Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Well since I mentioned it on FB, I thought I'd add the recipe (no pics since I managed to mess up my ankle before cooking dinner last night. Cooking with all my weight on one foot is difficult enough without trying

to take decent pics at the same time! LOL)

I make this soup a lot since we have a lot cooler nights than I'm used to. Soup really warms you up on a cold, snowy night, and it's something you can add some spicy salsa to in order to really heat you up. And most importantly the kids like it (even though Gabe will invariably take 2 hours to eat a small bowl, acting like it's going to eat him, yet saying, "Mmmm" after ever bite. Go figure!)

Here is my original "recipe". I wrote this down years ago after I made it for a neighbor who had a baby and she wanted the recipe. I kept it on hand in case I was ever drawing a blank or was making a special trip to the store for specific ingredients. Thankfully I did since I've given it to at least 3 friends on FB recently.

But like I said in my last post, I don't really 'do' recipes. So every batch I make is tweaked usually. I am a firm believer in make do with what you have and don't rush back out to the store because you are missing one ingredient. And I'm also a firm believer in chalking recipes full of veggies for nutritional value. You'd be amazed how a kid may start to like a veggie they "hate" just because it tasted really yummy in a certain meal. Just don't tell Gabe I sometimes hide a finely chopped carrot in there.

This is the crockpot version. This recipe fills a programmable crockpot to the brim, so you'll have to adjust accordingly based on the size of your crockpot. However, I usually make it in my Le Creuset stockpot and let it simmer. I'll give you those instructions as well.

Chicken Tortilla Soup (Crockpot)

1 lb boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 lb boneless/skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted)
2 15 oz cans ranch-style beans (if you substitute regular pinto beans, additional spice will be needed)

1 zucchini, diced
1 onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper (I usually use red to add some color & sweetness), diced
3-4 tsp chili powder
1-2 tsp cumin
bunch of cilantro, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
10 oz box frozen, chopped spinach (just put in frozen)

Throw all ingredients in the crockpot and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low all day.

Serve with shredded mexican blend cheese, sour cream, fresh cilantro & crushed tortilla chips (or hot, fresh tortillas from a local mexican restaurant. Believe me, the special trip makes a BIG difference!)

Stockpot version:

Sautee chicken in oil. Remove from pan. Sautee veggies about 5 minutes (if spinach is thawed add it at this point, if still frozen add when you add the broth). Add tomatoes & beans. Cook another 2-3 minutes. Add broth, spices & meat. Put lid on it and simmer about 45 minutes.

There are many other options as well. This recipe works GREAT with a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Or leftover roasted chicken from another meal. What I do most often is just use the chicken that I used to make my homemade chicken stock, also using this fresh, homemade stock for the soup. And the veggies are optional as well. If you aren't feeding kids (or if they like things really spicy) you can always throw in a jalapeƱo or two. Tonight I threw in some celery & carrot since I had it on hand. Like I said, Gabe isn't too fond of cooked carrots and will use that as an excuse to not eat. So I take the time to chop it really, really fine.

1 comment:

  1. I seriously love that you have a crockpot version of this. TY!