Sunday, November 4, 2007

Beethoven and Soup

Beethoven said, "Only the pure of heart can make good soup."

I'm not sure how this explains the Soup Nazi.

But I think Beethoven was on to something.

It's good to put a little love into your food, to be at ease, open up a bottle of wine, turn some music on, enjoy the cooking process.

Be pure of heart.
The meal tastes better.

To me, food and music go together. I have a son who plays classical guitar. He likes to practice while I cook. We make a good team. He plays. I cook. He eats. I clean. But I don't mind. It's all about enjoying time with those we love, being creative, and reaping the benefits of a meal shared.

One of family's favorite meals is Tortilla Soup. I could eat it every day. It's evolved into one of those things that I don't really measure ... an amalgamation of all the different Tortilla Soups I've eaten over the years.

For the moment, we are enjoying this lighter version, with zucchini, chicken and corn, and if there's an avocado in the house, that's always a bonus.

It is easy to imagine Beethoven ... introverted and tormented ... hunched over a steaming bowl of soup.

He new a good thing when he tasted it.

Tortilla Soup

In 1 T. Oil saute:
1 small onion chopped
1 Anaheim pepper chopped
1 or 2 tomatillos chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped

1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (chopped and mashed up a bit)
1 tsp. New Mexican chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. Mexican Oregano
1 (14.5 oz.) can chopped tomatoes
Salt to taste

Simmer a few minutes until tomatoes begin to break down and then add:
1 (32 oz.) carton organic chicken broth
1 or 2 small zucchini chopped
1/3 cup of frozen corn
1 cooked chicken breast shredded into pieces

Cook until vegetables are tender and chicken is heated through.

Serve in a bowl topped with chopped avocado, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, a squeeze of fresh lime, and plenty of fried corn tortilla strips.

Note: Chipotle peppers are hot. I usually add a dash of the adobo sauce along with it. You can play around with the recipe to see what works for you - but it's best to begin with a small pepper then add more if you like.