Happy New Year! These 30-something parents of two under two spent our New Year’s Eve on the West Coast by celebrating with the Eastern Standard Time’s midnight ball drop, and we have zero regrets. 2019 is already looking good with a good night’s rest and a freshly brewed cup of coffee and we are ready to get cooking!
So, as it turns out, this is my third chicken tortilla soup recipe on this blog. THIRD. Who the heck makes three versions of the same soup?
First up, we’ve got Susan’s (my mother-in-law) wonderful tortilla soup that is a family favorite and Christmas Eve tradition (along with tamales!). In fact, years ago I had suggested to Tyler that I would be making a chicken tortilla soup for dinner and received a, “Oh, my mom makes the best chicken tortilla soup” in response….which obviously meant that I opted for takeout instead that night. Her recipe is delicious and flavorful with chicken that has been marinated overnight and then grilled and diced into a warm, savory broth.
Then we’ve got this recipe, which is another we love around here. For this version of the soup, we sauté celery, carrots, and onions until tender, and then corn tortillas are simmered into the broth until they’re fully dissolved, for a rich, thick base, followed by roasted chicken, sour cream, and cheese.
Our newest recipe is one we’ve already made several times in the last few months – something that came about while looking to clean out our pantry and fridge, as well as to eat something “lighter.” It’s a simple, straight forward, no-fuss recipe chocked full of vegetables, like zucchini and tomatoes, with chicken breast boiled right into the simmering broth. Top it off with freshly grated cheese, avocados, and corn tortilla chips, and you’ve got yourself a light and hearty meal – a perfect start to kick off the new year!
Our “Lighter” Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 small zucchini quartered and sliced
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can Ro*Tel
- 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen sweet corn thawed
- 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 64 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 large lime
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 – 1 tsp chili powder depending on your spice preference
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
- corn tortillas
- vegetable oil
- sour cream
- handful of cilantro washed and diced
- 1 avocado sliced
- freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese
- limes quartered
For the soup:
In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add in onions. Sauté for a few minutes until tender, about 4-5 minutes, and then add in the garlic and continue sautéing for an additional minute.
Add in the zucchini and cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt, and Worcestershire sauce, and stir for 1-2 minutes, and then add in the black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, and Ro*Tel.
Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in the chicken breasts and bring it down to a simmer. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked. Remove chicken, let cool for a few minutes, then slice into bite size pieces. Transfer back to the pot, and squeeze the juice from 1 lime into broth.
Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed. Serve warm with toppings.
For the corn tortilla strips:
Slice corn tortillas in half, and then into small strips. In a small pan, heat vegetable oil until hot and ready to fry (you can test to see if the oil is hot enough by sprinkling a few drops of water and seeing if it “sizzles”). Drop a handful of strips into the hot oil, tossing a couple times with tongs, until they are light brown in color and crispy. Transfer to napkin lined plate and let cool.