Monday, January 5, 2009's cold in Houston!

We're having a bit of cold snap today and tomorrow in Houston. For those of you who deal with "real winter" you'd laugh at what we consider cold! The high today was 49 degrees!!! It was also drizzly which I think always makes it all seem so much colder.

Since it's not cold often, I thought I'd take advantage and make SOUP! I love soup. The weeone? Not so much, but I'm working on her. Up until now Tortilla Soup was the only thing she's given a thumbs up to, so tonight I made something not so distant from Tortilla Soup - Creamy Chili-Corn Soup with Chicken and Black Beans from Pam Anderson's The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight & Eating Great.

This was a fantastic choice! It's a quick soup and is ready to eat in about 15 minutes. I would definitely recommend this one for a busy night with little time to make dinner. In fact, I'm pretty sure this soup is faster than trying to pick up take out or driving through a fast food joint!

It starts out with EVOO and garlic sizzling away. You add the spices until your kitchen smells divine, then round it out with a host of cans - diced tomatoes, beans, creamed corn, diced green chiles, chicken broth. And just as you're ready to serve? You top the colorful creation with some chopped cilantro! It's a beautiful dish. I served some easy-to-make-and-always-reliable Jiffy Corn Bread muffins along side of it. I'm really looking forward to having the leftovers of this one!!!

The weeone doesn't like things spicy, so I only used 1 1/2 tablespoons of chili powder when I made it and then I added a dollop of sour cream when hers was served so the spices wouldn't send her screaming for more milk! She seemed pleased with this recipe and told me she thought we should make it again some time. I call that a success! Of course, it may have been the cornbread that she really loved, but whatever I have to do to get her to love soup like me - I'm willing to do it!

Creamy Chili-Corn Soup with Chicken and Black Beans
from The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight & Eating Great
by Pam Anderson

2 teaspoons vegetable or olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) creamed corn
1 can (14.5 ounces) petite diced tomatoes
1 can (14.5 ounces) chicken broth
1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, drained
1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
Salt and ground black pepper

In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, heat oil and garlic over medium-high heat until garlic starts to sizzle. Add chili powder and cumin and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add corn, tomatoes, broth, beans, chiles and chicken. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, partially covered, to blend flavors, about 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

377 calories per 2-cup serving

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