Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Warm Thoughts

I keep notebooks. What I mean is, I write things down; things that I plan to do, things I make, recipes, ideas, short stories and math problems. I make lists and lists and lists. I make lists of what I should do each day, what I am going to make for meals for the next two weeks, what I should buy from the store, what we should have on Thanksgiving and what I am going to buy people for Christmas. If I lost my notebook, I don't know what I would do.
Once, when I was catering a banquet, one of the servers got my book wet. I almost lost it. I started freaking out. Everything is in that book. Notes on food, amounts, time lines, and measurements. I know, I sound a bit obsessive, but we have to have some measure of stability in this ever-changing world, and my stability is my notebook.
So, as I was flipping through my notebook today, I found this recipe for soup. I like soup. Especially on a cool day, or when I don't want to fuss too much with something. I like to just throw everything into a big pot and let it simmer away. It's comforting, it's quick and usually it's easy.
That is the case with this soup. I had a jar of homemade beef and barley soup on hand that I needed to use up, we had already had beef and barley soup a few times (this is what happens when you don't can something properly-you have a limited amount of time to consume 5 quarts of beef and barley soup) anywhoo...
I was tired of the beef and barley soup, so I decided to gussy it up a bit, and make a Mexican soup. I chopped away and threw everything into the pot. It was really good. It's a fairly light dish. It was easy. It was fast.
Did I mention it was really good?
I think chicken and rice soup would be a better base, so that is what I am going to call for in this recipe. This soup is really good. I can't say that enough. I really like it. A little spicy, just the way I like it. As a matter of fact, I think I will have some now...

Fast and Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 32 oz Can condensed chicken and rice soup
+ 1 can water
1 Green bell pepper, chopped
1 Large tomato, chopped
3 Small corn tortillas, cut into strips
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon Mexican hot sauce, like Tapatio
1 Lime, cut into 6 wedges
Additional hot sauce

For garnish (optional, but I would recommend it):
Sour cream
Grated cheddar cheese

Combine soup and water, bell pepper, tomato, corn tortillas, cumin and hot sauce in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Ladle soup into bowls and squeeze one lime wedge over each bowl, and drop in a few extra drops of hot sauce. Add sour cream, cheddar cheese and cilantro if desired.

Serves 4

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