Tag Archives: tortilla soup

One Last Hurrah – Tortilla Soup with Goat Cheese Guacamole

That’s how I felt when eating leftovers of this soup for lunch the other day. This is my last dairy hurrah. You see, a few weeks back, I embarked on a short-term dairy-free diet as a trial, to see if it was causing some lingering issues I was having. After two weeks, I didn’t notice a huge difference, but there was a difference. When I reintroduced it back into my diet, I tried to ignore the truth – that the dairy was making me sick. After all, I didn’t want to give it up – I am a huge fan of all things cheese and butter, and I was even singing the praises of raw milk just the other day. But as much as I love it, dairy doesn’t love me back. So this tortilla soup was my last dairy-containing meal, at least for a long while. You’ll see many recipes in the future that are not only gluten-free, but also dairy-free. (Of course, those of you who can eat dairy without incident are welcome to modify your recipes accordingly!)

This tortilla soup recipe is closely based off of a Quickfire Challenge I saw on Top Chef Masters a few weeks back. Chef Marcus Samuelsson prepared a chicken soup with crispy tortilla strips and goat cheese guacamole that had me drooling. I had to make it. So I visited the recipe found here and filled in the blanks, adjusting to my tastes. And even with the near-100 degree temperatures outside, this soup hit the spot – it was just a touch spicy, bursting with flavor, and the goat cheese guacamole was cooling and fresh.

If I was to make it again (and there will be an “again”), I’d have to modify it to be dairy-free, of course. I’d have to give up the goat cheese in the guacamole, and substitute either almond milk or coconut milk for the cream, but the flavors would still be there in full force. It’s a lovely tortilla soup – no wonder Chef Marcus Samuelsson did so well in Top Chef Masters!

 

Tortilla Soup with Goat Cheese Guacamole, adapted from Marcus Samuelsson

For the guacamole:

1 T olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 avocados

Juice from 1 lime

2 T goat cheese

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1 T cilantro, chopped

salt and pepper

Pour the olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add garlic and saute for another minute. Remove from heat and place in a bowl. Scoop the avocado flesh and add to bowl. Add goat cheese and smash the avocado, onion, garlic, and cheese together with a fork. Add in lime juice, jalapeno, bell pepper and cilantro and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

For the soup:

4 corn tortillas, cut into strips

Canola oil, for frying

1 red onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 quarts chicken stock

4 tomatoes, chopped

4 c shredded, cooked chicken (I used leftover grilled chicken)

1 1/2 t ground cumin

1 t salt

4 eggs

2 T cream

juice from 2 limes

1 T chopped green onions

1/2 T cilantro, chopped

In a skillet, heat about a half-inch of canola oil over medium heat. Fry tortilla strips in batches until crisp, about 1 minute, and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and saute for an additional minute. Add chicken stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add cumin, salt, and chicken and stir, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and cream. Ladle one or two spoonfuls of the hot soup mixture into the bowl while whisking, and whisk until incorporated. Then pour the egg mixture back into the soup, whisking until incorporated. Allow to cook for another minute, and then add lime juice and half of the green onions and cilantro.

Serve soup topped with the remaining green onions, cilantro, guacamole, and tortilla strips. Serves 4.

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Filed under Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Soups

Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup

Food 1750For the past few months, time seems to have flown by at an incredible rate. It seems as though I barely have enough time to complete the “must-finish” tasks each day. Work, family, lawn work, the garden, dishes, the shed that still remains half-painted…and let’s not forget feeding the family with reasonably healthy meals, all the while minding the budget. And of course, I must devote my time to the blog. It holds me accountable. It forces me to improve myself, in the kitchen, with the camera, and in my writing. I have to admit, I am addicted. I think this is a good thing.

But I do strive to keep a balance. Okay, so I sometimes slip. (full disclosure: ate Taco Smell Bell last week for dinner one night, and visited the snack machine at the office on more than one occasion, in order to complete meals for myself. As if M&Ms and Rice Krispies Treats count as part of a meal.) But I do keep trying. This week, I was determined to create healthy dinners that took minimal time in the kitchen, freeing me up to tend to other duties.

One of my no-brainer sources for inspiration in this area? Cooking Light magazine. Did you know that you can now find a huge number of Cooking Light recipes online? MyRecipes.com offers recipes from Cooking Light, Southern Living, Sunset, Coastal Living, and more. Even though I subscribe to Cooking Light magazine, this website allows me to be lazy and just search for what I want, instead of flipping through the growing piles of magazines at my house searching for “dinner inspiration.” This soup was one recipe I came across, and thought it would be a perfect solution for dinner. (Yes, I realize that it is yet another chipotle recipe. I just can’t stay away!) The meal came together in no time, and was inexpensive. (Especially since chicken breasts were on sale at Sprouts for $1.88/lb, score!)

I did make a few slight modifications. I added a bit of onion for flavor, and I increased the cumin, because I love the earthy depth it adds. I also used regular tortilla chips, as I had them on hand. It was a great weeknight dinner, full of smoky flavor and just the right amount of heat. Of course, we tend to like things pretty spicy in our house, so if you’re a bit nervous about adding all of the chipotle chile powder, I suggest starting with half, and add more at the end if you feel the soup needs more kick.

The next time I make this, I think I would prefer the chicken to be shredded, rather than cubed. You could even use a rotisserie chicken (or leftover chicken) instead of sauteing the breasts, if you prefer. We also served it with a bit of shredded cheese and sour cream in addition to the cilantro and limes. Overall, this was a delicious and easy dish – and it left me with plenty of time to catch American Idol. (Because yes, American Idol is a priority as well!)

1 T canola oil

¼ c onion, chopped

1 lb chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

1 ½ t minced garlic

1 t chipotle chile powder

2 t ground cumin

1 c water

¼ t salt

1 14 ounce low-sodium chicken broth (if you need it to be gluten-free, check the label!)

1 14.5 ounce can whole or stewed tomatoes, undrained

1 c crushed tortilla chips

¼ c chopped fresh cilantro

1 lime, cut into 4 wedges

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and chicken breasts, sauté 2 minutes. Add garlic, sauté another minute. Add chile powder and cumin, stir well. Add water, salt, broth, and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Top with tortilla chips and cilantro, and serve with lime wedges.

Serves 4.

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Soups