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I was first exposed to Mexican food when we moved to California. I didn’t know a taco from a tostada back then. Cilantro, cumin, hot chilies, and corn tortillas were all acquired tastes. Of course now I love it all! Here is my take on tortilla soup and I have been told that it doesn’t stink. Seriously, I don’t pretend to know much about Mexican cooking though and prefer to leave it to the experts. However, I was invited to make tamales once at the home of a friend. This was the big time! Everything was authentic and done the traditional way. I was very proud to be quickly promoted from corn husk cleaner to masa spreader. I’m a quick learner what can I say! It was great fun and I learned a lot. The Margaritas were pretty good too…


3 TBS olive oil

3 cloves chopped garlic

2 medium onions chopped

5 celery ribs 1 inch slices

4 carrots peeled, 1 inch slices

3 jalapenos, seeded &chopped

3 boneless chicken breasts

8 cups chicken broth

1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed

1 15 oz can white corn, drained

1 cup white rice

1 tsp. each, cumin, chili powder, kosher salt

Shredded cheddar cheese, sliced avocado, and fried tortilla strips for garnish


Heat the oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno and cook just until fragrant and lightly colored. Add the cumin, chili powder and salt and stir. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add chicken breasts, celery and carrots. Cook about 25 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate to cool. Add the corn, black beans and rice. Cook until rice is done about 20 minutes. In the mean time shred the cooled chicken and return it to the pot. Taste for seasoning. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with some shredded cheese, a few slices of avocado and some tortilla strips

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