Monday, December 7, 2009

the best Tortilla soup you'll ever have

tempting eh? thought so. and guess what? it's SUPER easy to throw together!

Sunday nights are either for ordering in or making a big pot of something comforting.
for me, soup is as comforting and cozy as it gets, and tortilla soup gives me that extra kick that i love!

  • three boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or a whole chicken. no specific quantity, just however much you want!)
  • medium can tomato sauce
  • medium or large can diced tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 squash (yellow)
  • 1 large white or yellow onion
  • 1 medium or large green pepper
  • 1 6oz (i think) can of green chilis - find in the hispanic section if not with regular canned veggies
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 2 tbsp of chopped garlic (canned or fresh both work perfect!)
  • 2 boxes reduced sodium, fat free chicken broth (on sale for the entire holiday season - 2/$5 - i buy a million)
  • chipotle pepper, ancho chili powder, chili power, red pepper flakes - seriously a pinch or two of any of these in any combo will be DELISH! - add to taste, sometimes can be too spicy for some.
  • 1 packet of fajita seasoning
  • adobo spice mix - anything similar to this will work. i use the spicy one.
  • s&p - to taste.
  • 1 lime
  • **optional: fat free or light sour cream, mexican reduced fat shredded cheese, extra lime, avocado, cilantro, tortilla chips to crush on top
  1. s&p the chicken breasts on both sides and add a thin layer of chicken broth to a saute pan. cook on high, both sides until no more pink in the middle. be sure to watch the pan and continue to add more chicken broth as the level gets lower, this keeps the chicken SUPER juicy and delicious! i added adobo spice and chipotlea spice to my chicken to liven it up a bit!
  2. while the chicken is getting it's cook on, rough chop onions, pepper, and zucchini and squash. i usually cut the onion and pepper a little smaller, and quarter the zucchini and squash. depends how big they are and how chunky you like your soup.
  3. throw the onion, pepper, s&p into a soup pot. cook til onions are becoming translucent.
  4. add tomato sauce, dice tomatoes
  5. add zucchini and squash (**for firmer zucchini and squash, add later**)
  6. add the beans, green chilis, and garlic
  7. add fajita seasoning (there is no rhyme or reason to 4-8, just do whats easiest for you.)
  8. about this time, your chicken should be done. take the chicken from the saute pan and pull the chicken (like pulled pork) using two forks. you determine how big/small the pieces are, it's your soup. i usually pull mine a bit smaller so there is more chicken throughout the soup. pour whatever broth is left in the pan into the soup pot. be sure to get all the yummy bits stuck to the pan.
  9. add chicken to the mixture
  10. immediately add your broth.
  11. at this point - stir up the mixture and let all the yummy flavors mix together.
  12. bring to a boil - then simmer as you add your spices.
  13. i added whatever i felt like - a pinch of two of each of the spices i listed.
  14. squeeze half of a lime into the soup. if not enough, add more. (***WARNING: DO NOT drop the entire lime into the soup after you squeeze it. the rind will literally RUIN your soup if you leave it in there overnight. a mistake i was not so happy about last time i made this...)
  15. let simmer for as long as you like, i waited about 15 minutes before i couldn't take it anymore...and, its super yummy the next day!
  16. **optional: serve with sour cream, mexican cheese, extra lime, avocado, cilantro and crushed tortilla chips.
other ideas:
  • add more beans (different types)
  • make with beef/pork instead of chicken (keep in mind that beef is much harder to pull)
  • instead of tomato sauce, if you'd like a thicker soup - add tomato paste
  • depending on the season, add various other veggies
  • cook the onions with the chicken and the broth and then toss into the pot
  • add hot sauce - i did last night, so yummy!
  • work with what you already have, this is a "kitchen sink" type of recipe!
besides throwing the lime in the pot, i have never screwed this recipe up and i make it differently each time! this should be encouraging to those who can't seem to follow a recipe :)

too excited to take a picture, oops! here's one that looks strikingly similar to mine:


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