Thursday, November 27, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers: Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup

This month's first Barefoot Blogger's Challenge is Ina Garten's Mexican Chicken Soup, as selected by Judy's Gross Eats. Her eats don't appear at all gross to me, so note to self, ask her later why she has that blog name. Surely there is a family story in there.

A pox on canned soup. Soup is probably the easiest and most satisfying thing you can create at home. It lets you play alchemist and for whatever reason (probably due to the poxed canned soup), guests, friends and family are always impressed by a big pot of homemade soup. My speciality is braised collard greens and bacon in ale. I guarantee, it will cure what ails you.
I expected to really love this month's recipe for the Barefoot Bloggers, but honestly, I just didn't. It wasn't complicated. It wasn't nasty. It wasn't terrible. It was fair. It just wasn't great.
I suppose this is best judged by one simple fact. My mother and I sat down to the finished soup, each ate a bowl, pronounced it fine, and then put the rest in a container in the fridge, and never touched it again. We never once said "Ooh, let's finish that soup." A week later, it was down the drain.
The woman who taught me to make good soup is my mother. Her soups are legendary. She was having soup and bread night, as a dinner party, long before it was ever popular. "A soup party? Really?" This was in the 1970s.
If my mother and I, soup maker and her apprentice, never once gave the soup another thought, it just wasn't interesting enough to blow our skirts up.
Now, if anyone at all can get the recipe for the White Chicken Chili with Cilantro Cream, served at La Brea Cafe in some Macy's stores in California, THAT blows my skirt up. I'd love to recreate that "soup."
About this challenge: The Barefoot Bloggers join forces and cook or bake recipes by Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten each month, chosen in order by members, and present them for discussion on two Thursdays each month. Hungry? Please join us at the table!

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