Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Grunge lives!

...kinda.  The Big Yam admittedly looks odd here - his mouth is hanging open, his weird faux-hawk hair is in full effect, he's just not as his best.  But!  Behold the wonders of a plaid shirt and jeans on a petit bébé!  It's his grunge look - we tried to get a shot of him with the sleeves of the shirt tied around his waist, but he is still of the age when his arm length does not appreciably exceed his girth, and so the sleeves were too short.  He's also wearing his "A Minor" xmas prezzie onesie, which was really, a prezzie for the Dotytron as much as a prezzie for the Big Yam.

This is the Mexican tortilla soup I made last night.  Look up recipes for a similar soup on Epicurious or similar sites and you'll find that many of them would have you frying flour or corn tortillas to make the topping.  THAT IS RIDICULOUS.  Ridiculously unnecessary!  We just topped ours with sour cream and crunched up tortilla chips and diced avocado.  This soup was lovely last night - on a blustery and cold day.  Bonus points for the fact that it required no pre-cooking prep and I just left it to simmer in the slow cooker.  Meals that are done in the slow cooker so that you arrive home and - PRESTO! - dinner is ready to go are like magic, aren't they?  It was soul satisfying and warming in flavour and spirit.  It reconstituted a sad and dejected me who finished reading John Green's latest, The Fault in Our Stars and arrived home sobbing, after not-so-discreetly weeping openly on the TTC.  I was felled see, but it's Big Questions About Existential Dilemmas and it's story about two kids with terminal cancer who fall in love.  I will post a review tomorrow (or shortly), but be forewarned: I AM A JOHN GREEN DEVOTEE and this might be his best work yet, and I will proselytize to you in person and on this forum ad nauseum about how genius this book is and how you should read it RIGHT NOW. 

In the meantime, tonight I will miss seeing my little Sweetest Pancake pictured above and I will attempt to sit through my entire Tuesday night class (a feat I haven't accomplished since September, which could account for my 60% participation mark in my first term class).  

Here is the recipe for the soup.  I still owe you a salted caramel chocolate mousse recipe.  That will come this week, promise.



Mexican Tortilla Soup
Serves 6 as a main dish easily, or 2 adults and a baby with plenty to spare (and freeze)

3 dried chilies (guajillo, ancho, pasilla – your choice) 
2 chipotles in adobo sauce (from a can) 
1-2 white onions, diced 
4 garlic cloves, minced 
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes 
1-2 potatoes, chopped in 1/2" chunks 
1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped in ½” chunks 
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed (I used 1 c. of dried black beans, soaked overnight)
8 cups of water
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or chicken legs, with the skin removed, bone-in, as long as you don't mind fishing out bones later)
2 cups of frozen corn 
Salt and pepper to taste 

- put the dried chilies in a bowl and pour 2 cups of boiling water over, let them reconstitute for 10 minutes, and then puree with the chipotles in adobo sauce. 
- put everything else except for the corn in the slow cooker, cook on low for the duration of the work day.  
- When you get home, check the liquid of the soup and add more water depending on how brothy you want the soup to be.  Stir in the corn.  Taste for seasoning, season with salt and pepper and serve. 

To serve (all optional): 
Diced avocadoes 
Chopped green onions 
Sour cream 
Crushed tortilla chips 

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