OK, so how’s the New Year’s resolution going? We are almost two months in. Hitting the gym? Eating healthier? Getting organized? Don’t worry you’ve got time! It’s easy to get discouraged because some of us think all these changes need to happen simultaneously AND overnight, but I think when we think that they tend not to happen (at least for me anyway). I think the little changes here and there are what make a difference in whether we are successful with our New Year’s resolutions or not.
One of my goals this year was to change-up some of my favorite recipes and replace some of the “not so good for me” ingredients with some “better for me ingredients”. You know, not include all that cheese or heavy cream and find other ways to make some of my favorite recipes just as delish.
This Chicken Tortilla Soup has always been one of my favorite soups because it is easy to whip up and so wonderfully filling. It’s nice and spicy and loaded with lots of good for you vegetables like tomatoes, onions, peppers, corn and black beans. In my original recipe I used some heavy cream and lots of shredded cheese to thicken the soup, but in keeping with my resolution in the new updated “even better for me” recipe I decided to use corn tortillas as a thickener. Winner winner chicken dinner! I mean Chicken Tortilla Soup for dinner! They are pureed with the tomatoes, onions, peppers and garlic and give this soup it’s winning flavor. I top it off with just a smidgen of shredded cheddar cheese (because remember little changes work better than big ones) and some homemade crunchy tortilla strips. (you can use store-bought if you don’t have the time to make the homemade ones).
This is one of those soups that you can feel good about having that second bowl. Enjoy it and remember LITTLE CHANGES!
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- I cup red onion chopped
- 3/4 cup red pepper chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 6 corn tortillas 5 1/2 inch cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 15 oz. can petite diced tomatoes undrained
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 cups cooked chicken shredded
- 1 15 oz. can white or yellow corn kernels
- 1 15 oz. can black beans drained and rinsed
- 3/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese shredded plus a little extra for sprinkling
- tortilla strips for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- Tortilla Strip Garnish:
- 3 corn tortillas cut into thin strips, then cut into 2 inch thin rectangles
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Heat oil in large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the onions, peppers and garlic. Saute 5 minutes. Stir in tortilla pieces and continue to cook for 3 minutes or until tortillas are softened. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, chili powder, cumin, cayenne and salt. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Let cool for 5 minutes. After soup has cooled puree small portions at a time in a blender until smooth. Return soup to the pot.
Add the chicken, corn and the black beans. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5-10 minutes until thickened. Lower heat and add in shredded cheese. Stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with extra cheese and tortilla strips.
To make the tortilla strips spray a baking sheet with no-stick cooking spray. Lay the tortilla strips onto the sheet in a single layer. Combine chili powder and salt. Lightly spray tortilla pieces with no-stick cooking spray. Lightly sprinkle tortilla pieces with salt mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.