Yesterday, I wrote an email to Summer.
Dear Summer, please come quick.
I need a snow cone and a sunbathing session like yesterday.
I am sick and tired of the days of gloves and layers.
I need to see my legs and wear flip-flops that show off my freshly painted toes.
Did I mention I need a snow cone?
Let’s talk Mexican food. Tex-Mex is the stuff I grew up on.
Buuuuut I was also privileged to grow up around many authentic Mexican restaurants down here in Houston.
Taqueria’s run rampant here. No joke.
Sometimes all I want is to take a trip to my childhood Taqueria Del Sol. I grew up 5 minutes from this place and it was a treat on weekday/weekend nights for my parents to take seester and I out for an authentic Mexican meal.
Now, I’m talking enchiladas with homemade red sauce, smothered in Mexican cheeses, and rolled between corn tortillas that you know your abuela is back there pounding out with her hands.
Did I mention this place has a bakery? My fave are the “pig” cookies.
The best part of this experience for me was the check-out line and a frozen cooler that carried a variety of “La Brisa” Mexican popsicle flavors.
You haven’t lived unless you have tried a coconut or a chocolate La Brisa.
This past Sunday my parents called me from a little Mexican market that they found a couple of blocks away from my house.
La Brisa jackpot!
They were like kids in a candy store.
Spring/summer is on the way, but let’s make the most of it.
Chicken Enchilada Soup.
Take that winter!
And by “winter” I mean it’s 70 degrees here and it’s freezing.
This stuff is legit. Heartwarming, ooey, gooey, crispy with crushed tortillas on top, “Did I really just eat a bowl of enchilada filling?” soup.
Today, I am your abuela.
- extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling the pan
- 1 poblano pepper, seeds discarded, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small sweet yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 3 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 large stalks of celery, roughly chopped
- 1 t. ground cumin
- 1 t. ground paprika
- 1 t. ground New Mexico chile powder
- 1 t. granulated garlic
- 1 t. granulated onion
- freshly ground black pepper and fine sea salt, to taste
- 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, no salt added
- 2½ c. low sodium organic chicken broth
- 1 plain, rotisserie or smoked chicken, shredded
- ½ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
- crushed corn tortilla chips, optional garnish
- Heat a large dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat and drizzle with olive oil.
- Add the poblano pepper, garlic, onion, carrots, and celery and saute until the vegetables become tender and break down. About 10-12 minutes.
- Add the cumin, paprika, chile powder, granulated garlic, granulated onion, salt and pepper and stir well, coating the veggies evenly.
- Saute for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes and chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the temperature to low and allow the mixture to simmer for 30-45 minutes.
- Add the shredded chicken to the pot and mix well. I divided the shredded chicken in half, pureeing some of it, and leaving a few chunkier pieces. 🙂
- Using an immersion blender, gently puree the soup until you reach your desired texture. I love my soup slightly chunky. You can also do this using a high powered blender or food processor.
- Add the chopped cilantro to the soup last and stir well.
- Check the seasonings and season with salt and pepper according to your taste.
- Serve warm with crushed tortilla chips, a dollop of sour cream (or Greek yogurt), warm corn tortillas, fresh garnish of cilantro, and/or Mexican cheese.