Friday, April 23, 2010

Mexican Night!

Ever since we moved from Arizona to Minnesota, we try to make Mexican food at least once a week. Maybe we miss the southwest or maybe we are just accustomed to culinary traditions of Phoenix. Either way, the smell of cilantro, jalapenos, and cumin in the kitchen immediately make our mouthes start to water. One of my all time favorite dishes to make on these nights is Tortilla Soup. The flavor is hard to beat and it surprisingly incredibly filling for a soup. Try making this one night to accompany your favorite Mexican entree. You won't be disappointed!

Tortilla Soup

1 tablespoon canola oil (We've been using this a lot more recently with all the talk of Omega 3's)
1 medium size jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 medium size yellow pepper (or 1 small yellow one and 1 small orange one), diced
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 teaspoons cumin (depending on your taste preference)

*In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once oil is heated, add the above ingredients and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occaisionally

1 tablespoon tomato paste
5-6 cups of low sodium chicken stock (We like to make big batches of chicken stock and store it in the freezer. So much better than the canned variety. But we still go to the canned stuff in a pinch :) )
~1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small chunks
~1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice

*Add tomato paste, stir well, and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Next add the chicken stock and cook for about 10 minutes on low heat with the lid on. Add the raw chicken to the soup, stir well, and then cover. Cook for another 10-15 minutes on low heat. Add the cilantro and the lime juice, cover, and cook for about 3 more minutes.

You can stop there and it will be really good. But to send it over the top...

Top the soup with a small dollop of sour cream, some chopped avocado pieces, and some tortilla strips that you can cut and bake in the oven with a little bit of salt on top until crispy.

Mmmm..I think I'll go for a second bowl now...

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