Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tortilla Soup

Soup is an easy and healthy way to prepare lunches in advance for the week.  I actually saw a show on Food Network (Pioneer Woman, actually.  At least it wasn't Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee, ugh!) that made a similar version of this recipe.  It uses a lot of canned tomatoes, which I prefer to avoid canned things, however canned tomatoes and canned beans are the few things I'll use regularly.  They make life so much easier and if you choose the right brand, contain low sodium.  They also save so much time!  I didn't use canned beans in this recipe.  I bought dried beans and re-hydrated them over night.  They were a lot of work...cheaper, but a lot of work.

So,  here's what you'll need:
I forgot to add a few ingredients to the picture.  I also had two ears of corn, tortillas for tortilla strips, yellow pepper, and an onion.  Forgetful me!!

The first step is to heat the oven to 375 for the chicken.  Trim the chicken of any fat or tendons that are on it.  Then create a spice mixture of chili powder (2 tsp), cumin (1 tsp), a pinch of salt, few grinds of black pepper and garlic powder (1/2 tsp).  Rub the spice mix on the chicken and drizzle about 2 tbsp of olive oil on to the chicken.  Massage it all together and place on a tin foil line baking sheet.  I like use tin foil for the easy clean-up.

 Put the chicken in the oven and then pull out the corn.  You have two options with the corn.  You can, yes, wrap it in foil or throw it in uncovered.  Either way is fine.  I wrapped the corn because I didn't want charred bits in my soup.  Cook the chicken and the corn for about 30 minutes.

Dice the chicken into small pieces.
Remove the corn from the cob.  Snap off the bottoms of the corn so there is a somewhat flat surface.  Stand the corn on it's end and slide the knife from the top of the corn down to the cutting board.  Be careful of fingers.  You'll end up with this:

Next, dice the onion, jalapenos and yellow bell pepper.  Saute them together in a 1 tbsp or less of olive oil.

Dice the carrots into small pieces and toss in to the pot after the onions are translucent.

 After the carrots have cooked for a few minutes, add the chicken stock (I love Kitchen Basics unsalted stock!), can of diced tomatoes, and can of stewed tomatoes.  Also add a bit of chili powder (1 tbsp) and cumin (1 tsp).
Bring to a boil and then add the chicken, kidney beans, and the corn.
Bring back to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Let it simmer for an hour.  While it cooks, cut the tortillas into 1 inch narrow strips.  I used 5 small taco size tortillas.  Bake the strips at 375 for 5 minutes.  If they aren't crunchy, bake a little longer, but be careful!  They burn quickly.  After the soup has simmered for an hour, serve and enjoy or let it cool and divide into single serve tupperware containers.
Not the best picture, but you get the idea.

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