Thursday, August 5, 2010

double rainbow soup

As far as food goes, tortilla soup is one of my first loves. I was never much of a veggie girl, or a soup girl for that matter, but tortilla soup somehow escaped my picky eating rules. Maybe it was the cheese melting over everything, or the crispy crunchy tortilla bits that made each bite a sensory surprise, or maybe it was just the context. In my mind tortilla soup is inextricably linked with memories of my mom and our sporadic Coco's dates where, as a rule, we shared a meal of soup, salad and (of course!) pie as we talked through the ups and downs of life during my middle school and high school years.

Naturally I was thrilled when a friend offered me a super easy recipe for a delicious soup. It is perfect for cold nights when you need something hot and quick. The original recipe uses a family size can of Campbell's chicken and rice soup, to which you add the required water, plus a can of black beans (drained), some frozen corn, diced cooked chicken, a can of tomatoes (the kind with green chiles is great) and some cilantro at the end. Chris especially likes the rice in the soup, and it doesn't get any easier than dumping everything in and letting it simmer for a bit while you put some yummy cornbread in the oven to go with it.

The pictures are my summer version of this soup. I decided to try a from-scratch version, that still uses some canned ingredients but takes advantage of the delicious farmer's market veggies that abound this time of year. Here's the "recipe" I use (keep in mind it changes each time I make it. I'm hoping that typing it out will help me remember for next time!)

Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a dutch oven or soup pot. Add 2 or 3 diced carrots and some minced garlic and saute for a few minutes. Meanwhile chop 1 green zuchinni and 1 yellow summer squash into 1/4" pieces and add them to the pot. Add 6 cups water and 2 heaping Tbsps organic chicken bullion stuff (from Costco), or use 1 box (4 cups) chicken stock + two cups water. While the soup is simmering, dice 2 or 3 chicken breasts and saute in a little oil, adding salt and a hefty pinch or two of cumin. Add cooked chicken to soup. Dump in a drained can of black beans, a cup or so of frozen corn (you could use fresh here, too) and a can of diced tomatoes with green chile (we get them from Trader Joe's). That's it! Simmer for a bit and you're good to go.

I used to put a pot of rice directly in the soup but the rice did not hold up in leftovers during reheating. Instead I make the rice on the side and spoon some in the bowls before ladeling the soup over. For leftovers I just save the soup and rice separately and combine them in the bowl before reheating.

We serve the soup with grated cheese, chopped cilantro. diced avocado and of course chips. The blue corn ones add to the rainbow effect :)

Let me know how it turns out if you try it! I'd also love to hear your favorite summer recipes, especially ones that entice kids to eat their veggies.

*I stole the double rainbow name from this crazy youtube video, which some brilliant(?) person took and autotuned to make this annoyingly catchy song. I thought naming the soup something fun would get my kids to eat it :)


Solange, Nik and Caitlin said...

Jessi!!!! That sounds so delicious! I am so going to make that soup this weekend. Thanks for the recipe :)

Doug and Kathy said...

Dad and I were so thankful to share this wonderful soup with you tonight.....Thanks for the wonderful meal..and seeing you and the girls was great too!

Chris Ballanti said...

What does it mean?!? It's so bright, so intense, that it almost looks like TRIPLE Rainbow Soup!

陳雲惠 said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

Katers said...

looks really delicious. i'm definitely going to make some!