Friday, November 1, 2013

Chicken Tortilla-less Soup

I love making soup in the fall and winter. It's so easy to just throw some ingredients in a pot and let them simmer for a few hours while you catch up on TV shows or read a book. 

A friend recently told me about The Pioneer Woman's recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup, and had been raving about it. I decided to give it a go, but make it a little healthier by adding more veggies and leaving out the tortillas. In my opinion, the tortillas are neither here nor there, and because there's so much flavor in the soup you don't even miss them.

Soup is the type of thing that tastes better the longer you let it simmer, because it allows the flavors to develop further. So feel free to simmer it longer than I recommend below. Oh, and it's also twice as good the next day. I was really pleased with how this turned out and hope you will be too. And don't be intimidated by all of the ingredients, it's super easy to make.

Chicken Tortilla-less Soup

Cooking time: 2 hours (30 minutes active)
Servings: 8


5 thin boneless, skinless chicken breasts
16 ounces chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
1 can diced green chilies (7 ounces)
1 can black beans (14.5 ounces)
1 cup corn
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups warm water
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup warm water

For the chicken:

Ahead of time (preferably the day or morning before you're planning to make it), combine chicken, chicken broth, cumin, and chili powder in a slow cooker or crock pot, and cook on low for 3.5 hours (or until it shreds easily and looks fully cooked). You may have to remove a thin layer of fat from the chicken using a fork (or whatever utensil works best for you). Move to a medium-sized bowl or storage container, shred using a fork, and place in the refrigerator (unless you're planning to use it within 30 minutes).

For the soup:

In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat. Add onion, peppers, and garlic, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add shredded chicken, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Continue to sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes, green chilies, black beans, corn, chicken stock, and 4 cups warm water. Bring to a boil.

Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. 

With a whisk, mix corn starch and 1 cup warm water for 30 seconds. Pour into soup and simmer for 45-60 more minutes. The longer you simmer it, the more the flavors will develop.

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