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Cooking with kids: Salsa adds olé oomph to soup

Thursday, September 06, 2001


Rachel Belz

Age: 11

Parents: Nancy and Tom Belz

Sibling: Trevor, 7

Community: Pine

School: Sixth-grader at Pine-Richland Middle School

Hobbies: Plays the clarinet and piano

Sports: Soccer

Favorite food to cook: This soup

Favorite food to eat: Tuna

Favorite subject in school: Social studies

Favorite TV show: "Two of a Kind"

Favorite book: "The Phantom Tollbooth"

What she wants to be when she grows up: Marine biologist

Rachel says she has been cooking since she was about 2 years old. Her family always liked tortilla soup when they went to restaurants, so Rachel and her mom tried different recipes until they came up with this version. "It isn't too spicy," she said.

Rachel offers this valuable tip for other kids in the kitchen. "Be patient. Sometimes things take a while to cook and you have to wait for them."

-- By Kathleen Ganster


1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 14.5-ounce cans chicken broth
8-ounce jar salsa
10-ounce can white chicken, shredded with a fork
8-ounce package grated Monterey jack and Cheddar cheeses
Crushed multi-colored tortilla chips
Extra grated cheese for garnish
Chives or chopped green onions for garnish

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Blend in flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Gradually add broth; cook, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in salsa and chicken. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Add cheese, stirring just until cheese is melted -- do not let it boil. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with tortilla chips, grated cheese and chives.

Rachel's note: We use mild salsa so that our soup is not too hot. If you prefer spicier soup, use medium or hot salsa. If you prefer, you can also use sour cream and/or chopped avocado as garnishes for the soup.

To submit a recipe to Cooking with Kids, please send the recipe, along with the name of the child, a head shot (preferably a school picture), and a telephone number where the child can be contacted to: Cooking with Kids, Kathleen Ganster, 3142 Camberly Drive, Gibsonia, PA 15044 or c/o Suzanne Martinson, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222. Questions? Call Suzanne Martinson, 412-263-1760.

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