Monday, April 2, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I don't know where my love for chicken tortilla soup started, but boy is it delicious. Maybe it's my love of Mexican food that hooked me in, but one will never be sure. Maybe it's just that I love soup. I really do love soup. I've tried and made many varieties of this delicious soup (even one in the crock pot) and I must say that this one is the best one yet. Thank you Pioneer Woman. Your new cookbook is totally addictive and I'm pretty sure I am going to try like 99% of the recipes in it.

I decided to make this soup last week after a long and rainy day at work. I picked up everything I would need the night before, because let's be honest, who wants to go grocery shopping in the pouring rain? Not me. A soggy cook is a sad cook. Since I knew it would be a long day at work, I decided to cook the chicken and prep all the veggies the night before. I often do this to save time the next day and it's also a good way for me to relax after a long day. Some people get stressed out about cooking. I'm not one of them. It really is relaxing. Well, I do get stressed out when things don't turn out right. You don't want to be around me when that happens. Ryan's witnessed that - it's not pretty and I'm sure he would agree.

Don't worry, this soup won't stress you out at all. Even if you do it all in one day. This soup will make you feel warm, spicy and want to shout ole! You can have it on it's own, or be like me and serve with with a few slices of ooey gooey quesadillas on the side. Go big or go home, right? I fill two whole wheat tortillas with extra sliced chicken, green chilies, corn, olives and monterey jack cheese. Perfect for dipping in the soup. I love dipping things in my soup. Soup is made to be dipped in. If you don't like dipping (what's wrong with you?!), you can whip up some of my homemade corn tortilla chips. Simply cut up corn tortillas in strips or chips, spray with non-stick spray and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn though! You can see just how to do them here. Crumble them on top of the soup for an added crunch. Or to dunk in. There I go with dipping and dunking again.

not pictured - chicken. I won't dare touch the chicken and then touch my camera. I am kind of a raw meat germ crazy lady.

chicken before baking. I decided to do an extra chicken breast for the quesadillas or for a salad the next day!

cooked chicken. bet you wish you had smell-o-vision

cooked veggies + seasoning mixture

shredded chicken. that was a real close up wasn't it?

add chicken broth to chicken and veggies. don't forget the tomato paste!

mmm soup!

to add just the right about of thickening, add a little corn meal + water. it sounds strange, I know. it really does thicken it up!
please forgive the sloshed soup. top your soup with whatever you like -onions, radishes, lime, cilantro, salsa, guacamole and more cheese!

Chicken Tortilla Soup (slightly adapted from

2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1-1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 cup Diced Onion
1 Diced Green Bell Pepper
1 Red Bell Pepper
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 can (10 Oz. Can) Rotel Tomatoes And Green Chilies
32 ounces,  Low Sodium Chicken Stock
3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
4 cups Hot Water
2 cans (15 Oz. Can) Black Beans, Drained
3 Tablespoons Cornmeal


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix.

Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Use two forks to shred chicken. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix. Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir. Pour in Rotel, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered. Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Check seasonings, adding more if needed---add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and be sure not to under salt. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. 

Ladle into bowls, then top with sour cream, onion, diced avocado, pico de gallo, homemade chips, and grated cheese, if you have it!

Don't forget to serve this with your favorite guacamole. You can find my all time favorite recipe here - the best guac EVER! It's seriously so addictive. I could totally eat the whole bowl for dinner (if that was acceptable). Perfect to top your soup or dunk your chips or quesadilla in.

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