I can't just type up a recipe, I have to tell you a story with it. So bear with me. At school, we always have Secret Pals. If you want to participate, you draw a name and give gifts to someone once a week and someone else gives you gifts...standard fare in a lot of workplaces. We do it twice a year, usually for 6 weeks at a time. I *love* to do it...so I always participate. Some years, I get all kinds of wonderful goodies and some years I get chocolate every week, even though I always put "NO CHOCOLATE please!" on my info sheet.
This year, my pal was *AMAZING*. Always giving me stuff *way* over the limit...always exactly things I loved. I told my partners very early on that I suspected it was Bobbie, our custodian. Her office is next to my classroom and we have become good friends over the last three years since I moved to the art room. It *WAS* her, so that wasn't a surprise, but her gift to me when we revealed who we were totally made me cry like a baby.
She did a little scavenger hunt thing, me following "clues" to the next gift. It was all cooking stuff: measuring cups, a whisk, etc. Finally, it ended in her office, duh. So here's the part that made me cry. She'd gotten in touch with my mother and my kids and my husband and everyone at work and asked them to give her recipes and tell stories about me. My mom then emailed some of our old family friends, my aunt, my best friend from high school and *they* all submitted recipes too. Bobbie typed them all up and made them into a cookbook. As soon as I saw it, I teared up because the title was "Tule Tule, Tate Tate," which is a family joke that my dad loves to tell on me, (it's a whole different story, so I won't go into that) so I knew she'd talked to them.
I've read this silly little cookbook about 10 times, because there are so many fun memories and things mixed in with the recipes and I am just happy as a clam every time I do. There are some recipes I'll *never* make (corn casserole..ewwww!) but I have tried a few, including this one for tortilla soup.
I know everyone's got a version of tortilla soup, but this one is really good. I used leftover Christmas turkey instead of chicken. So, here's the recipe, if you're still reading after all that!
Tortilla Soup 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (I used turkey) 2 14 oz. cans chicken broth (I use chicken broth in a box...about a box and a half) 2 14 oz. cans fire-roasted tomatoes 2 small cans diced green chilies 1 large onion, diced (I used shallots, I prefer them to onion...about two large shallots) 1 tbsp. olive oil 1 tbsp. chili powder (I used a mix of regular chili power and chiptole chili, which is really hot)
To prepare, cook diced shallots in a large soup bowl with oil until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add chili powder and cook for about a minute. Then stir in tomatoes, green chilies and chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 15-20 minutes. You can garnish with just about anything. I don't like cilantro, but that's a common topper for tortilla soup. We added a bit of pepper jack cheese and tortilla chips. Enjoy.