Super Simple Tortilla Soup

tortilla soup (2)It was super cold yesterday, and got even colder last night. And it stayed cold, so I am working remotely from home today. Last night, instead of trying to eat something chilly or time consuming, I decided to make soup. Comforting and warm. My super awesome FRG Leader had made this recipe for us ladies one night, and I stole her recipe because it was so easy. What’s really nice is that I will have leftovers for at least a week – the recipe could feed ten people! A little bit spicy, full of protein, and then topped with sour cream, avocado and cheese – it made me happy. Oh yeah, and the most expensive part is probably the cheese, maybe the chicken.

Ingredients:

1 can each: Rotel tomatoes, diced tomatoes (15 oz), cream corn, black beans (Drained) and pinto beans (Drained)

1 packet each: powdered ranch seasoning, taco seasoning (also added a packet of fajita seasoning because it has different flavors)

3 tbsp chicken bouillon

6 cups of water

Shredded chicken – the recipe called for 4 lbs of chicken breast, boiled and shredded, I used a mixture of breast and legs from a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store

Directions:

1. Prepare your chicken, either boil it and then drain and set to cool, or shred your rotisserie chicken. You can also do this after the soup starts cooking.

2. Add in all your ingredients in to a large pot, except for the chicken. Set it to a medium high heat, cover and boil, stirring occasionally. Once it is boiling, turn to a medium heat, and let boil for 20 minutes.

3. At the end of the 20 minutes, add in your chicken and let cook for a few more minutes to warm up the chicken.

4. Serve with cheese, avocado and sour cream, and maybe some cilantro and tortillas or tortilla chips.

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Butternut Squash Soup

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Late last week I bought a butternut squash. It’s getting cold here in the south, and soup sounds really good pretty much all the time. Especially with some crusty bread. I haven’t had a whole lot of time to do any major cooking recently so I had to wait until the weekend to really get my cook on. And my hunny isn’t around this week so I knew I could make soup and not wonder if he was going to be full or not.

This soup was really good. I haven’t ever had butternut squash – I wasn’t even sure what it tasted like. Come to find out, it tastes like pumpkin. Which means rich spices that I would normally consider only for baking like cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg taste delicious in this soup.

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To make this soup, first chop up a small onion, a medium carrot, a stalk or two of celery, and your squash. To back it up a little bit, poke holes in the squash with a knife, and microwave for about 5 minutes on a paper towel. Then you shouldn’t have any trouble cutting it up. Oh and make sure you peel it first… This will soften the squash and make it easier to chop as well as getting a head start on the cooking process.

Melt two tablespoons of butter in a large pan, and the add all of these ingredients. Brown them up for about 3 minutes. You will know they are good to go when it smells delicious. The onions should be softening and fragrant. Then cover the veggies with chicken stock. Bring the stock up to a boil and then turn the heat down and simmer for 40 minutes. Your vegetables will be soft at the end of the 40 minutes.

Either use an immersion blender (one of my favorite kitchen gadgets) or transfer your mixture to a food processor to blend until smooth. Add some more chicken stock if the soup is too thick for you. When all is said and done you should have used most if not all of a 32 oz container of chicken stock. Once blended, season with salt, pepper, allspice and cinnamon. I served mine with sourdough bread and I probably would have dipped a whole loaf of it in this soup given the opportuity. It gives me a hankering for a bread bowl.

I originally got this recipe from allrecipes.com and added the cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

There are only two kinds of soup that absolutely need to be served out of a bread bowl. Clam chowder, and broccoli cheese.

Last night, though it wasn’t as cold as I would have liked for soup, we had home-made broccoli cheese soup – in a bread bowl. I saw a pin from one of my girlfriends for a recipe that was supposed to be better than Panera’s version. Therefore, I had to try it.

The ingredients were simple, and the method was simple, and it was pretty much amazing. Though Panera’s is amazing too. This is just amazing in a different way. This was the first time I have ever used cardamom in cooking, and I enjoyed the flavor. It was a sweet, salty, smoky flavor all at once. I think next time though, I would probably add just a little more nutmeg. I am definitely curious to see what other kinds of recipes use cardamom as well though because I bet they’re pretty tasty.

Surprisingly, the fiance didn’t say there was too much cheese! Go figure. I’ll convert him yet. My next adventure is to learn how to make the bread for the bread bowls. I bought these from Wal-Mart for $3 a piece. Decent deal for the ginormous roll of bread, but I would still like to make my own.

By the way, I got the recipe off Mangio da Sola. Here’s the link to my version. Thanks!

Chicken Corn Chowder

Thank you Buns in my Oven! I saw this post this morning from that blog on my reader, and I had to make it. If it wasn’t 9 a.m., I probably would have made it right then. But as it was, the chicken wasn’t defrosted, and I didn’t have any potatoes.

This is one of those recipes that is so absolutely perfect for either a) a crowd, b) a rainy day or c) when you’re living paycheck to paycheck and need dinners for a week. I don’t care that I’m going to be eating it again and again, it was so worth it!

I think this was the most prepared I’ve EVER been to make a dish. I need to do that part more often, because when I don’t have a sous chef following behind me, it makes the whole process a lot easier.

But either way. So EASY! Boil and then shred the chicken. Cook chopped bacon, remove from pot, saute potatoes and white portion of scallions in grease. Add stock, milk and spices. Boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Add chicken and corn, warm through. Serve with cheese, sour cream, green part of scallions and bacon. This very much makes me think of a loaded baked potato, just in a bowl and with some corn.

Revisions for next time? Marinate and/or rub down the chicken with spices to add more flavor. Use cream instead of milk. And add cheese to final cooking process. Everything is better with cheese.

Tortilla Soup

So I went to a friend’s apartment the other night, and had this amazing tortilla soup. He even fried up his own tortilla strips! He won’t tell me how to make it, but I did find out what’s in it. I may have to do some experimentation and try and figure it out.

-boiled, spice-rubbed chicken breast
-hominy
-refried beans
-spices (cayenne, paprika, garlic, and some other ones)
-chicken broth (from boiling the chicken)
-canned tomatoes
-tomato paste
To top it all off were the tortilla strips and cheese and sour cream. A-Maze-Ing!

Tortilla Soup

This is what it looked like finished. Though once I got through with it all you could see was the bowl.