Saturday, January 14, 2012

BIG Heat Tortilla Soup!

How do you balance your body’s winter cravings for hearty, calorie rich, rib-sticking foods against your brain’s sensible advice to not give into those fattening urges?  A big pot of spicy, satisfying, yet healthy soup!  One way to fool your cravings is to pump up the spice and flavor…Tortilla Soup sure does the trick.

Mieke made this soup originally from a Rachel Ray recipe…needless to say, we have changed it significantly over the years.  More veggies?  Check.  Rotisserie chicken to simplify the prep?  Check.  More spices, more heat? Check, check.  (Thanks, Rach, for the inspiration!)

How does this work out as far as calories and fat?  Approximately 155 calories and 5 grams of total fat to a serving is pretty darn good.  Of course, that’s without the cheese, sour cream or tortilla chips.  Control that yourself by using 0% Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, less cheddar or the reduced fat variety and use fewer tortilla chips or even the baked ones.  Or, use nothing at all on the top.  Of course, without tortilla chips,  you couldn’t call it tortilla soup, could you?  But you can still call it delicious!

Big Heat Tortilla Soup
(If you like "little heat" cut the heat in half!)

About 12 servings

  • 20 ounces corn, DelMonte Summer Crisp or frozen corn
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 large chicken breasts, coarsely shredded - I use a HUGE rotisserie chicken from Costco and use only the breasts (if you get it somewhere else, use 4 breasts), use what's left of the rotisserie chicken for another purpose (for a vegetarian version - hello, David, this means YOU - just leave the chicken out)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder, optional, I use chipotle chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 4, then sliced across thinly
  • 1 1/2 jumbo yellow onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 chipotle chiles canned in adobo, chopped, with a little of the sauce (we like HOT, if your palate isn't as adventurous, use only ONE of the peppers, taste after a few minutes and if you can handle more heat, add more)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, I like the fire roasted kind
  • 2 cans tomato sauce, 8 ounce cans
  • 8 cups chicken stock (to make this vegetarian, use vegetable stock)

Drizzle a little olive oil in the bottom of a big soup pot and lightly saute the red peppers.  Then add zucchini, onions, garlic and chipotle peppers.  Stir well and add seasonings.  Cook just to soften the veggies a little - don't overdo it, they'll soften as the soup simmers.  Add chicken and stir well.
Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and stock.  Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to medium low.  Add corn and simmer until vegetables are soft and tender and the flavors all come together.  Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve in bowls topped with chips, cheddar and a dollop of sour cream.  Remember, you can really control the calories and fat here...the soup without the toppings has only 155 calories and 5 total grams of fat per serving!

NOTE:  You can simplify this even more by using a bag or two of frozen mixed zucchini, yellow squash and red peppers in place of the fresh veggies.  So easy.  Still SO good...I know, I've done it!
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