Lunch and Dinner

I Need A Hug From My Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is a crazy time in my life. There’s so much going on that it’s a little too much to take in at times. I put in my notice at work last week. While I still have two months to go, I am starting to pack up everything I’ve acquired in my ten years in New York City to return to a faraway city I haven’t lived in since I was a teenager. I’m talking opposite-side-of-the-earth far. I’m ready to start a new chapter but I’m not ready to leave all the people I love, even if it ends up being temporary. It’s bittersweet.

I’m not doing the best job of processing all my different emotions, the change, and my never-ending to-do list. Or how to balance productivity with spending time with the ones I will miss the most. All I can do is try. Sometimes I just need a hug. May it be in the form of a physical cuddle, encouraging words, or a box of cookies warm bowl of soup.

I’ve actually only had chicken tortilla soup once but it was the most delicious, comforting thing I could have eaten on a cold winter’s night. I’ve been craving it ever since. And while I don’t make as good a version as La Esquina, this is exactly what I’ve needed the past few days.

chicken tortilla soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Makes about 6 servings

Adapted from Eat, Live, Run

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (remove seeds if you don’t deal well with heat)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoon salt
6 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes

For serving:
corn tortillas, cut into strips
a squeeze of lime juice
a few chunks of avocado
chopped cilantro

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the chicken breasts and simmer for about 20 minutes, until cooked through. Drain and set aside to cool. Then chop into cube-sized pieces.

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large pot. Once hot, add the diced onion and jalapeno and cook for five minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the chili powder and cumin and mix until well combined.

Pour in the chicken stock and add the diced tomatoes, black beans, diced cooked chicken and salt. Bring to a boil for a couple of minutes. To serve, ladle out your desired portions and add tortilla strips into each serving. Lightly stir each so that the tortilla can start to soften in the hot soup. Top each serving with lime juice, avocado, and chopped cilantro.

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Lunch and Dinner

A Cozy Kitchen’s Spicy Pumpkin Soup

Guys. I am eating pumpkin like there’s no tomorrow. Someone needs to stop me. But it’s soooo good.

I’ve been making my own purée by baking delicious sugar pumpkins from the farmers market, and using it in things like Pumpkin Pie Cream of Wheat. And now, A Cozy Kitchen’s Spicy Pumpkin Soup. I love that blog. It’s like that lady is in my head and knows what I’m hungry for. It’s an interesting recipe and easy to make. Go check out Adrianna’s blog and whip up a big, perfect bowl of this soup. Or in my case, a mug with a big capital “I”. ‘Cause that’s how I roll.

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Lunch and Dinner

Warm Up And Nourish Yourself With This Tomato and Sweet Potato Soup

I am back from Europe! I had such a wonderful time–the wedding in France was beautiful, we met some great people, and we had lots of fun exploring Amsterdam. But let me tell you, I did not take care of myself AT ALL. Between the drinking, eating insane amounts of cake, not sleeping, and walking around in the cold all day, I came home with the sniffles and a sore throat.

It’s getting chilly here in New York too, and all I want is soup. One that will flood my deprived body with the nutrients it needs. So I made a simple but hearty soup made up of a variety of super healthy, cancer-fighting ingredients. Make a Tea and Berries Green Smoothie in the same day and you’ve got one delicious detox right there!

Nourishing Tomato and Sweet Potato Soup
Makes about 4 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups diced sweet potato
1 can (28-ounce) whole peeled tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped broccoli or cauliflower
1/2 cup pinto or red kidney beans
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and sweet potato. Saute until the sweet potatoes start to brown, about 10 minutes.

Add the whole can of tomatoes, including liquid, cauliflower or broccoli, and chicken broth to the pot. Bring to a simmer, then cook until the potatoes are very tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the turmeric and beans and simmer for a couple of minutes more. Stir in the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and let the soup cool.

Working in batches if needed, transfer the soup to a blender and purée until smooth. If serving immediately, return to the pot to warm up, and then ladle the soup into serving bowls. Feel free to stir in a tablespoon of heavy cream or top with some shredded cheese, if you wish. Otherwise, you can keep the soup in the fridge or freezer. It will taste just as good tomorrow!

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Growing Food

My Apartment Garden: Flowers Everywhere

So I’m still eating zucchinis from my first plant. I know it’s really late in the season, but I just planted a second one as I feel like I’m getting less and less zucchinis. I don’t know if it will grow in time but I’m trying my luck. Kicking myself for not planting #2 sooner. And look at this gorgeous squash blossom!

I started harvesting the squash blossoms. Here’s a lovely soup I made with them, using Kitchen Konfidence’s Crema de Flor de Calabaza recipe. I like how it has pretty yellow and green speckles!

Also, signs of life on my Topsy Turvy tomato plant! Flowers have bloomed. Now about some tomatoes. Please?

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