This time of year I just love a steaming bowl of chili or soup. However, around these parts it really doesn't feel typical for this time of year at all. I'm beginning to wonder if we will ever have a winter. I'm pretty much the only person I know that is complaining, but I'm sorry, I love winter. I decided that even if the weather won't cooperate, I better get to making some soup. I love to cook up a big ol' pot of yumminess and then have it for leftovers and lunches for the week. Being a teacher, I bring my lunch to school every day. There isn't time to run get lunch, and the cafeteria food just ain't an option for this girl. One of my co-workers actually had this soup for lunch one day last week and she shared the recipe with me. It's a take on tortilla soup, but it's a little different that what I have done before. I modified her recipe quite a bit because a) we like things a bit spicier than what I thought the original might be and b) I wanted to make a larger batch than what she did. With those points in mind I just got to thinking about what I needed to do to make them happen. I'm sure her recipe would be equally delicious, so if you like things less spicy use the original or make your own modifications.
Original recipe as made by my friend:
1 lb. ground beef or chicken
1 small onion, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can corn (drained) *I left out the corn
8 oz Velveeta cheese
Brown the meat and onion (if you are using beef), add the tomatoes, beans, and corn. If you like things "soupier" you could add some water of broth. Bring to a simmer then stir in the cheese.
I used chicken, so I just cooked 2 chicken breasts and shredded them before starting the soup. I added the onions right into the pot with the tomatoes and cooked chicken. Here's where I may have gotten carried away...I also added a jalapeno pepper, and the pinto beans I used were actually HOT chili beans. I actually used 2 cans each of the beans and diced tomatoes (only 1 can of Rotel though). Since my beans were the hot chili variety, I didn't rinse them, 'cause, duh...I'd have rinsed off all the good stuff. Suffice it to say that upon sampling, this stuff lit me on fire. I'm guessing the pepper I used, was extra spicy. So, I set about trying to salvage my soup. I ended up using about 3/4 c. of sour cream to kind of "cool" the burn. Here's the thing though, never stir sour cream directly into a hot pot of soup. Otherwise it just kind of separates and looks yucky. I took some of the hot soup and stirred it into the sour cream them added that mixture to the pot. The final product was really good, but I would say in all of my concern about making the soup spicy, I did go overboard. We were out of tortilla chips, but did have a bag of Fritos (because I've been waiting on the dang cold weather so I could make chili). I recommend going the Frito route, who knew?!