Our neighbor’s Italian family was visiting from Canada (yes – I got those countries right). We had gotten to know them at W&M’s wedding, and found they were quite fun. So for a change of scenery from W&M’s home, we invited them over to our place for Tortilla Soup and Bocce Ball. The family are Bocce Ball enthusiasts and I had never played before, but was informed that all you need is a beverage (alcohol preferred) and sense of humor. We have that, so it was a date!
After the obligatory tour of the home, we set off for the backyard. Our yard is long, so it actually makes for a nice bocce ball court. Although, it’s not lined with decomposed granite, which would be the appropriate terrain, it works quite nicely after a couple beverages. It was December, so it was a bit chilly outside. We lit a fire in our fire pit so everyone could stay warm. It wasn’t really needed for the Canadians, but the Californians took advantage of the fire.
We received the 5 minute introduction to Bocce and then got to playing. The game was easy and fun. We took turns teaming up with various family members and friends. After an hour or so, I set out the soup and fixings for everyone to MYOTS (Make Your Own Tortilla Soup). Perfect soup to highlight the bounty of California produce, and warm us up on that chilly night. Not knowing if anyone was vegetarian, I kept the chicken separate and let everyone make their own. The soup was good, but the company was fantastic.
How to be Neighborly: You can always learn a thing or two from your neighbors… and their family.
MYOTS (Make Your Own Tortilla Soup)
MYOTS Veggie Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 Onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 clove garlic, diced
- 4 c chicken stock (or veggie stock if you have vegetarians coming over)
- 2 zucchini, diced
- 1 ear of corn, removed from the stalk
- 1 16 oz can of tomatoes
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- Rotisserie Chicken, pulled from the bones and shredded
- Cheddar cheese
- Diced tomatoes
- 10 Corn tortillas, sliced into strips, fried in oil
- Avocado, diced
- Lime wedges
In a medium pot, add the oil, onion, carrot, and celery. Heat over medium high heat until the veggies start to sweat. Then add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the stock, zucchini, corn, tomatoes, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper and bring to a simmer. Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes. While its simmering, fry the tortilla strips. When ready to serve, set out a buffet of shredded chicken, cheddar cheese, cilantro, diced tomatoes, tortilla strips, avocado, and lime. Allow everyone to build their own soup.