Quick Tortilla Soup

Childhood is great, but sometimes it can really suck.

Like when you have a nightmare, you wake up hot, sweaty, and scared out of your mind. And there aren’t many options.

You can either
A.) Stay in your bed, and hope nothing comes to eat you.
B.) Get out of your bed to go and tell your parents, and hope nothing eats you on the way.

Which let’s face it. Neither is a bowl of gumballs. In scenario A, staying in bed will definitely get you eaten or at least eat up your sleepy time, cause ain’t nobody going to sleep after a monster just chased you down the street. And Scenario B, while it may be the most promising with possibilities of sleeping in Mom and Dad’s bed or at least a reassuring hug, one must be able to navigate the hazardous and perilous domain of a dark, creeky house. That my friends, is not for the weak of heart.

But when you’re an adult, and you share your bed with someone else, well at least you know you won’t be eaten alive, all by yourself.

Last night before I went to bed I had a piece of Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake. It was so good that it conjured up Britney Spears and monsters. But luckily I had my trusty Nightmare Catcher at my side.

I wake up, and give my nightmare catcher a real good shake.

Me: Warwick. Warwick. WARWICK!!!!!! Wake up. I had a nightmare.

Warwick: Huh. Huh. What?

Me: WAKE UP! I. had. a. nightmare.

Warwick: Uhhhh. Okay.

And in the mist of his dreary world he throws his 500 pound arm in my direction in the form of a bear hug.

Me: No. Not yet. It was really bad. I need the remote to the TV.

Warwick: Okay?

He’s asleep. And he’s confused. Under normal awake circumstances, I could’ve told him that I can’t possibly get out of the bed to get the remote myself, because well I’m still not sure that the monster is not under the bed eating Brittany Spears. So that he must get the remote for me so that I don’t lose my feet.

He stretches his long arm to the nightstand and knocks everything to the floor because he can’t find the remote. Damn.

Warwick: Mmm. It must be in the bed.

We both started patted the bed down wildly (me a little more wild than him) trying to find that darn thing.

Uh oh. No luck. I could try to get him to get up and turn on the lights, but that would take too much time. I must make a run for it. I jump out of bed, run to the light switch, turn it on, spot the remote, yell to him to grab it, flip the switch back off, and make one large leap back onto the bed, because now the monster has been alerted and if I get too close to the edge again, surely he’ll eat me for dessert.

Once I’m safe, I say thanks, and grab the remote as I’m nuzzling back under the covers. I back right into the curve of his chest, and signal that I’d like his 500 pound arm now. I turn on the TV, and go back to sleep, with no fear of monsters.

Because everybody knows, monsters can’t eat you if you have a Nightmare Catcher AND the TV on.

This is my favorite part of marriage.

This may be Warwick’s worst.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Don’t feel too sorry for him. My mother does. But really you shouldn’t.

On a good day, when there are no nightmares, I have some really positive qualities that aren’t quite so juvenile and selfish.

Like, I can cook. And when I love somebody a whole lot, I generally cook a whole lot.

Things that I might not generally cook, if I were all by my lonesome.
Like a certain Nightmare Catchers favorite soup.

With comforting aromas of cumin and coriander.
The tenderness of chicken, moist and succulent.
The crunch of freshly made tortilla chips.
The creaminess of the sour cream.
Yes, I love that man. For him I would climb the highest mountain. Luckily, he only requires this soup.

Quick Tortilla Soup


4 TB oil (split in half)
1 medium onion, minced and chopped finely
1 garlic clove, minced or chopped finely
1 bell pepper, minced or chopped finely
1 jalapeno or other favorite spicy pepper, diced (remove seeds and veins if you don’t want it too spicy)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 TB tomato paste
6 cups chicken stock (low sodium)
2 1/2 -3 cups cooked chicken ( we used leftover Thanksgiving Turkey)
1 lime, juiced
8 corn tortillas, cut into 1/4 inch thin strips
Fresh Cilantro, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped (optional)
1 avocado, chopped (optional)
Grated Monterrey Jack cheese
Sour Cream


1.) In a large pot, heat 2 TB over medium high heat. Add tortilla strips and cook until golden and crispy about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with salt while hot. Set aside.
2.) In the same large pot, heat another 2 TB oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, peppers, salt, cumin, and coriander, and cook until vegetables are soft and translucent. About 5 minutes.
3.) Add tomato paste and cook one minute longer.
4.) Add stock and bring to boil. Once it reaches boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chicken and juice from the lime and cook for 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
5.) Ladle soup into bowls and top with fresh tomatoes, avocado, grated cheese, tortilla strips, and sour cream and cilantro. Yum!

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