Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chicken tortilla soup - quick and easy

This soup is quick and easy to make, and provides a bunch of delicious veggies... which is great, because I feel like my diet has been kind of fruit-heavy lately. I also think it makes a nice "transitional" soup as we move towards warmer temperatures but still might crave a hearty veggie-laden soup that isn't has heavy as a wintery stew. You can increase the heat (which is basically nonexistent as written) by adding more cumin or some cayenne to suit your tastes.

When I make this (several times since April 2009) I never make the tortilla strips, so I start my recipe at step 2, or the "add broth" part. I also add onion--green, white, sweet; depends what I have available. This would be perfectly satisfying without the chicken, so feel free to vegetarianize it if you want. We served it with homemade salsa (not the TJ's peach shown below) and Trader Joe's spicy soy and flax tortilla chips. Normally I try to make a slow-cooker meal on Tuesdays, but since I did all the prep for this soup before we went running, all I had to do when we got home was throw it in the pot and let it simmer. Brilliant!

Chicken Tortilla Soup
serves 4
total time: 15 minutes

4 corn tortillas, halved, then cut into narrow strips (I omitted this part)
2 cans (14.5oz each) chicken broth
1 medium zucchini, cut into 3/4 - inch thick half-circles (I doubled this)
1/2 tsp each minced garlic and ground cumin (I used one large clove garlic and double the cumin)
1 cup corn (frozen is fine!)
1 can (16oz) red kidney beans, rinsed
1 1/2 cup shredded cooked chicken (I pressure cooked mine this afternoon)
1 large ripe tomato, diced (I used about 15oz diced tomatoes in juice, leftover from this recipe)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Spray a large pot or Dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add tortilla strips and cook 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until lightly toasted. Remove to cool on a paper towel or plate.

2. Add broth, zucchini, garlic, and cumin to pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 3 minutes or until zucchini is crisp-tender and still bright green.

3. Stir in tortilla strips, corn and beans; continue to simmer 2 minutes until tortillas soften. Stir in chicken, tomatoes, and cilantro and heat through.

Here is my version (on the right) next to the recipe card from the magazine:

Nutrition information per serving:
Calories - 309
Protein - 26g
Carbs - 36g
Fiber - 8g
Fat - 6g (1g saturated fat)
Cholesterol - 47mg
Sodium - 730mg

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