Magical Chicken Tortilla Soup

There's something magical about the bare minimum.

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I have an ingrained habit of overcommitting ... even on a minute-by-minute basis. (This has actually made me chronically late for things, because I have an inflated sense of how much I can accomplish in a 10 minute period. My sincere apologies to everyone who's dealt my policy of "3 min late is still on time " because I got hung up building a rack for my wine collection.)

If I'm going to work out, I'm going to FUCKINGWORKOUT. Clean the apartment? DEEPCLEANALLTHECORNERSANDREARRANGEMYCLOSET. And this leaves me with a bit of a paralysis, because that level of performance for close to 33 years has - quite literally - worn me thin. I really don't want to deepcleanmycloset. I don't feel like sweatingmyassoff. ...and if I only have an hour to clean or nap? NAP. every time.

But what if I just did a little cleaning AND took a little nap? This idea seemed in line with my recent commitment to itty bitty lifestyle changes, so I jokingly told my strength coach that 2017 is the year of the BARE MINIMUM. Quite literally an experiment in: how little can I do and still move forward?

I immediately proved my own point about needing to back off by committing to do the "bare minimum" in about 5 different areas of my life every minute of the day.... and ended up completely flattened because I was so overwhelmed by all the shit I needed to do.  SO. I'm back to square one, but trying on things like:

  • I'll just unload a part of the dishwasher while I'm waiting for coffee to brew.
  • I'm just going to go to the gym for 20 min and do whatever I feel like doing.
  • I'll make a super simple/bulk meal for the week.

and VOILA.

There is a magical element in the bare transforms into JUST ENOUGH.

  • instead of avoiding the dishwasher for a week because I can't wrap my head around cleaning the whole kitchen, the damn thing is magically unloaded and I probably found 3 min to load it too.
  • Instead of agonizing over the awful squat workout I "should" do and just staying home because OHGODSQUATS ... I'm magically in the gym 3-5x week.  
  • And instead of living on cottage cheese with pineapple because the idea of cooking for > 15 min makes me stabby, I magically have a huge pot of soup split between my fridge/freezer.

So here's the point (because I know you've been wondering "Why is she talking about cottage cheese and closets today?")

Remember the tiny ninja changes thing? What is the SMALLEST thing I can do right now that would effect larger-scale change? Apply that to the little things!

Is there a teensy action you could take that might help you feel successful? And what's the tiniest piece of the larger whole (your kitchen/course work/business/life/relationship) you could do right now?

Feeling run down and constantly short of your goal will add up to a whole lot of feeling shitty about yourself and your goals. But constantly feeling like you made a small success?? That adds up! You didn't fall short on a huge leap ... you took a bunch of tiny steps forward! Good Job, You!!

And if you only came by for the soup recipe ... it's delicious and took me 10 minutes. (15 min if you count roasting and pulling a CSA chicken that's been languishing in my freezer, part of which you can avoid by buying a rotisserie chicken.)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

chicken tortilla soup
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 Large Bell Peppers (diced)
  • 1 Large Poblano Pepper (diced)
  • 1 Small Onion (minced)
  • 2-3 Cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 3 Tbs taco seasoning
  • 1/2 c Salsa
  • 2 Cans Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 Quarts Chicken Stock (like thick soup. feel free to adjust.)
  • Optional: 1 can black beans (I don't eat legumes, but you do you)
  • Medium Chicken (home-roasted or rotisserie) shredded
  • 1 small bag frozen corn

Toppings: shredded cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream, avocado, cilantro

Magically Easy Directions:

  • Chop your peppers, onions and garlic. (and if you're like me and HATE your hands smelling like onions and garlic, try this fancy trick.)
  • Sautee onion, peppers and garlic in butter/oil until onions are translucent.
  • Add taco seasoning and cook for 2 min more.
  • Add tomatoes and salsa, and cook on medium-low for 3-5 min. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  • Add chicken, (beans) and corn, and simmer for 8-12 minutes or until you're good and ready to eat it!
  • Top with shredded cheese, and add chips and other toppings as you'd like!