Chicken Tortilla Soup

9:55 AM

 After Thanksgiving, I wanted some food that was uncomplicated, healthy, and easy on a gal's budget. My parents came out from California for T-day and I loved having them here, but was tired of cooking for more than just two people. I wanted to make something that I could eat all week and made for great leftovers. And as normally is the case, soup fits the bill when looking for healthy, easy and budget friendly.

I decided on Chicken Tortilla Soup from a cookbook a friend just bought me as a house warming gift, "Colorado Classique, A Collection of Fresh Recipes from the Rockies." I figured it must be good since Coloradans don't mess around when it comes to good Mexican food and flavors.

I really thought this particular recipe was a winner. It's fast (the soup takes about 30 minutes) and has tons of veggies cut into big chunks. I made a few adjustments as I went since I didn't have a couple of the ingredients on hand. In fact, I actually used left over pork shoulder from my slow cooker instead of chicken.

(From Colorado Classique)
Makes 8 servings

1 tbl. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 each of red, yellow, and green bell peppers, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
1 4oz. can of diced green chiles
1 teaspoon chili powder (I was out of my chili powder so I used chipotle chili powder instead, which has more heat so I also omitted the cayenne pepper listed below)
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried crushed oregano
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
6 c. chicken broth
1 16oz. can diced tomatoes
12 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
2 c. fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/3 c. chopped fresh cilantro (I didn't have any cilantro on hand so I omitted this, no biggie)
1/3 c. fresh lime juice
tortilla chips or corn tortillas browned in canola oil
To garnish, Monterey jack cheese, tomato, avocado, cilantro, sour cream (whatever you like!)

In a large stockpot, heat oil. Add onions bell peppers, and carrots and saute over medium heat for 10 minutes or until onion is translucent.

Add green chiles, chili powder, cumin, garlic, oregano and cayenne. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

Stir in chicken broth and undrained tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add chicken. (Since the pork I was using was already cooked, I didn't add it at this point so it wouldn't dry out. I added it with about 7 minutes left of cooking time, just the heat it through) Simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.

Add corn and simmer for one minute, season with salt and pepper. Stir in cilantro and lime juice.

To serve, place a few tortilla chips in the bottom of a bowl. Ladle soup into bowls and top with cheese. (Instead of tortilla chips, I cut corn tortillas into strips and baked them at 350 degrees in the oven until they were crisp. This recipe says to cook them in canola oil, but I thought baking them would be much healthier and they get a nice crunch to them.)

Since I have the nutrition information for this, I thought I would share it (it's all per serving)
Calories: 228
Fat: 9g
Saturated Fat: 4g
Cholesterol: 44mg
Sodium: 701mg
Carbohydrates: 21g
Sugar: 8g
Fiber: 5g
Protein: 18g

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