First 2014 Snow

We have a running bet every year. No, not the gambling for money kind of gambling. I mean, I’M RIGHT, don’t even go there, kind of gambling. Posted on the chalk board in the kitchen, are the educated guesses from the fam on who thinks it’s going to snow first. Let me just say right now, Farmer’s Almanac calls me every year.

First 2014 Snow 9_12 That’s right – September 12. Yes, those are dog prints on the back deck.

What spoils go to the winner? Dinner of your (my) choice. Steak and baked sweet potato for this winner. The day it snowed I already had dinner in the crock, so steak was grilled the next, when it was 70 degrees. Welcome to Colorado!

What was in the crock that day? MMMMMM. Chicken Tortilla Soup, a family favorite. And because it was cold!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

With leftover corn tortillas,  from another recipe, cut up and baked with a dash of salt, baked on the stone of course.

Tortilla chips

Amigo Chicken Tortilla Soup

3 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 pound boneless chicken (whatever is on sale), chopped into bite-sized pieces*
3/4 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 (16-oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup apple juice
12 ounces tomato sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups salsa (your favorite)

Garnishes (optional):
Sour Cream
Baked tortilla chips
Shredded Monterey Jack OR Cheddar cheese OR a pre-mixed Mexican blend
Sliced black olives
Sliced green onions
Chopped cilantro

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat; add onion and sauté until translucent. Add chopped chicken and cook for about 4 minutes, or until browned on all sides (you do not need to cook it all the way through). Stir in the cumin and chili powder.

Add remaining ingredients (black beans through salsa), cover and heat through. Serve in bowls and garnish as desired.

**** I don’t use cilantro, because I would die, no really, I would die. EXTREMELY allergic kind of I’m going to die.

***** I did, however, pick up white grape/peach juice at the Wally World (because I didn’t have my old lady glasses) and it turned out just fine. I don’t admit mistakes, I call them enhancements.

****** I also let them simmer for at least an hour if there’s time. Add a little sugar or a TINY bit of baking soda to tone down the tomatoes and salsa if needed.

******** Reheats well – IF there’s any left!

Happy Almost Fall!

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