Sunday, January 17, 2016

At least my insides are warm

It is one, lonely degree right now.

That is the high for the day.

Thankfully, my heat works well, and I spent a good potion of the later morning and afternoon in the studio, which is the warmest downstairs room.

Aside from wanting to sew, I needed to be in the studio for its proximity to the kitchen (the studio has two doors, one to the small hallway past the bathroom to the living room, one to the east end of the galley kitchen). Nothing warms you up on a bitter cold day like soup. Tex-Mex soup, in this case.

It's a bit like liquid loaded nachos - tomatoes, sour cream, corn, black beans, warm spices, fresh cilantro and cooked, chopped turkey. The soup can be topped with cheese, corn chips and more sour cream, completing the nachos comparison. The spices give warmth rather than fire, much like they do in my smothered chicken with barley.

Tex-Mex Soup

Roughly 6 servings

1 T olive oil
1/2 c minced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 t chili powder
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t oregano
4 cups water
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed tomato soup
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 c salsa
4 c shredded turkey
1 T dried parsley
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 (14 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 c frozen corn
1/2 c sour cream
1/4 c fresh cilanto, choppped

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until they begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin and oregano and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Stir in water, tomato soup, diced tomatoes, salsa, shredded turkey, parsley and bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes o until bouillon cubes dissolve.

Add black beans, corn, sour cream and cilantro. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

Serve topped with your choice of crushed corn chips (Xochitil are my favorites), monterey jack cheese, more sour cream or cilantro.

My notes:
Do not just throw the chili powder, cumin and oregano in the pot and immediately add the water, but follow the directions to stir and cook for a minute. It's called "blooming" the spices, and warming them this way activates their flavor. It does make a difference.

Feel free to skip the whole water and chicken bouillon thing and use four cups of stock from a box, made from a soup starter or created by any of your favorite methods. You don't really want anything that has a strong taste of its own, though.

Chicken works just as well as turkey. While I bought and purpose-cooked turkey breast, any kind of left over poultry, as long as it wasn't too highly seasoned to start with, works well. The friend who gave me the recipe in the first place uses this as her go-to leftover Thanksgiving turkey recipe.

The finished soup freezes/thaws nicely.

Considering I'm not a fan of black beans, sour cream or cilantro, it's a bit of a miracle that I love this soup as much as I do. It certainly warmed me up today.

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