A Series of Fortunate Ingredients

Coming home from our executive retreat in Park City last week, I was looking forward to wrapping up my last week of work and digging in to the bright festivities of Christmas. Only one problem—I brought home a mean little cough and fever. I stayed in bed all weekend (which is nice to do every once in a while), but by Monday, I wasn’t feeling any better. Oh-oh! I knew I had better see my doctor. What I didn’t want to hear was what my doctor told me: “Jeanette, you’ve got pneumonia. I want you to take an antibiotic and stay in bed for 4 or 5 days.” He then asked if I needed a doctor’s note for work. I just smiled and thanked him.

OK, I decided, I am going to make the most of this. I planned to make meals during the day (only when you can’t taste, you just don’t want to eat anything!). Nevertheless, I knew I had to keep my strength up. A couple of days ago, my sense of smell started returning. Oh happy day! As of a couple of days ago, I can taste, too. I went to my pantry and started to pull out ingredients to make a hearty soup. And not just any soup, but my famous five-minute tortilla soup! Everyone I have served this to loves it. All you need are a few ingredients:

Soup IngredientsMy Tortilla Soup
1- 12.5 oz. can of chicken breast (premium chunk)
1- 8.8 oz. package of Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice(Spanish style)
1- 10 oz. Rotel diced tomatoes with limejuice and cilantro
1- 15 oz. can of pinto beans
1- large spoonful of sour cream
A few crushed tortilla chips

1. Pour chicken breast with its own broth into a soup pan.   2. Break chicken chunks with a fork. Bring to a boil.   3. Add rice, tomatoes, and pinto beans with liquid in that order and stir gently.   4. When soup is hot, stir in the big spoonful of sour cream and top with a few crushed tortilla chips.

One option for those who want a little less hearty soup: add a little chicken broth to your liking. Enjoy hot.

I am doing much better now. I feel better. When the winter weather sets in hard, there’s nothing that warms me up inside and out like a bowl of hot soup. When my family comes in from the cold or someone comes down with the sniffles—or we just feel like celebrating—my tortilla soup recipe really hits the spot. It’s simple enough for everyday eating, but it’s also zesty enough to make any meal something really special.

P.S. I love reading all your Christmas stories. I am reading each one sometimes more than once. They make me feel like a child again. Thank you, thank you for this gift that continues to uplift me and keep me smiling.

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