Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Leftover Ingredients: the mother of invention!

I don't know if I've ever had so many different food items in my fridge and on my shelves! Between the normal, everyday perishables and pantry stock, I also acquired leftover soup, home grown tomatoes, and babaganoush from a party (which meant, of course, that I had to go buy pita bread) and apparently bought too many ingredients for the recipes I did have in mind to make that week. For instance, I had one too many habanero peppers, too much shredded cheese, leftover "lime sour cream", some brussels sprouts that I intended to eat for lunch but forgot about, etc. Oh yeah, and a turnip that I forgot to put into a root vegetable soup. And this, my friends, is what the stress of midterm preparation can do to you!

In order to rectify this odd situation, I did something I haven't done in a long time: I made up a recipe! It was so fun and easy to make. Here's what I did, though since I didn't measure much, have fun adjusting to your own tastes. :)

Hot chicken, tomato, and corn soup
(This is a lot like chicken tortilla soup, but no tortilla. I joked to Peter that it's great for the low-carb diet.)

1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 tbl canola oil (the fat choice is random, I know, don't ask...)
1 small onion, chopped
Salt, pepper, and seasoning to taste (I used the Pampered Chef Southwest Seasoning plus cumin)
A few splashes Tapatio hot sauce (or a favorite hot sauce)
1 habanero pepper (omit or use jalapeno for something milder)
1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted (could have used more)
1 large tomato, diced (could have been 2)
Enough chicken or vegetable broth (I used a mix) to cover everything, but not so much as to make it too brothy
1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded

Optional (but highly recommended) accompaniments: shredded mexican cheese blend, sour cream, freshly squeezed lime juice, cilantro

1. Saute onion and pepper with seasonings and hot sauce over medium heat for a couple of minutes (should be very fragrant).
2. Add corn and tomato, sauteing another minute.
3. Add broth and chicken, bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. The longer it simmers, the more the flavors will meld, but just do whatever you have the time for.
4. Serve with accompaniments.

Yield: 3-4 servings

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