Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Giving Mexican Soup a Lighter Twist

Good evening everyone! We often times, not intentionally, stumble upon theme weeks here on the blog and sometimes, we find this out until one of us cooks and the other has yet to cook their recipe.  This week would happen to be one of those theme weeks and personally, I love this week's theme!  We are cooking healthy Mexican dishes and I'm starting off the week with a soup that wouldn't look like it's healthy.  But with some better-for-you ingredients and portion size controlled, this soup will satisfy any appetite.

The Recipe:  Chicken Tortilla Soup
Original Recipe Found from Various Sources
(Serves 8)

What You'll Need:
16 Ounces jarred Salsa (any mild or hot flavor will do, depending on how spicy you want your soup to be)
2 Cups Cream of Chicken Soup
2 Pounds frozen Chicken Breasts
16 Ounces frozen Corn
2 Cups Black Beans, drained and rinsed
3 Cups Chicken Stock
2 Teaspoons ground Cumin
1 Cup Cheddar Cheese (or Mexican/Taco blend cheese, again, it's up to your personal preference)
4 Corn Tortillas

This is my first attempt at a slow cooker recipe, and it's one recipe that doesn't involve a lot of steps.  But, if you're in for a time crunch or want to whip up something flavorful that will make your whole kitchen (or house) smell great, this is the recipe for you.  Typically, Mexican dishes have numerous steps in the recipe before the end result is something delicious.  When it's this easy, it has to be tried and definitely shared.

In a large slow cooker, pour the cream of chicken soup, chicken stock, and salsa in the cooking vessel.  Next, add the chicken, corn, and black beans.  Stir until everything is well incorporated.  Sprinkle the cumin in and cover with the lid.  Set the slow cooker on low and cook for four to five hours (or if you are setting this to cook while your at work, eight to nine hours will work also.)  If you are serving this soup sooner rather than later, set the cooker on high and cook for two to three hours.

While the soup is finishing cooking, take out the chicken breasts and place on a plate.  Using a fork and a pair of tongs, shred the chicken.  Since it's been cooking between two to nine hours, the chicken will tear apart without any problem.  Next, preheat an oven to 350 degrees.  Place four small corn tortilla on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes, or until the tortillas get crispy.  Remove from the oven and let cool for five minutes.  After the shells are cooled, either break apart with your hands or slice with a pizza cutter.  Remove the lid and stir all the ingredients together inside.  

Add the cheese and the baked tortilla shells and stir once more to get everything incorporated.  Serve with sour cream, cilantro, chopped green onions, or by itself, and enjoy!

The End Result:

What a delicious combination!  All the ingredients together make for one delicious soup.  It does tend to run a bit on the runny side, but all those liquids combined make for one awesome broth.  The chicken is cooked to perfection and give it a boost of protein.  The beans and corn doesn't show themselves off, but they do add a nice addition to the soup.  I did add cheese to my soup and it made the soup creamier and added a little bit more flavor to the dish.  Also, a serving of soup is under 300 calories, so you won't feel guilty about breaking your diet.  Overall, a great recipe to try when you're short on preparation time and want something that tastes incredible.

Join us tomorrow as Tyler rounds out our healthy Mexican week with a classic dish with a lighter twist.  Until then,


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