Chicken Tortilla Soup

The past two weeks, northern Michigan had been getting pummeled with snow & very cold temperatures (I’m feeling for you all in the Northeast, though – two feet of snow absolutely sucks wherever you live. Stay warm!). This soup is a week overdue, as both my husband and I were laid up with colds…and had I actually made this last week when we were sick, I bet we would’ve recovered quicker.

I like easy dinners on Friday nights; if Mike is home, it’s often out to happy hour for a drink & small plates to share. If he’s working, I often get lazy and order take-out. We were both exhausted yesterday after a very long week, and we didn’t feel like going out anywhere. Thus, the soup. It only took about a half hour; five minutes of prep and 25 minutes of boiling/waiting. The results were delicious and made great leftovers for today’s lunch.

Chicken Tortilla Soup – adapted from Rescue Chef

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 4-oz can diced green chiles
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
  • salt & pepper – to taste
  • chili powder, paprika, & cumin – to taste
  • cilantro – to taste
  • Toppings: Monterey Jack cheese, hot sauce, avocado, grilled tortilla strips, tortilla chips…you name it
  1. In a stockpot, heat oil. Add onions & cook until they begin to soften.
  2. Add chiles & garlic, and saute for about 30 seconds. Add broth & vegetables, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer  & add the chicken breasts. Add spices (about a dash of each). Cook for about 20-25 minutes until fully cooked through.
  4. Remove chicken from soup & place on plate or small bowl. Shred chicken (I used two forks & shredded right away) and add back to stockpot.
  5. Add cilantro. Let simmer for 5 more minutes, then serve in bowls topped with cheese.
Great leftovers on a Saturday afternoon

Great leftovers on a Saturday afternoon

Had I not been as sleepy and lazy, I probably would have made a few quesadillas to go with this meal. You can also make this a meatless meal by adding black or pinto beans instead of the chicken.

The original recipe recommends topping with avocado and grilled tortilla strips. It also recommends adding lime juice to the soup. Next time I plan on at least having the limes handy – that would have made this soup even better. I added a cheddar-pepper jack cheese blend and hot sauce to my soup – I really wanted to have a spicy kick!

For a lazy Friday night (and Saturday morning), this soup really fit the bill. Especially if it’s *very* cold outside.

**This recipe was shared on Homemade Mondays, Week 16 at Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity**

Harvest Corn “Choup”

This was a great chowder/soup to make when it got all snowy outside. Mike is a big fan of corn, and chowder of any kind, so I knew that this would be an instant hit in our house. I vaguely remember making this dish the first winter we were married, and not being too impressed by it. I decided to give it another shot, and I’m glad I did – it really hit the spot & tasted great!

I used Rachael Ray’s cookbook, “Just in Time, for this recipe, and in proper Rachael Ray fashion, she calls this a ‘choup’, which is a combination of the words ‘chowder’ and ‘soup’. In my opinion, it’s more of a chowder 😉

Harvest Corn “Choup” – adapted from Rachael Ray

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon, center-cut
  • 1 medium onion, chopped well
  • 10 oz. frozen corn (a box will do)
  • 2 small zucchini, peeled & chopped
  • 1 lb. small potatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded & chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp thyme (or more to taste)
  • salt & pepper, as you like
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 quart chicken or veggie stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup half-n-half
  • 3 tbsp dried parsley
  • hot sauce, to taste
  • oyster crackers or white cheddar popcorn (for topping purposes)
  1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until the edges crisp.
  2. Add the vegetables as you chop them, and stir to combine.  Add the bay leave, thyme, paprika, salt & pepper. Cook for 7-8 minutes until the vegetables soften and the soup becomes very aromatic.
  3. Sprinkle the flour into the pot, and stir for about a minute. Add the stock and bring to a boil.
  4. When the soup begins to get thick, add the milk, half-&-half, and parsley. Let it simmer for about five minutes.
  5. Discard the bay leaf, and serve in bowls. Top with salt, pepper, and hot sauce, followed by crackers or popcorn on top.
Harvest Corn Choup, with croutons and Tabasco sauce

Harvest Corn Choup, with croutons and Tabasco sauce

As you can see from the picture, I had neither crackers nor popcorn on hand, so I used some croutons that I had in my pantry. They were the fat-free ones too so they weren’t really seasoned (they suck on salads), and therefore simulated oyster crackers quite well.

The original recipe calls for heavy cream, but I found that just using half-&-half makes it nice and creamy, with fewer calories/fat. As far as the hot sauce is concerned, it adds some flavor, more than anything, so if you really, really don’t like hot sauce, you can omit. I found Tabasco to be an appropriate addition! 🙂

This soup reheats quite well, and is a great wintertime dish. Enjoy!