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Barefoot! Mexican Soup and Martial Arts

December 4, 2008

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.”  
“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…

mexican-soup3

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.  

mexican-soup1

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.  

mexican-soup21

Mexican Soup
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
To Serve:
Sliced avocado
Sour Cream
Cheddar Cheese
Tortilla Chips

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. 

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. December 4, 2008 10:33

    While I don’t think I’ve ever done a pile driver on 354, he’s definitely learned not to wake me up from a deep sleep – the hard way! Poor guy… but hey, they knew what they were getting into, right? And yay for martial arts! I can’t wait to hear about it.

    That soup looks reeeeeeally good. I’m not a big fan of ‘theme’ soups – Mexican, Italian, whatever – but that looks tasty even to me. I’m gonna have to store this one away for a rainy day…

  2. December 4, 2008 10:38

    Loved this soup.

    Hurray for marshal arts.

  3. December 4, 2008 13:50

    See I was the guinea pig, you made me cut the tortillas into strips to find out if you would have soggy bread! Loved the martial arts story and your soup looks delicious. The avocado looks nice and ripe not like mine!

  4. December 4, 2008 23:10

    It was filling, wasn’t it? We like it too. I love the immersion blender idea.
    Your story is hilarious. I talk in my sleep too, but the martial arts takes it to another level, so funny!

  5. December 5, 2008 13:27

    This was so good! And very filling. You’re hilarious, martial arts in your sleep?

  6. December 6, 2008 08:45

    Ha! Don’t be surprised if hubby starts duct taping you to the sheets. You are too funny. 🙂
    The soup looks great, we loved it too.

  7. Ted and Kristin permalink
    December 8, 2008 00:38

    we are so alike it’s scary… did i tell you the story of t and me sleeping (up in northern ny in our “haunted house”) and i (in my sleep) said to t, “he’s in the doorway waiting for you to return his salute”… t woke up, saw me sleeping, saw nobody in the doorway… but… just to be safe, gave a nice, solid salute. 🙂

  8. December 9, 2008 09:40

    That is a funny story! Your soup looks great!

  9. December 10, 2008 22:38

    Your hubby and my hubby could share bedtime war stories. When my hormones are all out of whack, which is usually after I have babies, for their first year of life, I have Adult Night Terrors. I actually have dreams that I believe are real. Like, serpents coming out of the ceiling, strange men standing at the end of the bed, etc. Often times, I will start screaming and then usually start beating up whatever is next to me, talking strange talk, etc. Then, I go back to a deep sleep. Scares my husband to death & often he gets the brunt of my beating.
    That soup looks delicious!

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