Monday, January 16, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

I am hoping this is the first of many recipes shared. I am completely obsessed with America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook that I received from my parents (aka my mom) for Christmas this year. Not only has everything that I made so far been delicious, but it has also fit in well with a health conscience minded girl's diet! What can I say? I barely look at food the wrong way and it sticks!

I am also sincerely in love with Chicken Tortilla Soup of all kinds and varieties; cheese based, broth based, out to eat, made at home, with or without lots of veggies. Soup and a good book (I am currently reading Great Expectations and loving it) are a great recipe for a cool winter evening. This recipe definitely has a little added kick with the canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce. I should also note that I am in the process of saving up for a new food processor, having recklessly left mine in Knoxville when we moved in the hopes of upgrading. Therefore, my soup did not achieve as thick a consistency as would have been achieved otherwise.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
adapted from America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

8 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
Vegetable oil spray
Salt and pepper
8 C. low-sodium chicken broth
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast or 1 1/2 lb bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts with skin removed
1 onion, peeled and quartered
4 garlic cloves, peeled
8-10 fresh cilantro sprigs
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce (*to make a milder soup, decrease or remove)
1 tsp canola oil
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and minced (optional)

Serve with low fat sour cream, low fat shredded Monterrey jack cheese, and lime wedges.

tortilla strips
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees, with rack in the middle position. Spray tortilla strips with oil and sprinkle with salt. Spread over a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown and crisp 15-17 minutes (mine took approximately 10 minutes due to the holes in my pizza tray), stirring halfway through baking. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

step 2 with minced garlic and onion instead of quarters
2. Bring the broth, chicken breasts, 2 of the onion quarters, 2 of the garlic cloves, cilantro, and oregano to a simmer in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until chicken registers 160-165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer approx. 20 minutes (once again mine took less time, because my grocery store had chicken tenderloins on sale this week).

3. Remove the chicken from the broth; when cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces, discarding bones, etc. Strain the broth discarding solids; set aside.

shredding chicken

4. Process remaining onion quarters, garlic cloves, tomatoes, and chipotles in a food processor until smooth, 15-20 seconds. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat until just smoking. Add the pureed onion-tomato mixture and cook, stirring often, until the mixture has darkened in color, about 10 minutes. (I did not perform any of this step really, due to my lack of food processor. How I long for a 12C Cuisinart food processor!)

5. Stir in the strained broth, cover and simmer until flavors have blended, about 15 minutes. Stir in the shredded chicken and continue to simmer until it is heated through, about 5 minutes.

dinner complete!
6. Divide tortilla strips among individual bowls and ladle the soup over the tortillas. Sprinkle with avocado, cilantro, jalapeno, cheese, sour cream, and serve with lime wedges.

Per 1 1/2 C serving: Cal 280; Fat 9g; Sat Fat 1g; Chol 45mg; Carb 27g; Protein 21g; Fiber 5g; Sodium 960mg