month. Very filling, simple, and delicious!
In a large, heavy pot, heat 1/2 of your olive oil. Add onion, jalapeno, and garlic. Stir for about 5 minutes until tender. Add your ground beef and chorizo to brown. Stir to combine, and add your dry spices. Once browned, drain well.
Pour in your Rotel tomatoes, diced tomatoes, salsa, black beans, chicken stock and hot water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour stirring occasionally. Taste about half way through to see if you need to add any more seasoning. Add as needed.
While the soup is cooking, heat the remaining oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the tortilla strips one layer at a time, turning until browned.. about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining tortilla strips.
Add the corn and cilantro and cook for another 20-30 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. Ladle into bowls and top with shredded cheese, diced avocado, sour cream, tortilla strips, and a lime wedge.
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