Here’s what I came up with: Women’s Day began in 1931 as a free hand-out at A&P grocery stores. It was designed to entice customers to buy more items featured at the A&P by suggesting recipes and menus. Yes, Virginia, there was such a thing as marketing even back then.
A&P, then formally known as the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, began business in the late 1800’s in New York as a coffee and tea company, but later grew to become the first national supermarket chain in the U.S. Following the opening of A&P’s first big supermarket in 1936, the company expanded Women’s Day into a real magazine that sold for 2 cents a copy.
Seventy-five years later we have this offering from the venerable magazine: a delightful chicken tortilla soup that at first glance looks somewhat sparse, but trust me, that’s what makes it so good. It’s not fussy or pretentious. It’s not laden with everything Mexican but the kitchen sink.
I used a can of regular Rotel tomatoes, but if you’re shy of that amount of heat, you can use Rotel’s mild version or another brand of tomatoes and green chiles. I also added 1/2 tsp. of ground cumin and 1/2 tsp. of chili powder to the broth, thinking that it might need an extra punch. But I may have been over-thinking this recipe — you can forego that step and still be very satisfied with the results. Do try the crisped tortilla strips. They add great corn flavor and a crunch as well.
By the way, although it may be well past its A&P glory days, Women’s Day does still exist. It now costs $3.00 an issue.
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 (6-in.) corn tortillas, stacked, cut in half, then cut crosswise in thin strips
3 (14-oz.) cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 lbs. (about 4 cups) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut in 1⁄2-in. cubes
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 (14 1⁄2-oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel’s can is 10 oz.)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
Fresh cilantro, leaves coarsely chopped
Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Fry half the tortilla strips, turning often, 5 min. or until lightly browned and crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining oil and strips.
Bring broth, squash and garlic to a boil in a large pot. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes or until squash is almost tender. Add tomatoes and chicken; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes or until squash is tender.
Place half the tortilla strips in soup bowls. Ladle in soup. Sprinkle with remaining strips and chopped cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
Ina Garten’s recipe for cooking chicken:
2 chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and roast in a 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool, then slice or shred for your recipes.
WW PP per serving, including tortilla strips: 6