Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sleet? Soup!

Hey Rachel

Oh, I feel your pain. That whole everyone-is-sick deal is absolutely awful, because of course as the parent — wait, I am going to amend that to as the mother — you don't actually get to be sick. Ever. Even when you are the only person in the house who aches and is throwing up, you still have to perform, especially when your children are the size of Miss M.

Remember that time when at least two of you and I had a stomach bug at the same time? I don't want to go into too many details or no one will want to read the rest of this food blog (and I have a delicious recipe coming), but it was grim. We'll just leave it at that and let everyone imagine their own nightmare. I do remember looking at the clock and wondering why the minute hand was not moving. Peter, I was sure, was never actually going to come home from work and I would be lying on that floor with you and G until we passed on. I was obviously delirious.

But soup is perfect for colds. It's also perfect for cold weather, which is what prompted me to create this wonderful soup I really recommend. I was inspired by some soup I had in our company cafeteria last week. They called it Baja Soup and it was definitely Mexican in its influences. My version isn't exactly the same, but it is damn tasty. I encourage you to make it when you are all feeling better.

Mexican Soup
serves at least 6

2 skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 cans petite cut diced tomatoes with jalapenos
1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed
about 1 cup of frozen corn
1-2 teaspoons chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper flakes to taste
16 ounces or so of vegetable or chicken broth

Saute the onion in a couple tablespoons of oil. After a couple of minutes, when they are just beginning to get translucent, add the chicken and spices. Cook until the chicken is just done, stirring frequently.

In a large stock pot, add the tomatoes, broth, black beans and corn. When the chicken and onion mix is done, add to the pot and adjust the amount of liquid to suit your soup tastes. I like my soups thicker, but you might like yours brothier. Adjust seasoning as well. Serve with some good bread and cheese, and you're good to go.

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