January 6, 2018

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I clearly like chicken soups and chilis. Just check out my recipes for Italian chicken chilichicken mushroom wild rice soupJamaican jerk chili, and Southwest chicken chili. This recipe is a new favorite since it's full of veggies, lean protein, and spices plus a crunchy tortilla chip topping for extra texture. I like to think of it as the flavors of a chicken taco in a healthy, hearty bowl.

Although this can be a set it and forget it crock pot recipe, I like to brown the chicken and some of the veggies first, like in most of my other recipes. This just gives an extra layer of flavor that you otherwise wouldn't have, since beyond that you'd just be poaching the chicken in the soup, which isn't my favorite. I cook the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and jalapeno in the chicken drippings so none of those tasty flavors and browned bits go to waste.

The chicken and veggies get combined with chicken broth, petite diced tomatoes, black beans, corn, and more spices. The beauty of this recipe is that pretty much all the vegetables are canned, so you can make it year-round. Don't be scared off by not using fresh veggies; canned ones are just as healthy and often taste better since they're picked and processed when they're most fresh. You can go for fresh corn and tomatoes, but I can guarantee if you want a bowl of this now to warm up in the January cold and stick to your resolutions, the tomatoes and corn will taste much better from a can than from your grocery store.

I simmer everything for about 4 hours before shredding the chicken, but you can cut the heat to low and leave it on all day while you're at work or school to come back to a nice, hot, ready-to-eat meal. All you have to do is shred the chicken, add a splash of lime juice, and serve with some crispy tortilla strips. Yes, you can use crushed up tortilla chips from the grocery store, but it takes all of 5 minutes to season and toast your own without all the frying oil. My family couldn't stop snacking on these things while I was cooking and photographing, so it might be a good idea to make more than you need for just the soup. The soup itself is pretty healthy and makes great leftovers, so keep some on hand to warm you up from the cold without abandoning your healthy eating plan for 2018.

1 lb Chicken Breasts
1 Large Yellow Onion, Diced
1 Bell Pepper, Diced
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Jalapeno, Minced
3 T Tomato Paste
4 Cups Chicken Broth
1 14.5oz Can Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 15oz Can Black Beans, Drained & Rinsed
1 15oz Can Corn Kernels, Drained
Juice of 1 Lime
8 Corn Tortillas
4 T Oil
1 T Garlic Powder
1 T Onion Powder
1 T Cumin
2 T + 1 tsp Chili Powder
1 T Paprika
2 tsp Cayenne
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Pepper

Whisk the garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, 2T chili powder, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper together.

Heat 2 T oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with 2 tsp of the spice blend and sear until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Remove and set aside, leaving the fat in the pan.

Cook the onion and the bell pepper in the skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes over medium heat or until softened. Add the garlic, jalapeno, tomato paste, and 1 tsp seasoning. Cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant.

Combine the chicken broth, tomatoes, black beans, and corn in a crockpot. Add the sauteed vegetables and chicken. Season generously with a few spoonfuls of the spice mixture, to taste. Cover and cook for 4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low. Shred the chicken and add the lime juice; cover and cook for 30 minutes on high.

Meanwhile, cut the tortillas in half and cut into thin strips. Whisk the remaining 2 T oil and 1 tsp chili powder together. Toss the tortilla strips in the oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread onto a baking sheet and toast for 4-6 minutes at 450F.

Pour the soup into bowls and garnish with the tortilla strips.

Serves 6-8

No comments:

Post a Comment