Saturday, February 25, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Soup!

Fiesta of Flavor: Chicken Tortilla Soup

I’m a sincere lover of Mexican food – find this easy recipe!
All the flavor of a delicious taco, in a bowl, but healthier and lower in calories!! Sign me up, señor. 
On a cold winter day, there’s nothing I want more than a hot bowl of soup  And a nap..  Here’s my recipe for ‘taco in a bowl’.  It’s yummy yummy to your tummy.  Muy bueno.  Enjoy.
Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup
chicken tortilla soup crop

Pantry (Dry) Ingredients
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Four 14 oz. cans chicken broth (or equivalent with bullion)
1 package taco seasoning
1 tbsp red taco sauce (mild or medium)*
4 oz. can diced green chiles (mild or medium)
6 oz. can tomato paste
8 oz. petite diced tomatoes – half the can and completely optional
3/4 tsp ground cumin
*add another tbsp taco sauce if you like it spicy
pantry ingredients side
Fresh Ingredients
4 chicken breasts
14 oz. water
1 medium onion – finely diced
1.5 cups diced celery
1.5 cups diced carrots
1.5 cups roasted or frozen kernel corn
4 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded jack cheese
Sliced avocado (optional, if available)
Fresh cilantro (optional)
fresh ingredients
Start by dicing your onion, celery, and carrot.  In a large pot or dutch oven, soften your onion, celery and chiles in 1 tbsp vegetable oil for 3 – 4 minutes on medium low heat.
soften onion celery chiles
Add chicken broth, and then fill one can with 14 more ounces of water and add to pot.
broth and water
Add carrots, corn, tomato paste, taco sauce, and cumin.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then reduce heat to low. 
Meanwhile, coat your chicken breasts in taco seasoning.
coat chicken in seasoning
Grill chicken breasts on an indoor grill or a panini maker for 6 to 8 minutes.  You can also broil in your oven for the same amount of time, but to me, the grilled chicken tastes better.
grill chicken indoors
Once cooked, dice your chicken into chunks, then toss into soup pot.
dice chicken dos
Cook soup on low for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Ten minutes before your soup is done (or before you intend to serve) thinly slice your corn tortillas.
corn tortilla thin strips
Toss in pan with 1 tbsp vegetable oil, and stir on medium heat until lightly browned.
tortillas in pan
Soup can be made one day in advance, stored in fridge and reheated.  Serve hot by garnishing with fresh corn tortilla strips, shredded jack cheese and fresh avocado slices (if available).
chicken tortilla soup
Other optional garnishes: fresh chopped cilantro, squeeze of lime, sour cream, or diced fresh tomatoes.
One note on ingredients:  If celery, or diced tomatoes, or corn is not your thing, then simply leave it out.  No worries, amiga.  The great ‘taco’ flavor comes from the combination of the liquid ingredients and the dry seasonings.

This recipe serves six.  Total calories per serving: 300 including garnish of cheese and tortilla strips.  Add another 60 calories per serving for the avocado.