It is actually cooling off here to the low 70s- break out the soup recipes! This is one of my favorites and one that I probably made once a week last winter season when we were living in Austin. For me, soups are are a breeze to make. You can chop the veggies ahead of time to get a head-start on dinner. Plus, you can’t really screw things up. Everything eventually goes into the same pot and is simmered together so it’s pretty stress-free cooking if you ask me!
This is also one of those great one dish meals- veggies, grains, protein all in one bowl. This soup is so satisfying, it doesn’t need much to accompany it. However, you could serve it with a side salad and/or quesadilla if you have a hungry group.
I love the Mexican flavors in my soups- lime, cilantro, avocados! Yum.
P.S. Pretty please try to avoid buying canned soup. They are so full of sodium and preservatives. If you’ve never made your own soup, make this one. I promise you can do it.
Start by baking your tortilla strips. This also can be done ahead of time and stored in a tin or airtight bag. Take about 6-8 corn tortillas and slice into strips. Toss lightly with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Bake at 400 for about 10-12 minutes.
Next, get your veggies chopped. At this point you can store them in the fridge in a tupperware container if you don’t plan on continuing on with the soup right away.
You’ll need chicken. You can bake or simmer your own or just use a Rotisserie chicken. I try to have shredded chicken on hand in my freezer for cases like this.
Now time to make the soup. Heat up a little olive oil, then in go the veggies. Cook until crisp tender, then add the chicken, spices, beans, tomatoes, rice and chicken broth. Simmer until done.
The best part and you cannot, I repeat, can NOT skip the toppings: top with avocado, cilantro, tortilla chips and a squeeze of lime juice.
Eating this soup just makes me feel healthy. So good and good for you. Try it tonight!
Southwestern Chicken Soup
Recipe from Nutritious Eats
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion chopped
1 small red bell pepper chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 Tablespoons jalapeno (can use fresh or pickled)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 (15 ounce) can low sodium pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, in their juices
1/4 cup white or brown rice
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
5 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1 lime, cut into six wedges
1 avocado , diced
1. Heat oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and carrots and cook about 6 minutes until tender. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook and additional 2 minutes.
2. Add to chicken and the next 6 ingredients (through pepper) to the pot. Stir well. Add the chicken broth, water and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes until rice is done (if using brown rice increase simmer time to about 35 minutes or until rice is tender).
3. Ladle soup into individual bowls. Top with juice from one lime wedge, 1-2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro, chopped avocado and tortilla strips. Makes 6 servings.
Take 6-8 corn tortillas, Cut into strips (can stack several at a time). Toss with a drizzle of olive oil (~ 1 teaspoon) and a pinch or sea salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes until brown and crisp, stirring half way through. If using more than 8 tortillas, divide onto two cooking sheets otherwise they stripes will be too crowded and will not brown properly.
Notes: If you are taking some leftover to work you can go ahead and add all the toppings in before storing. Obviously the tortilla strips will get soggy but they are still good- kind of like chicken tortilla soup!
If it gets too thick the second day just add a little water to thin it out again, reheat and repeat.
You can also make this vegetarian by omitting chicken and adding an extra can of beans- black or Great Northern beans would be a nice mix with the pintos.
If you can’t find low sodium beans, buy the regular beans and the no added salt tomatoes (that way you will keep the sodium down). If you are really watching your sodium intake, you can buy both low/no sodium added.
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