Sunday, March 6, 2011

Soup. It's What's for Dinner

I decided to make chicken tortilla soup last night for dinner. In case you're wondering, it was 30 degrees and snowing yesterday in this great state of Illinois. {...and in my head I'm begging God to fast-forward to SPRING.} We had friends over and I enjoyed cooking for all of us. We needed the distraction and our friends know all too well what it's like to have a date to remember our babies by, but no babies to hold. I guess we have that in common. Not something we wished were the case, of course. I digress... I've attempted tortilla soup only one time prior, so this was attempt #2. It was just as delicious as the first! Here are the ingredients:
For 4-6 servings, I used the following:
  • 3 cans diced tomatoes with green chilis (or cilantro-lime, or even fire roasted. All would be delish. You can also use a can of green chilis with fresh tomatoes if you happen to have those on hand instead.)
  • 1 1/2 packets of taco seasoning (or... if you're not a fan of all the sodium, use chili powder, cumin, ground garlic, and cayenne pepper. There are recipes out there, but I'm too lazy and shamelessly love salt. It's my vice, actually. Try this one if you're cutting it out or aren't lazy like me.)
  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I used bouillon, whatever you've got-- but remember it also has sodium)
  • Veggies for the filling. I used 2 small diced zucchini, 1 can sweet corn, 1 diced onion, 1 yellow pepper, and 2 diced serrano peppers for a little kick.
  • Shredded chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken from the market. Already cooked, only needed shredding)
  • Toppings: diced avocado pieces, cilantro, lime wedge (squeezed), crushed tortilla chips (not pictured)
Directions are pretty simple. Dice all veggies (except avocado, lime, cilantro since they're toppers) and throw them in a pot to saute for a few minutes. Add canned tomatoes and saute for a few more minutes. Add broth, taco seasoning, and chicken. Allow to simmer and heat. It's doesn't need to be heated forever like chili because you are targeting more of a broth than a stew consistency.

It didn't photograph well, but here's the finished product (minus the avocado slices) because we ate them all! 
It was my first time using serrano peppers, so I was excited. I've recently experimented with poblano peppers in spicy cornbread muffins and thought they were delicious. Serrano peppers are different, though. They are higher than jalapenos on the Scoville scale. I added two (about 1/2 pepper for each serving) and it was just right for those of us who like a little kick.

Now I just need to figure out what to do with the rest of those peppers in my fridge! When I went to purchase them, they only sold them by the package! I bought the smallest package and still had about 10 peppers! My friend Liz (she's married to "Gourmet Husband", as we call him. He likes to cook and has quite the knack for it) recommended making classy pepper poppers using them.

Serrano peppers, seeded, halved, stuffed with goat cheese and topped with cilantro. They would probably be fantastic roasted on the BBQ and then stuffed and finished in the oven. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds perfect. I'm not a goat cheese fan, but I love cooking new things, so I'd be willing to give it a shot!

And since I just typed the abbreviation BBQ and thought perhaps BBQ sauce would be delicious with Serranos! Serranos on a burger? The sky's the limit!

And finally... in case you're wondering how this vegetarian eats these meaty dishes, it's simple. I cook without adding meat, take a portion out, and then add the meat in for the rest of the meal to be complete. Of course that also means we have leftovers now and it's only to be eaten by my carnivore husband.

Well, he's not complaining.


Solange, Nik and Caitlin said... [Reply to comment]

That looks so good!!!! I will have to try it soon :)

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

Yay for vegetarians married to carnivores! Another thing we have in common (and much happier than the more obvious one). Thanks for the recipe--I am adding to my shopping list right now.

Hoping for our own Peanut said... [Reply to comment]

Hi, there! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I LOVE to read local womens blogs..theres something so cool about knowing what they are talking about. You must be REALLY local..we live in Lisle.

I am terribly sorry for your loss. I cant even imagine. I was only pregnant for a few weeks. Your sorrow trumps mine.

I wish you the best in the coming months.

Katie Truelove said... [Reply to comment]

Yum! That looks awesome! I've been craving anything Mexican this week!