Recipe: chicken tortilla soup

This is another incredibly flavorful soup. If you’ve shied away from tortilla soup for fear of it being too spicy, I can tell you that this soup isn’t spicy, just very well spiced. Every sip is like fireworks for your mouth. It is sweet, tart, tangy, sour, meaty and savory, with a hint of heat that warms the belly, without overpowering the tongue.

IngredientsChicken Tortilla Soup

  • 1 pound shredded cooked chicken
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • juice from 5 limes
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 chopped, seeded jalapeño
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh tomato
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 finely chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1 cup shredded cheddar/jack cheese
  • crispy tortilla strips


  1. Simmer chicken stock, Worcestershire and lime juices with jalapeño and cilantro for 45 minutes.
  2. Strain soup and return to stovetop.
  3. Add chicken, green onion, tomato, bell pepper, rice, corn and garlic, and simmer for 20 additional minutes.
  4. Serve immediately with toppings (cheese and crispy tortilla strips).

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional Information

  • calories: 382
  • total fat: 15
  • carbohydrates: 37
  • protein: 26

Recipe: Krys’ epic mac-n-cheese

This recipe is based upon a legendary batch of gourmet mac and cheese made by the head chef at the Washington State Convention Center back in 2009. It was so good, we begged for the recipe. The wily chef left out his secret ingredient, so I’ve customized the recipe a bit, and think I’ve hit upon just the right combination of flavors.

The quality of the cheese makes all the difference, so use the highest quality you can afford. I buy Tillamook vintage extra, extra sharp white cheddar from Costco, and use a nice parmesan/romano blend, though I’ve used plain ol’ Kraft parmesan before with good results.

This recipe can serve as the base for some cool variations, too. Lobster mac, buffalo chicken mac (topped with blue cheese!), spinach mac… The possibilities are endless!


Gourmet Mac N Cheese

  • 1 pound of elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 pound extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


  • 1/4 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Boil macaroni according to directions on packaging. Drain and pour into a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt butter, then mix in flour, whisking until smooth. Add heavy whipping cream, and whisk until smooth. Add 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and 2/3 pound of cheddar cheese, stirring until cheese is fully melted. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  4. Remove the sauce from heat, and pour over macaroni. Stir the macaroni and the cheese sauce until all noodles are well covered.
  5. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish (I use a 2-quart round glass pyrex baking dish), and top with cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, and then panko bread crumbs.
  6. Bake uncovered until the top browns, approximately 15-20 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional Information

  • calories: 873
  • total fat: 55
  • carbohydrates: 66
  • protein: 28

Recipe: baked potato soup

This is no ordinary soup. This is loaded baked potato soup. And, it’s a full-fat version of the soup, to boot. That may come as a surprise, since I’ve mentioned that I’ve been working on losing 50 pounds (I’ve lost 32 pounds in the past 7 months).

I typically choose to eat the full-fat version of foods. I believe them to be less-processed and more flavorful than their lower-fat, lower-calorie counterparts. Whether or not that’s true, I’m not precisely sure, but this is the path I’m on. So, I make a higher calorie version of this soup than you might find in Cooking Light. That means that I choose to eat less of it than I might be able to do if I made the lower-calorie version. However, I find that I’m able to eat smaller portions when I’m eating food that is rich in flavor. And, let me tell you… this soup is so rich in flavor that my mouth waters at the thought of it.

IngredientsBaked Potato Soup

  • 4 medium red potatoes (4 ounces each)
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • bacon drippings from 4 slices bacon
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups 2% milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese


  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
  • 4 slices bacon, crisp cooked, drained and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese


  1. Fry 4 slices of bacon. For best results, start with a cool pan, over medium heat, flipping bacon periodically until it becomes noticeably firmer. Remove bacon from pan, and set on paper towel. Once cool, crumble bacon slices and set aside. Keep drippings.
  2. Scrub potatoes with a brush and pat dry. Poke a few holes in the surface of each potato, on all sides. Microwave potatoes for 10 minutes on high.
  3. Carefully remove potatoes from microwave (they will be steaming hot). Allow to cool, then cut into small cubes (leave skins on). Mash the cubes, leaving some small-ish chunks, as is your preference (I think it’s nice to come across some chunky potato while eating the soup). Set potatoes aside.
  4. Over medium-high heat, saute 3 tablespoons green onion in bacon drippings and butter, until tender. Stir in flour, dill, salt and pepper, until thick and smooth.
  5. Add milk all at once, then sour cream. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly, then cook and stir for one additional minute.
  6. Add potato and 1 cup sharp cheddar, cooking and stirring just until cheese melts. Remove from heat. Note: The potato will thicken the soup the longer it remains in the mixture. Take care not to stir or cook the soup too long, or the starch in the potato will get a bit gummy. This will not affect the taste, but the texture of the soup will be different.
  7. Serve immediately with toppings (bacon crumbles, green onion and shredded cheddar).

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional Information

  • calories: 465.3
  • total fat: 32.1
  • saturated fat: 19.5
  • cholesterol: 85.7
  • sodium: 476
  • potassium: 687.7
  • carbohydrates: 27.3
  • protein: 16.7