Monday, September 13, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This weekend was nice and relaxing. The stores are starting to put out their Halloween decorations! You know me and Halloween-- I can't wait! :) I got a cute set of prep bowls that are black with little dancing skeletons and ghosts on them. So fun! I'm going to fill them with goodies like Parmesan zucchini crisps, fresh applesauce, sliced fresh pears, etc. See? I'm keeping my goodies on the healthy side.

This weekend, a friends washer went out. She came over to my house with her laundry and I got to play with her two adorable kids! Amelie (3 yr old) and I played 'race car'. She'd sit in the laundry basket and I'd scoot her up and down the hallway as fast as I could. By the time we were done, we were both giggling with hair standing straight out from the static electricity we generated. While the laundry was going, Amelie also helped me make a Fresh Apple Pecan Struesel cake. The house smelled great!

After they left to go home, I made one of my favorite fall meals, Chicken Tortilla Soup. I love how the spicy savory broth warms me from the inside out. The garnishes of fresh avocado, low fat Mexican cheese, and tortilla chips really take it to the next level. The veggies are hidden in this one. ;)

Now on to another week. This Thursday, Tamra and I are going to Pittsburgh again for training. We're looking forward to lox and cream cheese for breakfast in the Denver airport, 3 days of Starbucks, and fresh fish for dinner. Yay!

Chicken Tortilla Soup
-2 split bone-in, skin-on, chicken breasts (about 1-1/2 lbs), skin removed and trimmed of excess fat (could sub 4 bone-in chicken thighs if desired)
-8 cups low sodium chicken broth
-1 very large white onion, trimmed of root end, quartered and peeled
-4 medium garlic cloves, minced
-8 to 10 sprigs fresh cilantro
-1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
-2 medium tomatoes, cored and quartered
-jalapeno chile
- 1 chipotle chile plus up to 1 Tbl. adobo sauce
-1 Tbl vegetable oil
-1 lime, cut in wedges
-1 Hass avocado, chopped
-1 cup 2% low fat Mexican Blend cheese
- fresh cilantro
- tortilla chips
-sour cream

1. Bring chicken, broth, 2 onion quarters, 2 garlic cloves, cilantro, oregano, and 1/2 tsp salt to a boil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until chicken is just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a large plate. Pour broth through a strainer and discard solids. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces and discard the bones.

2. Puree tomatoes, 2 onion quarters, 2 garlic cloves, jalapeno, and chipotle chili with 1 tsp adobo sauce in a blender or food processor until smooth. Heat oil in Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering. Add the tomato/onion puree and 1/8 tsp salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture has darkened in color, about 10 minutes.

3. Stir the broth back into the tomato mixture, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer to blend the flavors, about 15 minutes. Taste soup. If desired, add up to 2 teaspoons additional adobo sauce.

4. Stir in shredded chicken and simmer about 5 minutes to heat through. To serve, place portions of crushed tortilla chips in the bottom of individual bowls and ladle the soup on top. Pass the garnishes separately.

Makes about 8 1-cup servings of soup.

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