Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tortilla Soup + Smashed Bladder = bathroom breaks!

Little man cub/papaya baby has been very active this week.

His kicks/jabs/elbows/knees are much stronger and when he's moving, the duration is longer, too. He has quiet spells a lot but he's still super active - mostly in the evenings, midday and early mornings when I'm just not quite ready to wake up but ... he doesn't seem to care.

The other day I woke up at 6:30am to my bladder being smashed by a fetus foot/hand/elbow/whatever. Good morning to you too, baby! 

Thankfully my rocky food relationship is long over and I can eat like a "normal" pregnant human now. And from time to time I crave a little something spicy. I've craved spicy and pickled things from the very beginning, actually.

And last night I was craving tortilla soup: something rich but light, and obviously spicy. And lots of cilantro!

I had a picked-over chicken carcass (hate that word a lot) from a roast chicken earlier this week so I threw it in a pot of water to make some quick broth.

Here's the recipe I just made up as I went along; that's how I roll in the kitchen and it *usually* works out. 

Last night was a complete success and I the baby ate like, a gallon of soup.

Of course tweak this to your taste ...

Chicken Tortilla Soup

One 4 pound chicken or just the carcass, either way you get a lot of flavor

Large pot/dutch oven

Put the bird in the pot and fill with water til the bird is covered (about 12+ cups). Heat to a boil for at least 30-45 minutes to get as much flavor as you can into the broth. Of course if you are using a whole bird, cook for longer so it's not raw in the center, a full hour. Then make a cut where the leg meets the breast to check that it's running 'clean' (not red). Remove the bird and add the following to your pot of broth:

Can of diced tomatoes with juices, preferrably a spicy variety - I used a 'salsa style' tomato that was fire roasted with green peppers

Can of green chilis (the little baby can)

1/2 bag frozen or one can of corn

Can of beans, your choice - I used kidney because it's what I had but chili or black beans would also work

Let this simmer for a while, about 20 minutes. Then add:

1 T Cumin

1 t Chili Powder

1/2 t Thyme

1/2 t or less, just a hint really, Ground Cinnamon

Fresh Jalepeno pepper, diced with seeds - use 1/2 a pepper, a whole pepper, 2 peppers - this is where you'll be controlling your heat so use as much as you like

Diced chicken, about 2 cups

Let this simmer a few more minutes to let the jalepeno soften. At this point I tried something different, for me at least: I crumbled up 3 small corn tortillas and dropped them into the soup. I wanted a little 'thickness' to the broth - it seems like a good tortilla soup has an almost creamy base, even though there isn't any dairy added. The tortillas kind of fell apart as it simmered and turned the broth a little opaque. *Perfection*

Add coarse salt to taste. And that's it.

I prepared the following toppers while the soup was simmering:

Fresh diced avocado
Fresh minced cilantro

Grated cheese - I used colby which was good but cheddar would work. Heck if you are an actual Hispanic person or a Mexican food purist, use something like Queso Fresco. yum (Actually if you are Hispanic you're probably laughing at my gringo recipe or not even reading it in the first place!)

Also a little squeeze of lime juice would rock this soup but I didn't have limes.

Speaking of bebe: These things somehow made their way into my cart and then just showed up at my house. *weird*

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