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Jenna Craig in the College Kitchen: Soup

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Jenna Craig in the College Kitchen: Soup

With a little imagination and a couple more ingredients, this soup could become a dip or burrito filling. 

With a little imagination and a couple more ingredients, this soup could become a dip or burrito filling. 

With a little imagination and a couple more ingredients, this soup could become a dip or burrito filling. 

With a little imagination and a couple more ingredients, this soup could become a dip or burrito filling. 

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So last Sunday I was going through the grocery store, feeling a little on the puny side and trying to find foods that were easy to make and might heal my allergies or whatever was wrong with me. I ended up leaving the store with 5 different ways to make soup. Mostly cans, but I came across these H-E-B soup kits. They had a shelf of probably 6 or 7 different soup kits that cost around ten dollars, but included nearly everything you needed to make homemade soup. So out of Broccoli Cheese, Baked Potato, and Chicken and Vegetable soups, I decided to choose the soup I’d never heard of before––Texas Ranch soup. 

After some extensive googling, I now realize that H-E-B completely made up this dish. It does not exist in the natural world, and I can’t decide if it should. 

2 med sized tomatoes

1 jalapeño pepper

3 T butter

1 C diced onions

2 T minced garlic

2-3 diced bell peppers

1 C mushrooms

1 Spice packet (there is no earthly way of knowing what is included in this)

2 C milk

1 C grated cheese

1 C water

1 C chicken fajita meat

4 corn chips (approximately)

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a small baking pan with foil. Coat the tomatoes and jalapeno pepper with olive oil and roast for 15 minutes. 

2. Melt butter in large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, bell peppers and mushrooms. Stir fry the vegetables over medium heat until the onions run clear. Sprinkle the mystical spice packet over the veggies and stir well. 

3. Reduce heat, add milk and cheese, stir until cheese melts.

4. Peel roasted tomatoes and jalapeno pepper. This can be done quickly by running cold water over them––the skin comes right off. Roughly chop them and add to the pot. 1/2 of the jalapeno gives it a decent kick, 1/4 for mild soup. 

5. Stir in water, fajita meat, and corn chips. Simmer 5 minutes. 

This whole thing took me about 20 minutes tops and it was ready to eat immediately. It was super convenient and easy. My only reserves are that one of these kits costs about $10 and it was really, really rich. The price is okay once you realize you can eat if for a few days and you do have a lot of great ingredients. My solutions for the richness are merely theories as of now. 

This thing basically tasted like if you ate chili con queso with Cooler Ranch Dorito chips. I don’t know how that makes you feel, but in my case, one cup was about all I could handle at a time. If I were to do this again, I would do one of two things:

1. Replace the chicken with ground beef, add sour cream and serve it as chip dip.
2. Make some brown rice, much more meat (be it ground beef or fajita) put it in a giant tortilla and call it a burrito. 

        

All in all it was pretty good and very easy for you to try at home. Like I mentioned before, there were a lot of different kits with different flavors for about $10 a piece. As we keep getting these snaps of winter, soup sounds like a better and better idea. 

 
 

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Jenna Craig in the College Kitchen: Soup