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We May Never Pass This Way Again

This one’s for me. Seriously; sometimes I cook something that I invent as I go along, and I know that if I don’t write it down, it will never happen again.

A couple of nights ago, I started to make a soup from my boyfriend Kenny’s cookbook. I have vowed not to publish any of his recipes, so that you will be forced to buy his book and increase his bottom line, but in this case the finished product was so far from the original plan that I am not breaching my promise. If you are able to figure out the “real” recipe based on what I did, you deserve to save the cost of the book.

The soup was supposed to be a chicken tortilla soup with avocados on top. I prepped the actual ingredients, started cooking, and decided that I would, oh, triple the amount of chicken broth. It seemed soupier that way. When all of the ingredients had been added, I tasted the soup, and it tasted very much like nothing at all. I boiled it to reduce it, and after 30 minutes, the flavor had intensified to the point where it tasted like boiling nothing. It was time to abandon the plan. I added everything I could find that might add some flavor, tasted, added, frowned, added, wept, and tasted. In the end, I produced a soup that was, according to my husband, “lovely.” I have to agree (although it is extremely visually unappealing, and looks somewhat like khaki slime with pieces of chicken trying to float to the surface and wave to the rescue helicopters). Below is, more or less, what I did:

Once in A Lifetime Chicken Tortilla Soup

(Based, so loosely as to be unrecognizable, on a recipe from Kenny Shopsin’s Eat Me)

  1. 1/2 cabbage, finely shredded
  2. 1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
  3. 2-3 chicken breasts grilled or pan-fried, and sliced into thin strips
  4. 6 cups chicken broth
  5. 2cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  6. 2 avocados peeled and cubed
  7. 2-4 jalapenos (depending on your fire tolerance), finely diced
  8. 1 cup shredded cheddar
  9. 1 cup sour cream (I used light)
  10. 1 cup heavy cream
  11. 2 T Olive oil
  12. Salt and pepper
  13. Tortilla Chips

In a soup pot, heat olive oil and saute cabbage, onion and jalapenos for about 5 minutes. Add all other ingredients except avocado and  tortilla chips and cook over medium-high heat until all ingredients are heated through. Taste, and add salt, pepper and/or cheese to taste. Serve over tortilla chips and topped with avocado.


About imagineannie

I feel like I'm fifteen - does that count? I'm lots of things, I get paid to be the Managing Editor for a local news publication, and I love my job. I am also inordinately fond of reading, animals (I have four), elephants, owls, hedgehogs writing, tramping in the woods, cooking India, Ireland, England, avocado toast, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, Little Women, Fun Home, Lumber Janes, Fangirl, magic, Neil Gaiman, Jane Austen, YA books, not YA books, classical music, Salinger (OMG SALINGER), Brahms, key lime pie, indie music, podcasts, sleeping in, road trips, marmalade, museums, bookstores, the Oxford comma, BBC, The Miss Fisher Mysteries, birdwatching, seashells, kombucha, and stickers. Not a huge fan of chewing gum, jazz, trucker hats or dystopian and/or post-apolcalyptic fiction (but I'll try anything).

13 responses »

  1. Sometimes you have to do a bit of a dance to get things how you want them, don’t you!

  2. I love Kenny…did you see I Like Killing Flies?

  3. Mary, sometimes, although this was ENTIRELY my own fault, Had I not tripled the amount of liquid, I wouldn’t have had to add twenty things to thicken it and add taste…..

    Amy – I haven’t seen it, but I just found out that I can see it free on my computer through Netflix. It will be a reward after I do some gnarly sort of work.

  4. Ann,

    Lovely isnt convincing? Give us a better word…….

    Guys want to know.

  5. Robert, I am telling you that he said “lovely.” Strange, but true. In fact, I used that word because I was so struck by how…strange it was.

  6. I have no idea why “lovely” was the first thing that I said. Not sure I have ever used that word before to describe anything. Perhaps it was that the expectations had been lowered to the point that I had a mental picture of Campbell’s soup being poured into a pan as the huge “heavy metal pot” of soup would be discarded. It was very very good. The cream was very rich, and the corn-ee-ness and saltiness of the chips blended together very well. That’s about as good as it gets when I describe food. It’s good. It’s not so good. More please.

  7. I think “lovely” is a perfectly acceptable adjective to describe soup. In fact, I have a friend who describes soup as the most refined and civilized of foods. So, if it’s lovely, then, lovely it is.

  8. Mr. Annie, I hope there can be more – I think I wrote it all down right.

    Eric – nicely said. There is that song: “soup of the evening, beautiful soup….”

  9. I can’t remember if I asked you if you would you like to join our group – Michigan Lady Food Bloggers? It’s open to any women in Michigan that write a blog that features food. We occasionally get together for potlucks and other food related escapades. Upon joining, please introduce yourself and your blog.

    If you’d like to join us, visit:

  10. wish me luck! it’s taco soup for us tonight! lol

  11. MK, I’ll check it out – thanks!!

    jayedee – let me know how it was?

  12. Interesting post…I like how you described what the soup resembled..ha!

  13. desmone007, I called it like I saw it – but it was delicious!


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