Monday, November 21, 2011

Mexican soup

So uninteresting fact, I cleaned my kitchen today, took the turkey out yesterday and making some space to brine it on Wednesday. Do you think 13+ lb is too much for two people? come on be honest?... ok I will admit that I know the answer but I swear I got the smallest one I could find (almost...).

Anyways this is not the point, the point is that I already made  left over post so this one is my healthy pre-Thanksgiving post. I am sharing with you a soup that comes from Two peas and their pod, this is the original recipe. I tweaked it a little and it is definitely a family favorite, perfect any time of the year and as simple as it gets. It is the perfect fix for any kind of tex-mex craving, with some sweet crunch from the corn, richness from the beans and lively kick from the jalapeno.I would dare to say that you need absolutely no cooking skills beyond using a knife without chopping one of your fingers off and boiling water. Anyone can do that, right?

I usually use that recipe as an excuse to make home made chicken stock and then serve it on top of some shredded chicken. The original recipe is vegetarian and feel free to use vegetable broth, I just cannot find one I like, I swear I tried!!! I just find them tasteless so I use chicken stock.

You may have notice that my previous posts have very little pictures and I am sort of annoyed by that. I am truly convinced that we are all kids at heart and that pictures are essential, especially when it comes to food, I cannot get my self to buy or use a cook book that doesn't have pictures, it just doesn't make me drool properly. Being the scientist that I am I thought I might try to draw a nice diagram for my recipe but this is not yet completely developed (and it might be too nerdy...) Please feel free to tell me what you think about the idea of recipe diagrams, if anyone else is into it I can totally make it happen (or at least try) :). While I am at questions, do you think I am rambling, this is a bad habits of mine... So back to the point, I tried to take more pictures to illustrate my recipe, please do tell me what you think of the result.

Before I go any further (yes I am getting there...) a little dog story, while cleaning my counter top I found an old lime that I had used the zest of and that had dried out in a hidden corner. I dropped the lime on the flour and Ariel thinking that anything that falls on the ground is yummy jumped and snatched it, since I didn't see any harm in it I let her have it and this is how I have a lime chewing whippet... does you dog do that as well or do I really have strange creature (in French we say "Tel chien, tel maitre" which basically means that dogs and owners are alike :) ). I did let Trysta have it next hoping that it might help with her breath, she did lick it thoroughly but now it just smells as if a rat had died in a lime tree...

Recipe here we go:
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 green pepper chopped
- 4 ears of corn (about 4 cups of frozen corn)
- 1 jalapeno finely diced remove the seeds if you don't want the heat, I don't enjoy a lot of heat but I find it perfect with seeds in
- 1 can diced green chilies
- 2 28oz cans of petite diced tomatoes
- 4 15oz cans of black beans (you can use dried beans or rinse the canned beans, I personally use the entire can, just hold on the salt)
- 6 cups of chicken stock
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- 1 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- juice of 1 lime
 Coat a large soup pot with oil, heat over medium-low heat, add the chopped onion and cook until soft

 Add the chopped garlic and cook a couple minutes until fragrant
 Stir in the chopped green bell pepper
 Add the jalapeno, diced green chilies and corn, stir in and cook for about 5 minutes
 Add the tomatoes and beans (as you can see I did not rinse my beans but that is up to you, I like the brine and it adds some thickness to the soup)
 Add the stock and stir (as you notice I used frozen stock so your won't most likely look like that and you won't need as much time to bring to a boil). Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer
 Stir in the chopped cilantro, ground cumin, chili powder and lime juice. Let simmer for about 30 minutes and it's ready to serve.

Serve hot or cold, it is delicious and healthy just as is, I have eaten it on top of threaded chicken or topped with oven toasted corn tortilla chips, the last adds a wonderful crunch (and that's what's for dinner today :) ).
I know that this might sounds strange but my mom loves it cold on top of shredded lettuce, I didn't dare to try but she swears it's delicious...
I imagine it would be wonderful topped with some shredded cheese or sour cream, or over some lime cilantro rice (!!!) honestly, sky is the limit, be creative!!!

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