Sadly and happily, it is soup season.  Summer is over, but thank goodness for fall.  Truly my favorite season, it is absolutely beautiful in Minnesota.  The weather is my favorite, no need for the AC or the heat.  The temp is just crisp, you can pull out your favorite fleece jacket, start thinking about apple orchards and pumpkins, and make a pot of soup.  I wish it could stay like this until Christmas.

ChickenTortillaSoup

I love homemade soup, just the huge pot itself is enough to love.  It is a meal in itself, really healthy, tons of veggies, chicken, beans, brown rice, topped with avocado, cheese, and Greek yogurt (yes Greek yogurt, it honestly tastes just like sour cream on soup or chili, and better for you ~ try it).  It feeds a crowd or gives you something to go to all week.

ChickenTortillaSoup (2)

Back in college, the Student Union in Madison had the best chicken tortilla soup.  My dear friend Erika and I would go get a bowl every single day for a stretch there, and I have done my best to replicate it here, amping up the veggies as I often do.

ChickenTortillaSoupPot

 

Recipe: Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 medium-large onion, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper (or any color), diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 10 cranks freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 c fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 t cumin
  • 4 c chicken stock
  • 3 c cooked black beans (dried beans soaked overnight and cooked separately or 2 cans)
  • 2 c cooked chicken, shredded (I used rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 c cooked brown rice (I like to cook a bunch and keep it in the fridge for meals all week)
  • 1 ear corn, pre-roasted in the oven and kernels cut off the cob (or about 1/2 cup frozen corn)
  • 1/4 c cilantro, chopped
  • juice from 1/2 a lime
  • 3 corn tortillas, cut into strips
  • cheddar cheese shredded, sliced avocado, more cilantro leaves, plain Greek yogurt to top

Instructions

  1. Set your oven to 375 and put your corn in whole with husk on. By the time you make the rest of the soup, it will be roasted and ready to add. You can also use 1/2 c of frozen corn added at the end.
  2. Preheat a large soup pot over medium heat with olive oil
  3. Chop your veggies (everything through the celery) and add them to the pot as you go, season with salt and pepper and let them cook about 10 or 15 minutes until they are lightly browned and softened. Stirring occasionally and adjusting heat so not to burn.
  4. Add tomato, garlic and jalapeno and cook 3 more minutes
  5. Add all other ingredients through the rice
  6. The corn should now be ready, take it out of your oven, remove the husk and cut the kernels off, adding them to the soup. You can even through the cob in and let it simmer with the rest, just discard it later (or add frozen corn at this time)
  7. Let the soup simmer on low about an hour
  8. Meanwhile, while your oven is still hot from the corn you can make the tortilla strips to top the soup. Cut 3 corn tortillas into strips, arrange on a baking sheet and bake them at 375 for about 15 minutes, tossing them once halfway through and watch them so they are golden but not burnt. You can also just use tortilla chips if you want to skip this step.
  9. Before serving the soup, add the cilantro and lime juice
  10. Serve the soup garnished with shredded cheese, slices of avocado, more cilantro leaves, a dollop of Greek yogurt and your homemade tortilla strips

Preparation time: 40 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4 to 6

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Chicken Tortilla Soup
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