Telling my editor the chicken tortilla soup recipe I’d acquired from one of my favorite chefs in Oklahoma City was “a huge coup” and should be included as a side bar to the article I’d submitted wasn’t a lie until I added that it was the best chicken tortilla soup I’d ever had AND I’d had it all over the world.  All over the world?  Is chicken tortilla soup something you can get outside the lower sash of America’s skirt?


So I lied to my editor to trump something up.  Sometimes I don’t wash fruit before I eat it. Often don’t eat enough of the rainbow of foods unless you count salsa on chips that have a melted three-cheese blend oozing atop. Talk with my mouth open occasionally when I’m eating. Drink more than the doctor recommended two cocktails a week.

And believe men in their 50s/60s driving fast black low-slung cars with foreign names are not going through a mid life crisis.  They’ve wanted a car like that since they exited the womb and can finally afford it for the first time in their risqué-starved hard working lives.  The fact their seat mate may be a 23 year old platinum blonde with sparkly skin is beside the point. SHE’S attracted to the fast black car.  The old guy behind the wheel knows that, but doesn’t care.  I hardly believe he can be condemned for his predicament.  Give the guy a break.  Besides he needs someone with bouncy bones to help him out of the car. It’s too low to exit gracefully at his age.

When the menopause hits, I will take whatever drugs I can get my hands on.  Shorten my life?  From what? The normal age of 101 that the women in my family call it quits to say, oh maybe 90? I’ll take it.  I drive too fast and wear a seatbelt under protest, seething at the law that fines me under the guise of telling me it’s for my own protection. I’d wear it even without the law. It’s the law forcing it upon me by telling me what’s best for me that I can’t abide…  If they’d pull their heads out long enough to look around, they’d realize making cell phone use illegal while driving would save OTHER people’s lives, and would leave those of us age 18 and above to decide what’s best for our own skin.

I eat too much chocolate, cheese and red meat. I’m at my ideal weight but take a BP pill everyday. Something about genetics.  Can cuss like a sailor with “ass” being a favorite and most creatively enunciated word in my vocabulary. I’ll contemplate a face lift when needed and will pursue it if I can afford to. I figure I’ve used cheap ass soap and water all my life, so compared to the hoards of women falling for the promises from the $175 department store creams, I’ll be financially  ahead in the end. And look a hell of a lot better than they do when my scars heal. Furthermore I’ll be proud of the results and will not make the embarrassing mistake of saying I went to some spa in Arizona for a week of pure relaxation or something equally ass weak as that.

It won’t negate all these admittances or the future infractions I’m sure to commit. But here’s Oklahoma City’s Cheever’s Cafe Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe. It really is the best I’ve had. No lie.

Cheever’s Café Chicken Tortilla Soup from Head Chef Ryan Lawson

  1. ½ of a yellow onion
  2. Olive oil
  3. 2 ½ cans (16 oz) diced tomatoes
  4. 4 oz can green chiles
  5. ¾ lb of cream cheese
  6. 1 TBL Chili powder
  7. Salt
  8. 1 TBL Cumin
  9. 1 tsp Cayenne
  10. 1 tsp Minced garlic
  11. 1 bay leaf
  12. Diced cooked chicken 1 lb +
  13. 1 ½ qts of chicken stock



Sauté the onions in the olive oil.  Note: Saute = throw the heat to the onions.  Brown bits of goodness is what we’re looking for.


Add tomatoes, green chiles and spices to taste. Simmer for 20 minutes.  I prefer less acidity so only use 2 cans (or less) of the tomatoes.  And I use the 1-4 oz can of chiles and add another can of whole chiles.


Add cream cheese and slowly bring to a boil.


Mash the mixture to fully incorporate everything.

Add the chicken. You could roast your own, but why would you do that? Buy a plain rotisserie chicken,  pull from the bone, tear into pieces, and call it done.

Then add the chicken stock and bring to boil. Simmer for 20 more minutes.


Decorate, I mean garnish. And enjoy.

The Final Product

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