Chicken tortilla soup

I found this recipe on Pinterest of all places – and it’s both easy to make and super yummy! A full tablespoon of chili pepper gives it a heat that lingers on the tongue without setting your mouth on fire; the sour cream (and optional cheese) cools that a bit.

Approx 275 cal + 18g protein per 1.25c serving

1T butter or chee or avocado oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 large red pepper, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1-1/2t cumin
1T chili or chipotle powder
1t dried oregano
15 oz jarred tomatoes
1/4c tomato paste
4c chicken broth (I used chicken broth concentrate)
15oz red kidney beans *
15oz black beans *
15oz corn, frozen canned or fresh
2c shredded cooked chicken (a bit less than 2 full breasts) **
3/4c sour cream
Optional: 1c shredded cheese

Serve it with corn chips, corn tortillas or over a scoop of rice.
Garnish with avocados, cilantro and wedges of lime.

Saute all the veggies & garlic in the oil. Add the seasonings, tomatoes, tomato paste & chicken broth. Boil for 5-10 minutes, then puree with an immersion blender.

Stir in the sour cream, beans, corn & chicken. Also the cheese, if you’re using. But that gets to be awfully creamy, together with the sour cream.

* To cook the beans: bring to a boil then turn off the heat and soak for an hour; then turn the heat back up and boil for an hour or so with a bay leaf. Add a little salt towards the end of the cooking process.

** To cook the chicken (using a whole chicken will give you a lot more meat than you need for the soup; it will also give you a nice rich broth you can use for something else): cover a bunch of bone-in chicken parts in water and boil for 15 minutes, skimming the crud that rises to the stop. Add a couple chunks of onions & carrots, a couple big-chopped garlic cloves, and some salt. You can also add a bay leaf, some parsley or whatever other seasonings you have laying around. (rosemary, thyme & sage are particularly nice) Fish out the breasts after about 15 minutes and remove most of the meat; then return the meaty bones to the pot to boil with the rest of the parts for another hour. The breast meat doesn’t add a ton of flavor to your broth, and the meat will become rubbery. You can also remove the thigh meat if you feel like it. But the breasts should be cooked enough that you can shred them. They will finish cooking in the soup – and absorb some of the broth’s flavor.

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