Though I make pancakes all the time for the kiddos, I am really more of a savory breakfast person. When Mike and I were on vacation in Cancun years ago, we went every morning for a big breakfast, and I loved chilaquiles, corn tortillas as a foundation for beans, salsas, cheeses and crema (like our sour cream). Then my friend Lisa invited us over for brunch one time and served us breakfast nachos, which is our American version of chilaquiles, and so delicious and fun. Kids love topping the crunchy tortilla chips with their favorite things, and it just puts you in a festive mood. You can even use leftover chili or black bean soup, and you can top with scrambled eggs or fried eggs. ¡Ole!
This soup is like therapy. Both preparing it and eating it will make you feel better about what ails you. I decided to try this recipe after seeing Ina (we’re on a first-name basis now, me and Ina Garten) prepare this on her show, Barefoot Contessa, and she included it in her latest cookbook, Foolproof. I changed just a few things (for example, I use regular bacon instead of more expensive pancetta, and I chopped up fresh basil and tossed in a parmesan rind instead of using store-bought pesto), and the results spoke for themselves. My family finished the pot and requested I make it again! You will think I am making this up, but my 4-year-old ate his whole bowl and my almost 2-year-old (gasp–he is getting big too fast) got seconds! We paired it with my husband Mike’s homemade sourdough bread and some crisp Pinot Grigio. Magic.
P.S. Mike and I go to see Ina this week at her book signing, I can’t wait!
Dive in and be healed!
One time when I was a teenager, my Aunt Terry came to visit us for a few days, and we had so much fun cooking together with my mom. It was fun to try out a few new things together, and I still make the recipes from that weekend all these years later! She made the first version of this casserole with ground beef, and she baked the assembled casserole to melt and brown the cheese. Now that I’m in such a rush to get dinner on the table, I do a cheat version by doing everything on the stovetop and quickly broiling the cheese to brown it. And judging by my photo, sometimes I just toss the cheese on top and that’s the end of it! I also omit the beef because my boys seem to prefer it that way, but by all means, add a pound of browned ground beef and enjoy! It’s such an easy, cheesy, creamy way to enjoy some vegetables.