Tag Archives: chicken tortilla soup recipe

E-Z Meal: Mom’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

9 Oct

Sunrise over the lake

New York City gets under your skin. Live there for a decade or so, and getting bottles of urine thrown at you on the subway becomes fodder for light dinner conversation. Catching someone’s hand inside your bag and around your wallet while pushing past stands selling half-dead pet turtles and knockoff Chanel bags on Canal Street is just part of your average Sunday morning routine.

The Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, dinner at Le Cirque, sudsy mugs of beer on the Bowery, shopping on Spring Street, browsing for books in the Strand. It’s all around the corner, it’s available, it’s background noise, baby. You live in New York.

As John Updike put it, “The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding. ”

And then I moved. I realized that, holy crap, life doesn’t come to a grinding halt when you leave The City. That, sometimes, it gets a hell of a lot easier. E-Z. Yes, it’s pared down. Pho with pickled tripe is not a good idea in Kent Lakes, New York; spicy wings eaten on the lake with a bunch of Harley dudes — we’ve gotcha covered. And space? We’ve got it in spades. Big blue skies, wide open roads, towering trees, fields as far as the eye can see.

I haven’t started getting my coffee from drive-throughs (or spelling it drive-thrus) yet, but I’ve definitely thought about it.

For years, I had the same “hard is better” philosophy with food preparation; instinctively, I felt that any meal prepared with pre-made ingredients in any form was a horrifying Duncan Hines-sponsored, partially hydrogenated oil-dipped Sandra Lee cop-out.

And then I had my Mom’s Chicken Tortilla Soup for the 700th time. But this time, I asked for a recipe. It’s so rich, full of complex textures and layers of kicky spice and gooey umami goodness, I was sure she spent hours over the stove, roasting the perfect bird and building each component of soup separately.

“How do you do it?” I asked, expecting her a session of coy reticence on her part, wheedling on mine and eventual surrender of a five-page recipe after hours of back-and-forth and several glasses of wine.

“I use a rotisserie chicken!” she crowed. The woman will never cease to surprise me.

It doesn't get any E-Z-ier

This soup is a snap to throw together. Perfect for a hearty cuppa’ while you’re unpacking boxes, figuring out the feng shui of your cute little foyer and constantly running out to the backyard to see how your city dog is adjusting to life in the country.

Click on for the recipe.

My new pet, Sammy the Salamander, lives in that grim hole in our basement. Bon appetit!

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