January is National Soup Month so let's get busy making one of my all-time favorite recipes: Chicken Tortilla Soup. Hearty, yet light, this Mexican soup is loaded with lots of healthy fresh veggies and has a little spicy kick.
A Mexican chicken soup to soothe the soul
This healthy soup is perfect for these ridiculously cold winter nights we've been having in New England lately. It's a hearty, all-in-one meal and it also makes lots of leftovers, which I love. Yay to leftovers!
I have a little bit of a confession to make...I'm turning this post into a two-for-one. Not only am I making this soup for National Soup Month, but also because I've had a lingering cold and need to make some soothing chicken soup.
I'm the latest victim of the 2015 weird cold-that-everyone-has-been-getting-and-it-takes-forever-to-get-rid-of sickness. Every time I fall ill, I make this chicken tortilla soup. It's been in my recipe collection for a really long time and it always gets me over whatever cold I'm fighting. Pretty sure it's all the extra jalapeños and chipotle peppers that help knock out any illness.
How to make a healthy soup taste better
Spices taste so much better when they are bought whole, then toasted and ground up into a powder at home. Just place the whole spices in a dry pan over medium heat, shaking pan back and forth so they don't burn. They are done when they start smelling fragrant and have turned a light brown.
Transfer to a small bowl to cool, then put in a spice or coffee grinder and process until seeds turn into a fine powder. A little tip: make sure the coffee grinder is specifically used for just grinding spices (unless it's okay if your coffee tastes like various spices and vice versa).
Store the freshly ground cumin in a small glass jar in a cool, dry place.
Enjoy this comforting and healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup all during National Soup Month or anytime of the year!
Here's another chicken soup recipe that's awesome in knocking out any cold too!
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 8 cups good quality chicken broth , homemade or store-bought kind
- 1 small red onion , diced
- 2 large carrots , diced
- 1 large white potato or sweet potato, peeled & diced
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon Chipotle Chile en Adobo, canned
- 1 teaspoon fresh or jarred jalapeño, seeded & minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 1 small yellow squash, diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 2 boneless & skinless cooked chicken breasts, shredded (To cook boneless chicken breasts: cover chicken with water and simmer until done, about 20 minutes)
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
- 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoon sherry
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- salt to taste
- 4 fresh corn tortillas , cut into thin strips and fried in oil or baked at 350F until crisp (7-10 minutes)
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 2 avocados, sliced or diced
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- fresh lime slices
- extra minced jalapeños
- In a large pot over high heat, combine chicken broth, onion, carrots, potato, tomato paste, bay leaf, garlic, chipotle chile, jalapeno, oregano, and cumin. Boil, reduce to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add squashes, red pepper, and cooked chicken. Boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add cilantro, mint, lime juice, sherry, white pepper, and salt to taste. Stir well and remove from heat.
- Garnish with Monterey Jack cheese, tortilla strips, avocados, cilantro, lime slices, and minced jalapeños.
Recipe Notes & Tips:
- Leftover soup can be stored in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator up to 3 days