Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Dear January,

The holidays are over ... no more shopping or decorating to do.

I look forward to you with somber contentment.

Like an Ansel Adams landscape, my mood is peaceful and gray.

I long to curl up with a good book and take solace in winter's respite.

Eating soup.

That is my ode to January. But Maurice Sendak described her best ...

"In January
it's so nice
while slipping
on the sliding ice
to sip hot chicken soup with rice.
Sipping once
Sipping twice

- Maurice Sendak, In January

(Note: Please ignore the above pic which makes this soup appear lackluster. It is anything but...)

This the perfect hangover soup. And whenever I say hangover, I don't necessarily mean from alcohol. (Although it would be perfectly good for that too.) Sometimes I need something light but satiating to cure a "food hangover."

Be sure and use "Ruhlman's Homemade Chicken Stock" (from my previous post), it's such a prominent ingredient, you really want the best. This has replaced old-fashioned chicken soup for me.

Tortilla Lime Soup
1 cooked and shredded chicken breast
4 cups homemade chicken stock
1 large jalapeno chile (seeded and diced)
1 Tablespoon Canola oil
1/2 onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 tsp. Mexican oregano
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup cilantro chopped
1 lime cut into wedges
fried tortilla strips

Saute onion and garlic in canola oil two minutes. Add cumin, Mexican oregano and jalapeno and cook two more minutes. Add chicken stock an shredded chicken and simmer on low for 15 to 20 minutes. Squeeze the juice of one-half lime into soup and add half the cilantro just before serving. Salt to taste.

Top with strips of fried tortilla strips, monterey jack cheese and an extra squeeze of lime.

The trick to this soup is using really good homemade stock. I also serve it with extra wedges of lime and chopped avocado on the side. It's quite addicting. It's the type of brothy, light soup that I crave when I'm a bit under the weather or just tired of too many rich foods and want something light. I guess you could say, it's become my equivalent of old fashioned chicken noodle soup.