Christmas eve in our house is all about unwinding. We hang out and talk and eat and open presents. No big meal productions or drama, just family pajama time. Our meal for Christmas eve is always an easy dish that we enjoy informally when we get hungry. That's why soups are such a perfect Christmas eve meal. If you have a big lot coming over make a couple of pots of different soups and everyone can help themselves when they feel like eating.

I decided to go with Tortilla soup for this Christmas eve in part because of Amy in our office. She is a wonderful person from Wellington, CO and just happened to be eating Tortilla soup. What a great soup for Christmas eve, it takes no time to cook and is easy to double, triple or cut in half. Because of the tortilla's and the pepper the flavors are right there almost instantly.

What You'll Need:

4 cups chicken broth, low sodium
1 good sized jalapeno, diced with or without seeds just remember
the seeds are what makes it hot, so if you like it hot, by all means
leave them in. My only advice is that there is no telling how hot
your jalapeno will be, you might want to give it a taste-too hot and it
will ruin your soup, too mild and it will leave your soup flat. I usually
just buy two, just in case.
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves or some minced garlic
olive oil
2 cans Ro-tel, diced tomatoes with green chilies

Putting It All Together:

heat a stock pot, add the oil and soften the jalapeno and onion add the garlic when the
onion starts to turn clear-about three minutes then add the remaining ingredients-just a third
of the cilantro bunch, plus a pat of butter, stir, cover and simmer. If you please, which I do,
add about half a pound of cooked chicken. I typically just saute some chicken with a bit
of olive oil, dice it and add it to the broth. If you like stronger flavors you can season
the chicken when you brown it with cumin, chili powder and garlic powder.
I don't make my own tortilla strips, I just buy tortilla chips or strips, a few bags. I put salsa
on the table and they act as a great snack too.
To serve I top the soup with tortilla strips or crunch up tortillas, add diced or sliced avocados,
a tablespoon of sour cream and some cilantro. I have also been known to throw on some cheese or even add black beans and/or corn to the soup. Merry Christmas Eve!