Saturday, April 01, 2006

Tortilla Soup in the Kitchen

Tonight, the recipe is for a soup because most of the e-mails were requesting one. A soup can help stretch out a meal so you can serve this with the other Mexican dishes or you can serve it alone.

Tortilla Soup
3 cans of chicken broth
1 can of water
1 cup of cooked, cubed chicken

3 zuchinnis, sliced in rounds
1 white onion, chopped
1 package of frozen corn kernals or 2 cans of corn (drained)
1 can of of Ro-Tel diced tomatoes & green chiles OR up that to the entire can if you like your chicken tortilla soup tomato-ie.
1 ounce of shredded cheese of choice

1 bag of tortilla chips
3 avocados, sliced
a dash of salt (sea salt preferred but not required)
a dash of chili powder
1 fresh lime (optional)
chopped cilantro (optional)

Cook the chicken breasts by baking, frying or boiling. If you boil, boil them in water and use the water for the soup. After they have cooked, dice them into small cubes or you can pull the meat loose (small pieces) and have a different texture to the soup. Once they are cooked add them (and the water you boiled them in, if you boiled them) to a large pot. Add chicken broth and water and heat. Add zuchinni, Ro-tel (or other canned tomato product with chilis), onion, corn, cilantro and salt. Cover and simmer for ten minutes. Remove cover and add the chili powder. Squeeze the juice from 1 fresh lime into the soup pot. Cover and simmer an additional ten minutes. Spoon/ladle into bowls. Add tortilla chips (strips preferred) to the bowls, as well as 1 or 2 slices of avocado, and top with cheese.

Rebecca provided this recipe and we'll all be sampling it shortly. Rebecca said it was an easy version of the recipe and it certainly smells wonderful. Those watching their sodium count (or interested in watching it) should be sure to use low sodium broth. Rebecca, her ex-husband and Elaine are staying with us this weekend. (Rebecca and her ex treated us all to a play last night which was very kind of them.) So it's been a fun weekend of conversations, food, music and more. I think my husband has enjoyed selecting CDs with Elaine more than anything else. He'd asked her to pack some CDs and between those and his own large collection, there's been plenty of music. Right now, the Cowboy Junkies' Early 21st Century Blues is filling the house. My husband loves music and it's a huge treat for him to have someone here who loves music as much as he does.

I enjoy music, even love it, but not to the degree that my husband or Elaine does. I'm the sort of person who really needs to read a little before she goes to bed. That's just part of my routine, so I've always got a book on the end table by the bed. My husband is probably the same way with music which is something I've only grasped this weekend, after years of marriage.

Before the kids were born, and while the first few were little, music was played like this, I'm remembering, but it's only in the last few years that he's begun playing his music again the way he used to. Which does include "blasting it" and probably he avoided that when all the kids were living at home out of some fear of battling music blasts. He and Mike can both sit for hours in the living room and talk while they listen to music or just sit there silent listening to music. With Mike, it's more of a father exposing his son to music he enjoys. Mike will, however, bring his own CDs, especially the White Stripes, and play them as well. But with Elaine, he's found someone who can match him song for song, trivia for trivia. It's like Musical Jeopardy in there. He's even started pulling out his vinyl collection. And he is as obsessive about his vinyl collection as the character in Diner who gripes at Ellen Barkin for putting the vinyl back out of order. (Which is why I've always avoided his vinyl collection. Our oldest daughter, Kelley, and Mike have been our only children brave enough to explore the vinyl more than once and continue exploring it.)

I'm disappointed in the way the discussion of censuring the Bully Boy went yesterday (little courage in the Senate shouldn't surprise me at this late date but it can still disappoint me). I have also been disappointed in the way some of the mainstream press has echoed the attacks on Jill Carroll, the independent journalist who was kidnapped in Iraq and freed this week. Elaine's "The first principle of non-violent action is that of non-cooperation" and C.I.'s "Other Items (Noam Chomsky on Democracy Now! today)" and "NYT: Edward Wong tells you that questions about Carroll were raised by a video (as opposed to, say, the press?)" are must reads for that topic. Also worth reading, to restore your sanity with laughter, are Wally's "THIS JUST IN! CONDI SLAMS BULLY!" and Betty's "Thomas Friedman's Frostings and Facials" -- be prepared to laugh with both.