If you are mildly industrious and have a bumper crop of veggies you can make this all from your garden. I have a one month window to get tomatoes and peppers ripe before frost kills em so I have only succeeded once. Feel free to modify and leave suggestions in the comments. Thanks to the modern miracle of the supermarket you can make this year round, think of it as liquid salad, delivered atop corn chips - delicious fried corn chips.
The basic needs
Does your supermarket have a religious candle aisle?
To make it better
Here is how to make it, ignore the first 2 steps if you only want the simple recipe.
1. Put some olive oil in pot over the stove
2. Coarsely chop onion and carrots add to pot. Sautee for a bit until softish. Maybe 5-10 minutes.
You can make em even coarser
3. Add can of whole peeled tomatoes (peel fresh tomato equivalent by briefly dunking tomatoes into boiling water, skin pops right off, see?)
can o' maters.
4. Coarsely chop fresh peppers add to pot
5. Remove stems from dried chipotle peppers, split them if you want, add to pot
Add as many or as few peppers as you want, the dried chipotle ones add the smokey flavor
6. smush garlic a bit, add to pot
7. Get pot simmering, stir infrequently, cover and wait twenty minutes, don't cook for too long, or it tastes dark evil and crappy, kind of like cafeteria ketchup. When it is done remove from the stove.
7.5 you probably should be drinking a beer while you wait, if you are not already
8. While you wait for it to simmer, collect the leafs of the cilantro. Discard the stems, this is my least favorite part. I try to trick Elena into doing this part with limited success.
If you use the stem it gets a bit stringy, if you are lazy just use the whole head of cilantro
9. Also, while you wait, juice the limes.
This juicing tool rocks, I am throwing my reamer in the trash
10. Take the cooled pot contents and put in a blender, put the lime juice on top and the cilantro on top of that
Blending hot stuff is bad. Wait till it cools
11. Blend to a pleasing consistency.
12. pour into bowls
13. Eat. With your beer. Yum
If you have the touch, this all equals one filled to brim blender load. Careful blending hot things, they burn when they splatter out all over you. Wait until it is not hot to blend. Have another beer. Now blend.
Pretty quick, pretty delicious.
The rules on the spicy/ameliorant are as follows:
If you play this right you can have a salsa that is both really spicy and is edible by people who hate spicy foods. I don't condone catering to these people, what I like to do is put lots of spicy stuff and sweet stuff in for a carnival of mouth flavors.
Places to use this:
You can also cut back on the tomatoes (none or 2 fresh) add a whole bunch of squash or pumpkin or carrots or potatoes or other root vegetables in the first step (the chop and sautee until softish step) and blend the crap out of it to make a pretty good soup in the fall/winter. Good veggie soup plus good bread should be pretty similar to good salsa and good chips.