Soup’s On: A Recipe for the Domestically Challenged

I freely confess that I am no Bobby Flay.  (And thank goodness, ’cause that man is just plain obnoxious!  Sure, he can cook but geez, who’d wanna live with that right?!  Or Emeril…BAM!  Oh, wow I’m having nightmares and I’m awake!)  I have managed through toil, tears and countless tossed out dishes, to become a halfway decent cook and have told Himself that by the time he passes on to his reward, I will finally have become the cook he thought he’d married.  He eyes me suspiciously and gives me that shit-eating smirk of his.  I also cook by smoke alarm.  If there’s smoke in the air, you can bet dinner’s ready.  I’ll never be a ‘from scratch’ kind of girl.  God bless Sandra Lee from Semi-Homemade. 

I also confess to being supremely jealous of anyone who can throw a little of this and a little of that together and call it a meal.  I love you, Alton Brown! 

So, for all of you out there (surely to the Lord I am not the only one) who tend toward being culinarily handicapped, I give you…

The Lazy Mom’s Recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup.

* I start with three bell peppers diced up kind of chunky…one red, one yellow and one orange (I’m a quilter and love color!)   If I so much as see a green bell pepper, it’ll be all over but poppin’ the Pepto.  You could do a green one, but it’s your funeral.  Or heartburn.  Whatever. 

* Add in 1/2 (or more if you’re so inclined) of a large sweet onion, also diced and about a teaspoon of minced garlic (mine comes from a jar–Spice World, if I’m not mistaken because if I buy it fresh, I’ll find it two years later in the back of a cabinet.  Ask me how I know).  I also threw in a handful of diced bacon.  Hey, everything’s better with bacon! 

Himself was amazed to learn that a dish I’d recently prepared had, horrors!, onions in it.  ‘I don’t like onion’ he snivelled.  ‘I do’ I retorted.  He ate it.  Smart man.  Fifteen years of marriage with nary an onion in any dish?  It was time to go postal or let ’em eat onion, y’all. 

* Dump everything is a large pot and cook until just tender but with still enough body that you can tell it’s a veggie.  If you have to fool the children (or the spouse), you can put the cooked veggies through the blender, but I don’t know any mother who would stoop to that all-time low (whistling softly here).  As a side note, you can puree cooked carrots and mix them in with your taco meat.  At least that’s the rumor I heard.  (Still whistling.)  Or put beets in your spaghetti sauce.  (Still whistling.)

* In a separate pot, I start 8 cups of water to boil and then break out the secret weapon.  No, it’s not Paula Deen.

The people at Bear Creek have my undying loyalty.  I have done up their potato soup like a redneck mama decking out her toddler for a beauty pageant and, yummyyummyyummy, is it ever so good.  I have it on good authority, however, that the broccoli cheese sucks road grit, so I think that one shall get a pass from me. 

* Once the water’s boiling, you dump the pouch in, give it a stir and go on to phase three.  Come back every once in a while for a stir and in 10 minutes, the liquid part of the soup’s done.

* Yes, phase three is a bag of pre-cooked, marinated cluckers.  Dice these up like the veggies and then dump them and the veggies into the soup mixture.  Stir again and simmer ’til you’re happy (10-15 minutes) and eat it.  Top it with crushed tortilla chips or sour cream or cheese…or hair gel for all I care.  Whatever floats your boat…

* If you find the mixture a little too chunky for your liking, pour in a cup or two more water.

* I also dumped in a can of rinsed black beans Rotel’s good, too.  If I’m feeling spunky, I add in a can of drained corn and if I’m feeling all Giada-ish, I’ll cut kernals from a real live ear of corn and dump those in.  I figure if it involves knives, I must be a cook.  Hannibal would be proud.  I bet this soup would be great with a nice Chianti, too.

As luck would have it, Himself went out for the evening to a car cruise, leaving Captain Studly and The Diva home with moi.  Do you think they’d eat it?  That’s a negative, Ghost Rider.  I had two bowls…heaven!  I pawned half of the stuff on my parents who are always grateful for a meal they don’t have to prepare even if I was the one cooking it.  I can’t wait ’til I’m their age, but the Co-Defendants will probably bring me a bag from McDonald’s.

Enjoy…and remember, if it’s made with love, that’s what counts! 

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One thought on “Soup’s On: A Recipe for the Domestically Challenged

  1. I am totally with you on the semi-homemade bandwagon! And I happen to love that brand of soup. (It's in my cupboard right now). Its too bad that I barely even do that anymore. Lately I cook a meat and open a bag of salad. No carbs, that's us.

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