Saturday, January 4, 2014

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

     The SNOWPOCALYPSE is here?  Is it really?  Well, at this point only time will tell, in our little town here in Indiana a potential of 12 inches and wind chills that could go as low at -40 is pretty intense.  Ok, for most places that might be intense, how our northern and eastern states deal with this regularly for winter is beyond me.  And I am in awe of your dedication to continuing to battle it out every year.  Me on the other hand, the very idea of a "snowpocalypse" has me thinking about packing up my car right this very minute and pulling an all nighter to drive to the sunshine state of Florida. (...Remind me again why I'm not in Florida right now in the first place???) 
     All sun shine and kidding aside, the temperature is honestly one we're just not used to.  It's predicted to be record lows and this brings on the grocery store rush.  We've all been there, whether for a snow storm or not, most have dealt with some sort of situation that bears "stocking up."  But what are we were stocking up on, and why?  Watching the news they say that milk, bread and eggs are flying off the shelves, and I have to wonder why.  I can get milk and bread-but eggs?  Unless your planning on hard boiling your eggs ahead of time what exactly are you planning on doing with eggs in the event that your power goes out or you lose water or heat.  If anyone know this answer, I am up for the explanation.  And maybe it's a silly question and the answer is staring me flat in the face, it's just one that I always wondered about and couldn't quite figure out.  (Now I will admit, I did stock up on eggs.  But this is due to the fact that I hard boiled half of them for snacks and salads and such-plus I like eggs for breakfast.) 
   The other thing the news said was chili, people were stocking up on food items to make some chili.  And why not, it's going to be COLD and people want comfort food and warmth.  Something about finding that perfect bowl of goodness that just warms you up and makes you feel good is the single best thing about the winter.  It reminds you of mom, holidays, cozy fires and family, and most every family has their own signature way of making chili.  Beans or no beans, are you really supposed to add noodles or no?  Some like it spicy, and some just want to load it up with every different kind of meat you can and throw crackers and cheddar cheese on top.  And thinking about this made me realize, I don't have one yet!  How can that be, how do I not have a ultra top secret chili recipe that has "that one special something that people can't quite pinpoint but it's the thing about it they love," how has this not happened yet?????  Honest answer, I have no clue.  I haven't tried yet or experimented, but given that my guy does a chili cook-off every year this is something I need to rectify soon. That way I can be a contributing member to the team when the time comes, plus I want an ultra top secret chili recipe of my own!  But until then, I decided that I could share a different comfort food.  One that still gives you that warm, comfy, cozy feeling-Chicken Tortilla Soup.  This could be done in the crockpot (I gave this as a freezer meal gift for my brother for Christmas, and got high marks of approval at the results) or on the stove top.  This is my freezer version, but if you need stove top directions just ask :)

Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 pound chicken breast
15 oz. can whole corn kernels
15 oz. can diced tomatoes
can black beans, drained
5 cups chicken stock
1 onion, small chop
1 green pepper, small chop
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Tortilla chips

Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.  Take chicken out before serving and shred and tern to crock pot.  Serve in bowls, topped with Monterey Jack cheese, tortilla cheese and cilantro to taste.

****I'm going to go ahead and add the stove top directions for this now.
1. Dice chicken into 1 inch pieces.  In a large pot over medium heat, add olive oil and sauté chicken pieces for about 5 minutes, season with salt and black pepper.  Add in you chopped onion, green bell pepper and jalapeno and continue sautéing until chicken is almost cooked through and vegetables have become soft.
2.  Then add in your garlic, cumin, chili powder and cook for about another minute or until you can start to smell your garlic.
3.  Add in your chicken broth, corn, diced tomatoes, black beans.  Reduce you heat to low and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes.
4.  To plate, put corn tortilla chips in the bottom of your bowl and top with some of the soup.  Sprinkle the top with some shredded cheese and cilantro.

Want more soup?
.......Cream of Broccoli Soup