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For the love of Sopa

August 16, 2011

We call this dish sopa, but do not look up the word on the internet. That’s not what we fix.
There is no way I would knowingly eat Sopa de mondongo, because I am just learning that tripe is the cleaned stomach of a cow. The Sisson family does not eat cow stomach. That’s right up there with chittlins. It’s not going to happen!
While the word is Spanish for soup, I would not call this a Spanish dish or soup, really.
I was introduced to this dish by my mother-in-law. She makes it much like King Ranch Chicken but puts her own spin on it. My drawback to the whole thing is her version requires baking it in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Who has that kind of time?
My husband loves this dish, but I am the first to tell you, I cheat. While I love to cook when I have the time, cooking and cleaning up is not my favorite task after a long day at the office. I do not have a dishwasher and this has vastly affected my cooking.
This is my own super fast version to fix at the end of a long day. I love a dish that can be made in 15 minutes or less and all in one pan. This modified version “fills the bill.”

Pepper’s Favorite Sopa
6 boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins/strips
u I saute the chicken strips in butter or olive oil and cut up into small bite-size pieces
1 can of cream of chicken condensed soup
1 can of cream of mushroom condensed soup
1 can of mild Rotel tomatoes
Shredded Cheddar cheese to taste.
u Mix the tomatoes, shredded cheese and the soup together in the pan with the cooked chicken. I mix the soup, tomatoes and chicken together, then shred Cheddar cheese and add to the mixture. I let it set for a minute or so to allow the cheese to melt. I serve it with tortilla chips.
It is even better when allowed to set for 10-15 minutes or so, but who in their right mind would allow that to happen.

Gwen Sisson is the Lifestyles Editor of Starkville Daily News. Contact her at sdnlife@bellsouth.net.

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