Chicken Tortilla Soup

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Maybe I’m the minority here, but honestly what is up with summer vacations these days? They barely last six weeks! Mid June to mid August is nonsense. Summer should be a full three months, from Memorial Day to Labor Day. School is not everything.

Of course, I envision a life where everyone spends the summer season growing food, working the land, taking it slow, and being outside. With plants, with animals, with each other. None of this “constant TV and boredom inside air-conditioned houses where the kids drive both working parents crazy (and vice versa) and maybe they go on a couple expensive vacations”-type summer. I firmly believe each season should have its own specific activities, its own mood, its own flavor that is savored as much as possible while it lasts.

City life has dulled my senses and stolen, I think, much of life’s quality. I crave a life that is slightly less predictable but also less stressful. I know it exists. Right now we do the same tiring things every day, every week, every month no matter what time of year it is. There is no variation. Do everything every single day because rest is bad, bad, bad! We are busy or busier — nothing less. We work on computers in offices and make just enough money to pay for the homes we stay cooped up in. That’s no way to live your whole life.

There are lots of good things and comforts that come with living in a city or suburb. I appreciate the fact that probably more than half the world thrives on the hustle and bustle of densely populated areas.

But not me. I am too sensitive to the noise, the motion, the demands. I dream of a simpler life out in the country where it is quiet and slow.

Anyway, the summer weather is not over even though kids are going back to school/sports and parents are going back to work. Therefore, you may not be craving hot meals like soup (unless you’re a regular bone broth drinker and you naturally crave soup no matter what time of year). However, this soup recipe has lots of fresh, cooling flavors if the right toppings are used and you don’t serve it too hot. I found it to be a great meal to prepare after a busy day because it is minimal effort. And it’s light and delicious.

There are a million chicken tortilla soup recipes out there, and I’m not saying this is anything special. Add beans or corn or more tomatoes if that’s what does it for you. I try to emphasize the meat and vegetables in all my meals, limiting the grains and nightshades.

chxtortillasoup

Chicken Tortilla Soup (serves 2)

2 C chicken or beef stock

2 C favorite red enchilada sauce (I use a brand with real, healthy ingredients and no preservatives)

2 corn tortillas, cut into strips (optional)

salt and pepper, to taste

1 C chicken, cooked and shredded

cheddar cheese, shredded

sour cream

avocado, sliced

cilantro, chopped

green onions, chopped

Bring the stock and enchilada sauce to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add the tortilla strips, if using, and cook until softened. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste (and why not throw in a little ground cumin, garlic powder, and/or onion powder if you have them?).

Divide chicken into two bowls and pour hot soup mixture into both (keeping your meat separate from the soup until serving is a good way to make sure it doesn’t get overcooked and dry). Top with cheese, sour cream, and green things. The sour cream will slowly mix in to the broth and make it creamy as you eat. So good.

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