Wednesday, May 20, 2009

An Offer he Couldn't Refuse

Evan’s been wanting Chipotle lately, and I promised I would go with him (he gets great joy out of watching me eat his favorite foods…which include Chipotle and McDonalds). He took my promise to heart, and wanted to go last night. Don’t get me wrong… I like the occasional burrito-the-size-of-a-two-year-old-child, but on this particular night, after a really good run earlier in the day, I was not jazzed up about getting a week’s worth of caloric intake in one meal. Up against a solid pinky-promise and Evan’s angry protests, I had to think fast to get out of this mess. I made him an offer he could not refuse.

If not Chipotle…then how about Chipotle Chicken Soup!? He bit, hook, line, and sinker! My chipotle soup has become one of Evan’s favorites, next to his mom’s Southwest Tortilla. However, before you go chalking this one up to simply another bowl of chicken tortilla soup, please note- this is no ordinary tortilla soup. My Chipotle Chicken Soup ain’t your mama’s tortilla soup… it’s actually my mama’s! Mel’s been cooking this one up for years, and I’ve never had anything like it. Unlike traditional tortilla soups, this isn’t tomato based, but is more like a spicy, south-of-the-border take on chicken noodle…sans noodles. The beauty of this soup is how simple the preparation is, and how bold the flavors are. A bowl of Chipotle Chicken Soup is the surest way to forget about the gloom of the rainiest Seattle day, and feel the warmth of sunny hot Mexico. We were instantly transported back to Cabo with the first bite! Now…where are 2-for-1 margaritas that we had in Cabo?

Mel’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

Sauté 1-2 cubed chicken breasts, set aside. Heat oil in large pot, enough to cover bottom. Add 1 chopped onion, 1 large chopped carrot, and 3-4 cloves of chopped garlic to the hot pot. Douse liberally with thyme and marjoram. Salt and pepper to taste. When carrots and onions are tender, add chicken, 1 can garbanzo beans, 1-2 tablespoons of sauce from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo (and additional chopped chipotles from the can if you like it hot), and as much chicken broth as desired (adding rice is also optional). Bring to a boil and let simmer until deliciousness ensues. Garnish with tortilla strips (prepared in oven, I like to use both corn and flour), avocado, sour cream, lime wedges, cilantro, cheese (I used grated jack last night, but cojita would probably be fanstatic), and additional chopped chipotle peppers and sauce. Enjoy!
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