Barefoot! Mexican Soup and Martial Arts
Better late than never, right? I actually made this soup the Tuesday before Thanksgiving thinking that my life would somehow, magically open up a moment in time that I could write about it. Not so much.
There’s really no way to tie this story into the recipe, so bear with me as I must share what occurred in my bedroom last night. Recently through a little encouragement from Kate, I’ve decided to start taking Martial Arts lessons in January. This decision has made me smile throughout the day and yearn to actually start. Last night over dinner I again began to talk about my excitement at taking the lessons. My head was filled with Martial Arts fantasies as I lay in bed waiting for my slumber. The Husband was in his man room drumming away on homework when I must have slipped into a deep sleep.
Sometime during the night The Husband climbed into bed and reached a peaceful rest himself. Suddenly, I jumped out of bed… back into bed screaming HIIYA! and proceeded to punch my husband in the torso. The grand finale? A knee to his back and a, “Oh. Honey? I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you were in bed.” I flopped back into bed and went immediately back to sleep. Not before, however, glancing at the foot of the bed to where Gomer and Radar sat staring at me with absolute wonderment. ‘Goodness that woman is nuts!’ I can almost hear them say.
Welcome to my world. As if I don’t make life for my wonderful husband difficult enough at times, I just made him afraid… very afraid of me and my sleep. This morning in the shower I noticed that my knee was a little sore (what knee wouldn’t be after launching itself into a spine?) and the whole horrid recollection hit me like a mac truck. I rinsed my hair, ran to the bedroom and woke my sleeping husband.
“Honey? Hooooney? Did I, uh… did I… did I hurt you last night?”
He replied, “It’s fine. I’m sorry I didn’t separate the peanut butter.”
“Yes, your crazy ass was talking nonsense about separating peanut butter.”
“Oh. Okay. That doesn’t make sense.”
“I think the troublesome part here is that you’re trying to make sense of this.”
He grabbed me, slapped a kiss on my lips and pushed me downstairs to grab my morning Joe.
It’s going to be one of those days…
On to the Barefoot recipe I am so shamefully late at posting. This Last month’s recipe was chosen by Judy of Judy’s Gross Eats. Okay, I’ll admit it. I have a favorite Chicken Tortilla Soup that is my standard fall back for such treats. I was a little sceptical of this recipe and had to force myself to make it as was. Oh, how you wonderful fellow Barefoot girls (and guys) would be proud. I hardly made any changes! The most important change I made was using my immersion blender to blend the vegetables for about 10 seconds to get a good consistency instead of large chunks of vegetables. Also, I cut the tortillas into little squares instead of strips. Remember? I have this thing about soggy bread? The only other thing I did was double the cilantro (adding it at the very end so it didn’t cook too much and get bitter) and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
The soup was incredible! Just what The Husband and I needed on a cold Midwestern night. Neither one of us finished a single bowl though, it was incredibly filling. The pot took us through to Thanksgiving eve where we stood with spoons over the reheated pot.
Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa
4 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (yeah right… you know I used boneless skinless!)
Good Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
2 c onion, chopped
1 c celery, chopped
2 c carrots, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 quarts chicken stock (I actually only used 3 c chicken stock)
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, crushed (again, used the immersion blender)
2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 t ground cumin (I used 2 t)
1 t ground coriander
1/4 to 1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro not optional Ina! (I used at least a cup)
6 fresh white corn tortillas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the chicken on a foil lined baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast 35 to 40 minutes (if using boneless skinless roast 375 for 15-20 minutes). When chicken is cool enough to handle discard the skin and bones, shred the meat. Cover and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 3 T olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the onions, celery and carrots, cooking over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until onions start to brown (I actually cooked the jalapeno with the veggies instead of adding them later). Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add chicken stock (I used 3 c only because a. I didn’t need to feed an Army. b. I like thicker soups). Add the chicken stock and tomatoes, jalapenos (if you haven’t already added them), cumin, coriander, salt and pepper to taste. Ina says add the cilantro now. I say wait… wait until about 5 minutes before you serve it because cilantro has a tendency to get slimy and bitter.
At this point, I used the immersion blender to break down the chunks of vegetables. Cut the tortilla chips into strips (or cubes) and add to the soup. Bring soup to boil, then lower heat and simmer 25 minutes. Add chicken and season to taste.
Serve soup topped with sliced avocado, sour cream, cheddar and tortilla chips.
Dang. I really wish I had some of this for lunch today.