~my thoughts about life~

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What's For Dinner?

The day that Cracker Barrel made a corporate decision to discontinue serving their Tortilla Soup was a day that part of my soul died.  Maybe I'm being a tad dramatic but seriously, that stuff was so good!  I waited all summer long for the seasonal soup to return.  But every time I visited, my server knew nothing about the fate of Tortilla Soup.  I decided to contact the corporate offices at Cracker Barrel.  They revealed to me the devastating news.  I may have even cried.  I passed the news on to my family members who were also huge fans of the soup.  Like me, they will never again be the same.  I thought about a boycott of Cracker Barrel but I would just miss the macaroni and cheese far too much.  Instead, I began my search for a tortilla soup recipe that could hold a candle to Cracker Barrel'sMax & Erma's soup was OK, as was Chili's Chicken Enchilada soup.  But it just wasn't the same.  And Panera's Chicken Tortilla soup tasted like swill to me.  (There was no cheese in it!  Seriously, NO CHEESE!)

I finally found this recipe online and tweaked a bit for my taste.  It's still not Cracker Barrel's but it gets me through the rough patches in life when I don't know if I can go on any longer.  So if any of you are still in mourning like me, give this soup a try and see if you can learn to cope.  It's kind of like a "patch" and Cracker Barell's soup is the addictive nicotine.  (Hmmm...did that even make sense?)

Chicken Tortilla Soup
1/4 C butter
1/4 C flour
3 C chicken broth
1 C milk
8 oz. Velveeta, cubed
10 oz. Ro*Tel tomatoes and chilies
2 C cooked, shredded chicken
1 t chili powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
4-6 flour tortillas
shredded Cheddar Jack cheese, as a garnish

In a pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in flour and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes.  Slowly whisk in small amounts of chicken broth.  Whisk in milk.  Reduce heat to low and stir in Velveeta.  Stir until melted.  Stir in Ro*Tel (I puree it in my Rocket blender before adding it as I don't care for the large chunks in this soup).  Add chicken and spices.  Simmer until heated through.

Meanwhile, prepare tortilla strips.  The easiest way is to melt a couple tablespoons of butter in a skillet.  Cut tortillas into strips and add to melted butter.  Stir often until tortillas are lightly browned.  Remove to a paper towel to absorb grease.

Ladle soup into a bowl.  Add a spoonful of shredded cheese and top with a handful of crispy tortilla strips.  If more heat is desired, add extra chili powder or your favorite hot sauce.  Enjoy!


k said...

My heart swells with love at the mention of Cracker Barrel.

Anyway, they used to serve this lemon icebox pie that was like lemon meringue pie on CRACK it was so delicious. I think it's joined your tortilla soup in Cracker Barrel Heaven because it's never around anymore.


~she~ said...

Hmmmm...there's a thought....will there be a Cracker Barrel in Heaven???

Thanks, K, now we know where the CRACK in Cracker Barrel comes from!!!

Theresa said...

I never had that soup at Cracker Barrel. But I have made it and I do LOVE it!!

thanks for your comment on my blog...it cheered me up :)

Michelle said...

Yum. I will try this soon. My husband drools over max and Erma's soup.