Black and Green Soup with Mini Quesadilla Croutons

Everybody has a few weird eating habits. For example, BGE really, really, really REALLY likes crackers in his soup. He’ll crumble an entire sleeve of saltines into soup and mix it up until it resembles savory oatmeal. He got the habit from his dad. BGE’s dad will always tell BGE’s mom, “Welp, you knew who I was before you married me!”

BGE likes to use that line every time I tease him about the crackers. “Welp, you know who you’re marrying!” And then he’ll rip open another sleeve of saltines. I rarely bother to make soup if there’s no saltines in the house.

This is one of those exceptions. This soup is topped with tiny quesadillas, which one-ups saltines any day. It’s just spicy enough without being overpowering. And it’s full of tomatillos, which are full of potassium, which, as we’ve all heard a million times, prevent cramping. (off topic — if you do get a lot of leg cramps when you run, bring a salt packet or two with you. BGE used to get the worst cramps when he ran long distances. He figured out that he was hydrating well enough, but not replacing the sodium he was sweating out. He always has some salt tabs with him when he bikes or runs, and it’s helped him immensely.)

What are your food quirks?

Black and Green Soup with Mini Quesadilla Croutons

Yield: Serves 2 main meal or 4 for appetizer

Black and Green Soup with Mini Quesadilla Croutons


  • for the soup
  • 5 medium tomatillos, husks removed.
  • 1/4 of a medium onion
  • 1 big garlic clove
  • 2 dried chiles de arbol
  • 1 small handful of kale
  • 1 1/2 cans of black beans, drained
  • 3 cups of veggie broth, divided
  • for the croutons
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 1 1/4 cups of shredded sharp cheddar
  • additional toppings
  • cilantro
  • avocado


    for the soup:
  1. Cut the tomatillos into quarters.
  2. Put the tomatillos, onion, garlic, and chiles in a saucepan with one cup of the broth. Cook over medium heat for about ten minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, add kale, and puree with a hand blender.
  4. Return to medium heat and add remaining broth, along with black beans. Cook an additional 10 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with quesadilla croutons, cilantro, and avocado.
  5. for the croutons:
  6. Lay two of the tortillas side by side on a baking sheet. Cover with cheese and another tortilla
  7. Broil for 3-4 min, then flip and broil an additional 2 mins. As always with the broiler, watch to make sure they don't burn.
  8. Remove from heat and allow to cool. You want the cheese completely congealed before you make the croutons.
  9. Once the cheese has congealed, use a clean pair of scissors to cut little circles out of the big quesadillas.


You can find dried arbol chiles as some supermarkets or at every single bodega. If you can't find these chiles, you can probably substitute with one adobo chile out of a can.

adapted from Annie’s Mom’s green salsa

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