Katie's Authentic Chicken Tortilla Soup

I was recently interviewed on Babble.com (see interview below) where I mentioned that making meals ahead of time was one of my Mompreneur secret weapons. Here is one of my recipes for a healthy dinner for mom's on the go.

The flavor in this soup will blow your mind. It is a rich and creamy soup that is gluten free and dairy free. You can make it ahead of time in the crock pot or whip it up on the stovetop in about 25 minutes. It is a family favorite that my kids frequently request.

Katie's Authentic Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 small sweet onion
2 garlic cloves
4 small corn tortillas
1 carton organic chicken broth (32 fl oz)
1 cup organic frozen corn
1 can organic black beans, 15 oz
3 yukon gold potatoes
4 oz diced green chilies
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 can of shredded chicken (about 1 cup)
1-1/2 tsp cumin
sea salt
fresh pepper
cilantro (optional)

Place your crock-pot on the counter next to your cutting board and plug it in. Drain and rinse the black beans. Wash the potatoes and peel the onion and garlic.  Dice garlic, onion, tortillas into 1/2 inch cubes & potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. Place items in crock-pot along with chicken broth, corn, rinsed black beans, green chilies and cornmeal. Add cumin, salt & pepper to taste and stir it all together making sure to eliminate any cornmeal clumps. Place lid on top and set crock-pot on low (6 hours) or high (3 hours). Add shredded cooked chicken and diced cilantro 30 minutes before serving. Garnish your soup with some fresh avocado and enjoy. 6 servings.

Katie's Babble.com Mompreneur interview:

1. What was your "wow, is this really happening moment"? 

Katie: In the fall of 2009 my husband and I put it all on the line and took our first invention, the Puj Tub, to the ABC Kids Expo to launch it into the baby industry. We spent two days hand building our little booth that we had designed just weeks earlier.  We were surrounded by large companies that spent tens of thousands of dollars on massive trade show booths. It was a very intimidating situation but I knew we had been clever with both our product design and our booth design. My "wow, this is really happening moment!" happened as soon as the doors opened the first day of the trade show and buyers started pouring in to our booth. For 4 full days our booth was filled with buyers from all over the world placing large orders for the Puj Tub and excited about the company. Those years of hard work, late nights, product development, brand development, and filing patents were finally paying off. From that point on we knew that Puj would grow both nationally and internationally into a successful business.

2. If you wouldn't mind sharing your start up cost when you first started out and what your revenue is now? Just a ballpark would be great! {if this is toooo personal, I understand}

Katie: When I started the company it was just me working on it. I was a mother of three boys all under the age of 5. My husband was extremely supportive and encouraged me to go for it. I leveraged the power of Mom blogs to get my products out there. Mom's love to talk and if they love something, then they will tell everyone they know about it. Very quickly I was getting orders from Holland, France, Australia, the UK, etc. for the Puj Tub. They were spending $100 on the product plus another $200 in shipping just to get it. I was shipping out of my garage and convinced my husband to quit his job and come help me. Word got out and our product was shown on the Rachel Ray Show, the Ellen Degeneres Show, and celebrities like Mario Lopez started tweeting pictures of their baby using the Puj Tub. I did over $1 million in sales that first year and we have had continual growth every year since then. And now, instead of shipping out of our garage we have a world-class warehouse and a 9,000 sqft design studio that serves as our world headquarters.

3. Your #1 tip for other Mompreneurs trying to make it big

Katie: The only way your dreams can come to fruition is if YOU make it happen. No one will do it for you. Put your fears aside and take that first step forward. Most of the time your path is not clear, but as you step into the dark you begin to see the next step and where you need to go. I start my day early at 5:30am and bike, run or swim each morning. This way I have some time to myself before the kids even get up. When it comes to making meals, I keep dinnertime healthy but simple.  The Crock-Pot is my secret weapon.

4. What made you want to start your own business? How did you make it happen? 

Katie: When I came up with the idea for the Puj Tub I wanted to share it with every new mom who had experienced the same frustrations I had with the traditional bath. I knew I needed to patent the idea (which costs money) so to generate revenue to help pay for the development of the Puj Tub and its patents I started selling another problem solving product I had created called the Go Sling. It was a simple product to manufacture and with the revenue from that product I was able to fund the patents for the Puj Tub. I would go to small boutiques in Portland, Seattle and San Francisco and sell directly to the store owners. It was a great way to get my brand out there and to start making sales.