Spicy Mexican Tortilla Soup Special
That is what the headlines read on Friday morning on the front page...
Yea I made the front page!!!
My husband read in last Sundays paper that they were going to have a contest for soups this week, so he went out on Tuesday and got all the ingredients for his favorite soup and told me I had to make it that night. Just to make him happy I did, never thinking I would actually win. He took it to the newspaper office the next morning for all the judges to taste. That evening I got a call and she said Congratulations Lynn You WON!!! I was shocked, to say the least!! Well her is what the paper said:
Spicy Mexican Tortilla Soup Special
Lynn Usary"s recipe takes top prize in first monthly cook-off
FAIRMONT- There's something special about Lynn Usary's Spicy Mexican Tortilla Soup.
First, it's a prize winner.
Its unique blend of spices placed it at the top of the menu of the first Times West Virginian's monthly "My Favorite Recipe" cook-off, beating out 16 other soups to win her $100 and the blue ribbon.
Second, "It's stupid-simple to make," she said.
Full of chicken, corn, peppers and spices, and topped off with some crunchy tortilla chips, it's one hot meal. but don't let its 16 ingredients intimidate you.
"All you do is cook the chicken and shred it, and literally throw everything else in the pot and let it cool. It doesn't get much simpler than that," she said.
Usary loves to cook " just about anything," she said.
Anybody can learn to cook. It just takes practice. And you have to have fun with it." And she loves to share her recipes, too.
As with all good soups, you can tinker with the ingredients to suit your taste. You can make it less spicy by dialing down the chiles, sauce and spices.
Or, in the words of Food Network superchef Emeril Lagasse, "Bam! Kick it up a notch!" she said with a laugh.
She prefers it hot, but turned down the heat for the contest. " I thought that maybe not everybody likes it that way," she said. "But it's really not that hot. It's a nice spicy hot but not so hot it kills your mouth."
She always cooked and learned a lot from her mother-in-law, Lil Usary, she said. Her favorite thing to make is homemade pizza and bread.
"When we have company over, everybody picks what they want to put on them." And like any good cook, she uses fresh vegetables from her garden: peppers. corn. lettuce, green beans,okra and lots of "tomatoes."
I cook so many different things. (My Husband) Tom and I like such a variety of things. He loves my ribs. I've made the sauce for as long as we've been married, which will be 36 years in May," she said.
She doesn't buy food or cooking magazines, but cook-books are another thing. " I'm the queen of the cook-books," she said with a laugh. I've got two whole cabinets full in the kitchen , plus on top the cabinets. I like the ones with pictures in them. I'm a visual person."
She got this recipe from a friend" years ago." She even included it in a cookbook she made for her daughters.
Still, it took Tom's encouragement to get her to submit it for the cook-off the first cooking contest she's ever entered.
"He said I needed to send it in. He bugged me since he saw it in the paper. " You've got to put your chicken soup in there ."
Now since Tom was the reason she entered the contest in the first place, she's going to share the prize money with him. Right?
"Are you kidding?" she said with a laugh."OK. I'll probably take him out to dinner. He likes to cook as much as I do." (than it went on to say who else entered the contest...
So here it is I hope you try it!!!
Spicy Mexican Tortilla Soup
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1-15oz. can Mexican style stewed tomatoes
1-10 oz. can enchilada sauce, (mild, medium, or hot)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can black beans, rinsed
2 cups water (add more as needed)
1-14 oz. can chicken broth
1-4 oz. can chopped green chilis
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder, hot
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
1- 10 oz bag frozen corn
1 TBS cilantro
Tortilla chips scoops "To scoop with"
After chicken is cooked and shredded, Put everything in a large pot to cook down for a few hours. Add extra water if needed.
I always double the recipe. It can also be made spicier by adding a can of chopped jalapenos or hot enchilada sauce.
It's great on a cold day... And we have had plenty of those this winter!!! ENJOY!!