Weeknight Dinners

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Two kids in bed by 7:30, Bad Mom’s on HBO, and getting a chance to blog about tonight’s easy dinner that the fam loved…I’d say I’m having a pretty good little Tuesday here in suburbia!

20170905_165128

Chicken Tortilla Soup is a great pantry meal to have on hand this fall + winter. It’s a soup, so there’s no real measuring and you can usually throw in whatever you have in your crisper drawer (half rotting) and it works.

I’m sharing the recipe from Food.com that I used as a template, then I’ll also add what I did and substitutions to make your weeknight cooking that much faster + easier. I’m all about semi-homemade meals, so I’m also including what you can just plain buy instead of make to pull this all together.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • or butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 2 TBSP onion powder as substitution
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 TBSP garlic powder as substitution
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper, chopped
    • I used a red bell pepper… if you use jalapeno and you have kids/spice sensitivity, make sure you seed the pepper – not with your hands especially if you wear contacts, use a knife and a teaspoon.
  • 1medium green pepper
    • I didn’t have this tonight, left it out….no big deal
  • 4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • Short cut, have a rotisserie chicken on hand and roughly shop it up and throw it in.
  • 2 cups frozen corn
    • I didn’t have frozen corn, I had canned corn with peppers, that works, or corn on the cob – or no corn at all. whatever works.
  • 1cup dry white wine or 12 cup water
    • Of course, KIM CRAWFORD – and BTW, you should be drinking some right now, and while you’re making this recipe.
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth
    • or just two boxes of your favorite chicken stock, Rachael Ray is nut-free
    • better than bouillon also works, so just keep that in your fridge
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
    • or fresh if your garden is going nuts.
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
    • I didn’t have this, so I used tomato paste and mixed a little water with it….
  • Extra stuff I added:
    • 2 cans of black beans
    • chopped green chiles
    • guacamole – Sabra brand is nut-free
    • chips – Tostitos Brand is nut-free
    • cheddar cheese
    • limes

Directions

  1. Sauté onion, garlic, jalapeño and green pepper with olive oil in a large pot until soft.
  2. Add all the rest of the ingredients to the large pot and bring to a boil.
  3. After about 15 minutes, remove the chicken breasts and shred.
  4. (Two forks work well to pull the chicken apart!).
  5. Return shredded chicken to the pot and simmer an additional 45 minutes.
  6. Serve, topped with crushed tortilla chips if desired.
  7. Yield: 8-10

20170905_174550

Quick Tips

  1. You can freeze this meal for up to one month. Just add the chicken breasts and all fresh ingredients + spices to a gallon zip top bag. When you’re ready dump the contents into a crock pot or dutch oven.
  2. This is also a slow cooker meal if you’re really short on time. Pre-chop your ingredient the night before and store in zip top bag. Place the raw chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker and place all other ingredients around it. Cook on low for 6 hours, or until you get home.
  3. If you’re making this during the week, use a rotisserie chicken, set out all of your canned ingredients in advance, dump your spices into a small zip top bag the night before so they’re ready the next day. I hate our spice cabinet, there are soooooo many things in there right now so finding the silly cumin can take me 10 minutes! Gar!
  4. If you’re making this during the week and your chicken is half frozen, like mine usually is, don’t panic. Half frozen chicken is the BEST – if you like perfectly cut cubes of chicken in your soup. Just make sure your knife is very sharp and your chicken is slightly thawed (microwave defrost function works great) and cube it, add it to the soup as you normally would. Frozen chicken is not a deal breaker.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. I think the pendulum has swung too far in the food + meal prep direction. We don’t need expensive pre-packaged, pre-made meals. You just need a few simple basics to make a good meal. A great knife and few YouTube videos on mincing garlic and chopping onion go a LONG way when cooking. Fresh onion and garlic make almost ANY meal feel super homemade + flavorful. Keep it simple!

Cheers + thanks for stopping by. It’s been the most Mondayest Tuesday ever!

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s