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Mexican Tomato and Rice Soup

This filling and zesty soup is a great prelude to Viva Zapata; serve hot to 4 people

Garnish: 4 sprigs of cilantro; green chilies, cut in long skinny lengthwise strips; avocado slices; or any combination of the above.

Add rice to 2 cups of boiling stock, cover, and cook til tender--about 20 minutes.

In another pot, blend the tomatoes and juice with the tomato paste and garlic. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cumin and cilantro. Stir in the cooked rice and season to taste.

When ready to serve, blend in the remaining hot stock--or enough to make your desired consistency--ladle into bowls--and top with garnish.