Thursday, May 26, 2011

Soup's On!

I’m still hyped up about my 2-year-blogiversary, especially with some recent shout-outs from friends. It’s always amazing to hear that people other than my mom, sister, and boyfriend read this. When my favorite blogs have a new post with a great story, a fabulous, stomach-growl-inducing picture, or a must-try recipe, I feel like I received a little gift in the mail, and I can’t wait to open it. I hope that my blog has the same effect, and inspires people to get in the kitchen.

The other day, my friend Jen (Amanda’s realtor), said “Is it me, or are your photos on your blog getting better and better?” So I looked through old posts, back to the beginning, and it’s true, they really are better. Part of it, of course, is the camera. But it’s also the angles, the styling, the lighting, and just a sense of knowing what I, as a viewer, would want to see. And, well, practice makes perfect.

Take, for instance, this soup. It was the first recipe I posted on Loves Food, Loves to Eat. I actually spent a long time setting up that photo. I was at Evan’s old apartment (because I needed to job hunt—er, start a blog—and didn’t have internet at my own place). I had to bring everything to his apartment to make that soup—even the pots and pans. I was so excited about having a recipe to share, that I wrote the post before I even made the soup. Then I took about 20 pictures before I would let anyone eat. Evan’s used to this by now, but back in the beginning, he didn’t quite know how to deal. Now he knows not to come to the table until about 15 minutes after hearing “dinner’s ready,” because really, it’s not ready ‘til I get my shot. That picture I posted was the best out of the 20 or so I took that day. While the soup—still the most requested recipe in my household—hasn’t changed much (I did start adding chopped cabbage as a garnish…delish!), my photos of it certainly have. Wouldn’t you agree?

Thanks so much for your continued support and words of encouragement—your comments, shout-outs, and photos of food that I inspired you to make (!) constantly inspire me to take better photos and make more delicious food! Keep it up, friends, and I will too! Love you all!

Mel’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

Olive oil
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon marjoram
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & pepper
1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
Chipotle Peppers in Adobo
4-6 cups chicken broth
Tortillas (flour or corn), sliced thinly in strips and baked for fried until crispy
Sour Cream
Lime Wedges
Cheese (grated jack or cotija)

Heat a large stockpot over medium. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil, and chicken. Cook until chicken is cooked through--remove from pot and set aside. Add more oil if necessary, and add onion and carrot to pot. Cook until soft and just starting to brown, and add in thyme, marjoram, and garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook another minute or so, until fragrant (but make sure to not burn garlic). Add chicken, chickpeas, and 1-2 tablespoons of adobo sauce from chipotle peppers (and additional chopped chipotles from the can if you like it hot). Add broth, and bring to a boil. Turn to low and let simmer until ready to serve.

Garnish with tortilla strips, avocado, sour cream, lime wedges, cilantro, cheese, and additional chopped chipotle peppers and sauce. 
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