Posted: February 27th, 2012
Chicken Tortilla Soup new Hutchison classic
It was a loosely scheduled Saturday. We’re between swimming lessons, my parents were out of town, nothing else scheduled. It, frankly, felt pretty good. About noon I started thinking about dinner, hoping for a slow-cooker thing I didn’t have to worry about all day.
I had two choices, Slow-cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup and, well, something else I can’t remember. John chose the soup. Of course, if I put the word “Southwest” or “Mexican” in front of anything else, say “Southwestern Pasta,” or “Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookies,” he’d have chosen those. Tex Mex Mashed Potatoes, Santa Fe Pancakes would also rise to the top of his list, so his choice was not a surprise.
When I first tasted the soup, in the slow cooker, I was disappointed. It had no body, OK taste, and a disheartening watery-ness, even though I’d used homemade chicken stock.
But it was dinner, so I started chucking stuff in. Stuff that was supposed to go in, such as tortilla strips, cheese and cilantro. Then it started to taste like something.
Halfway through my first bowl, I knew I’d found something special. I told John I liked it that way, and he rolled his eyes, slurping up his second bowl.
“You just didn’t have all the stuff in it,” he said. “It’s like coffee without the coffee. It’s just hot water.”
Had to admit he was right.
Lesson: The tortilla strips (easy), cilantro and Mexcian cheese blend are not optional here.
One note: Make sure to get regular red enchilada sauce, not the green chili kind. It’s easy to confuse the two because their cans are so similar. I didn’t try it with green, but I’m pretty sure the red is better here.
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