This is a recipe I found in 2008 in Food and Wine Magazine. I've pretty much followed the original recipe but did tweak it slightly.
My husband and I both prefer to have our tortilla soup with a more "brothy" base than tomato, and for sure we don't like a thick soup. This batch that I made today came out a little more thick that usual. I think it's because of the brand of tomatoes I used.
4-6 T of cooking oil
6 corn tortillas, halved and cut crosswise
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tablespoon of paprika
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 1/2 quarts of low sodium chicken stock or homemade chicken broth
3 cups of canned crushed tomatoes (I used slightly more this time)
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
fresh cilantro (optional)
1 3/4 pound of boneless skinless chicken cooked and cut into 3/4 inch pieces or shredded
1 avocado, diced
1 cup of cheddar cheese, grated
sour cream, optional
***I added corn and carrots because I wanted some veggies!
Begin by warming your oil in a heavy stock pot.
Cut the tortillas in half and then cut strips at an angle.
It helps to have all your prep work done ahead of time so you can just toss it in the stock pot as you are ready for it! The process goes pretty fast.
You can add frozen corn or fresh. We cut ours into little disks because that's how our favorite places in Texas serve their soup.
Begin by adding half of the strips to the oil and let them cook until they are golden.
Remove the strips with a slotted spoon, and drain on a paper towel. Then cook the remaining strips.
There should be a little oil left in the pot (and also some browned bits of tortilla). Add your onion and garlic and spices and cook for about 5 minutes. Then add the stock, tomatoes, veggies, and chicken. Add the bay leaves. Simmer on low heat until veggies are tender.
Prior to serving add cilantro to the stock pot. I wasn't able to find any fresh cilantro this time. :(
Serve in a bowl and use the tortilla strips for garnish. Add cheese, avocado cubes, and a dollop of sour cream if desired. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
Then slurp your soup and show the cook you appreciate it's homemade goodness and use your fingers to eat the corn disks and smile because using your fingers to eat is FUN!!!!!
I saw a recipe for this on Pinterest and decided it would be the perfect food for a weekday meal. I ran to the store and bought the basic ingredients and then came back and started dinner. But those of you that know me know that I'm: 1. A spice girl 2. A meatatarian. 3. I don't follow directions. So, while I followed the basic recipes I came across online I also added to this recipe to give it more kick. Who am I to think I know better than Olive Garden?? Well, I'm Trish. It's what I do. (Not following directions that is...)
The recipe called for sweet Italian sausage and then added red pepper flakes.. and I thought "why not just buy hot Italian sausage?" I'm wise beyond my years like that. ;)
But then I also decided that I wanted more than just Italian sausage so I also bought a link of smoked sausage and added that as well. I think Olive Garden should do that too.
I didn't need much kale. This small bunch was all that was needed. Now if you don't know about kale you should. Dr. Oz calls it one of the super foods. It is high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, calcium, and most importantly has sulforaphane which has potent anti-cancer properties. See?? Now, you have to try it!!!
I've used kale for years in my dressing at Thanksgiving and my family won't have it any other way. (It is great sauteed with a little bit of onion, olive oil, salt and pepper. )
Be sure to thoroughly wash your kale. The leaves are very curly and can hide little grains of sand.
While my Italian sausage was browning slowly I washed my pieces of kale and spun it dry in my salad spinner. Then I diced 2 small yellow onions, and 2 garlic cloves, and one small russet potato. and also my smoked sausage.
I browned all of the sausage together with the veggies (except the kale) into the pot and stirred it around long enough to just soften the onions up a bit and then I added 8 cups of water with 2 of the Knorr Chicken Broth cups in it. See picture below.
And THEN just because I'm crazy like this.. I went ahead and added red pepper flakes into the soup even though I bought the hot Italian sausage. I added between 1/8 and 1/4 of a teaspoon. I can't tell you though because I didn't measure. I just took a pinch of it and threw it in.
I just fill my measuring cup with water and dump 2 of these little packets in there. The water has to be hot for it to dissolve. This is so much more tasty to me than regular chicken broth in a can. It has herbs that will float to the top. It tastes more like homemade chicken stock.
After the potatoes have softened up and soup is ready to serve add the kale pieces, and then lower heat or turn it off completely and add a cup of whipping cream or you can even use 1/2 and 1/2. If you prefer to cut the fat. The flavor will still be amazing.
This soup was spicy but not too hot. At least not for me. If you can't handle the heat I'd avoid adding the red pepper flakes.
Yum! This was a great comfort food dish! I can't wait to have a bowl of left over soup today!
This is a recipe that I've had since my kids were very little. My sweet neighbor in Texas was forever bringing me surprises. Sometimes it was dessert, sometimes it was dinner, or a cookbook. Those random acts of kindness sure meant the world to a young working mom. She was like my second mom. This recipe is so quick, easy, and fool-proof that I made it all the time and eventually got burned out on it. It's been several years since I've made this and I'm sure that a lot of you have a similar "go to" recipe for when you need something simple and satisfying.
Here's what you need:
1 lb of ground beef
1 large onion
Brown together and add to stock pot with:
1 can of whole kernal corn (Don't drain any of the cans)
1 can of pinto beans
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of ranch style beans
1 can of rotel
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 package of ranch dressing mix
1 package of taco seasoning.
Simmer together for 15-20 minutes
Serve over Doritos sprinkled with cheese (and I use a dollop of sour cream)
Now... You all know me. I don't follow directions. But in this case I just ended up going to the store and tried to remember what was in the recipe I hadn't made in 10 years! I was frantically texting Lori to see if she knew.
I came home with black beans and chili beans. I also had with a can of chopped green chilies. When I got home and found the recipe I realized it didn't call for that at all.. but I went with it anyway. I like to spice things up!
So after browning a pound of lean ground beef, and adding a diced onion I put allllllll of the rest of this in there and shazam! Dinner! Lori, was right. Her advice was "whatever you put in there will be fine!"
It will be perfect for this chilly winter evening. :) And, because I made a big pot I'll have some to freeze for later.
These beans are really good as a side dish. You can use it to accompany a Tex-mex meal. But this is also a recipe that stands on it's own. It's good enough to be a main course! We've been making this for years and I got my recipe from my big sister.
The original recipe makes 12 cups of beans which is a huge amount. I've scaled it down some and it still makes plenty!
Here is what you'll need:
5 slices of bacon cut into chunks
1 large yellow onion
4 cans of pinto beans, undrained.
1 can or bottle of dark Mexican beer (I only had a light beer on hand)
1-2 cups of beef broth
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 jalepenos, seeded and finely chopped
2 tsp of sugar
1/2 cup of chopped, fresh cilantro
And here is what you do:
Cut your bacon into pieces and brown in the stock pot
When the bacon is crispy remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside.
In the bacon grease saute the onion and diced jalapeno. Cook until it is just tender, you really don't need to brown them.
Then it's time to add all of the rest of the ingredients (except for the cilantro)
Add beans, tomatoes, broth, beer, sugar, and bacon.
Because it's all cooked you just need to let this simmer long enough to let the flavors blend. A few minutes before serving add the chopped cilantro. I don't like to add this too soon or it changes color. Give you beans a taste and if you think it needs a little something extra you can always add 1 or 2 teaspoons of my secret ingredient:
But you don't have to! I made this recipe for years and didn't know about the pinto bean seasoning. But it's pretty handy stuff! If you come across it in the store I recommend getting some!
I hope you all like this. The beans have an authentic flavor and your guests will think you've worked over a stove for hours. You don't have to tell anyone you used canned beans.
Life on the lake is laid back. When we cook it's far from being fancy affair. It's all about relaxing with friends and family and enjoying comfort food. More often than not it's not all that healthy but boy it sure is good!!!