Wednesday, February 3, 2010
This soup is what I made for my birthday dinner. Yes, I cooked dinner on my birthday...but only because I wanted to. My in-laws came to town over the weekend to watch our daughters so that we could go out and celebrate with friends. After a magnificent sushi dinner, followed by an impulsive trip to the bowling alley on Saturday night, we made it home well after midnight. Sunday morning I woke up early with our daughters and then we were off to church, a trip to the mall, a 3-D movie, and out for hot wings before returning home on Sunday night to make cinnamon rolls (for my parent's group snack) and watch a t.v. marathon of our favorite shows with my mother-in-law. It was another late night followed by the usual busy Monday morning of my weekly parenting group meeting, a trip to the library, and back to the pre-school to pick up my daughter. Next, there was a goodbye lunch with my departing in-laws and the kiddos, and finally my daughter's evening dance class. I was completely ready to just stay in, relax, and make this easy and delicious soup by the time that my birthday rolled around on Tuesday. I was beat! My husband kept calling from work to ask if I was sure and telling me to pick where I wanted to go for dinner. I held my ground. I was tired after all of the weekend festivities and a busy Monday. I didn't want to get dressed to go out.(Confession: I didn't want to shower and relinquish my sweat pants) I wanted to "chill". So that's what we did. I made soup. Really, really good soup. And of course there was a cake. And candles. And singing. My kids love that part.
This recipe is based on a recipe that I found on Tasty Kitchen called Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup. Here's how it came together.
First, cook the chicken. You can actually cook the chicken in a skillet with the taco seasoning. However, I was preparing a large amount of chicken (some for this recipe, some to freeze for a later date) so I just tossed the diced chicken with a packet of taco seasoning.
Melt 1/4 cup of butter in your soup pot and toss in 1/2 cup of onion. Cook until the onion is tender. Note: If you wanted to make this soup lighter you could cut the butter in half or even cut out the butter completely and spray your soup pot with a little nonstick cooking spray.
Stir 1/3 cup of flour into those onions.
Whisk in 2 1/2 cups of broth and bring it to a boil. Cook until thickened. I ended up using vegetable broth here because I had an open box in my fridge, leftover from the African Sweet Potato Stew that I made earlier this week.
Add in the cubed Velveeta, shredded Jack cheese, and salsa. The original recipe called for 1/3 cup of canned, diced tomatoes and 1/3 cup of salsa. It occurred to me that salsa has diced tomatoes in it and it's more flavorful than plain diced tomatoes anyway. So, I began with 2/3 cup of salsa. This soup was so thick and I love my homemade salsa so much that I ended up pouring the whole jar of salsa into the soup pot.
Once the cheese is melted, stir in the chicken. I stirred my for a minute or two, until the taco seasoning was sufficiently incorporated into the soup.
Now stir in a cup of half and half. The original recipe called for heavy cream. I lightened it up a bit with the half and half. If you really want to cut the fat in this recipe, go ahead and use skim milk.
This is such an easy soup to make and SO tasty! With a sprinkle of green onions, a dollop of sour cream, and a handful of Fritos, it was a wonderful meal for a cold February night!
Here's the perfect first bite...
Honestly, I wasn't the only fan of this soup. I packaged the leftovers last night and my husband took them to work this morning. My phone beeped with this late morning text from him: Soup soooo good I'm on second helping today-will have eaten it all by 11 am--high in calories? (He often leaves for work at 5 am and skips breakfast, eating his "lunch" in the morning).
Uh-oh. We're trying to be more health conscious. I had to own up and let him know. Oh well, next time I'll make it even lighter. And there WILL be a next time. This recipe gets two thumbs up from my kitchen.
Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup adapted from Tasty Kitchen
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes Servings: 8 Difficulty: Easy
•1 envelope Taco Seasoning
•1-½ pound Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Diced
•½ cups Chopped Onion
•2 T Butter
•⅓ cups Flour
•4 cups broth, chicken or vegetable
•8-12 oz. 2% Milk Velveeta, cubed
•8 oz. Shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican 4 cheese blend shredded cheese
•1 jar salsa (any Variety)
•1 cup half and half or milk
•Fritos, green onion, and sour cream (for garnish)
In a skillet, add seasoning and diced chicken. Cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Drain, and set aside. (or cook chicken and toss with seasoning mix like I did)
In large saucepan (or pot), saute onion in butter for 2 minutes. Stir in flour until blended, then gradually stir in the broth. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for two minutes longer, or until thickened slightly. Add Velveeta, shredded cheese and salsa. Cook on medium-low until cheese is melted.
Stir in half and half. Add the chicken back in. Stir. Heat through but do not boil. Remove from heat. Garnish with Fritos (you can also use guacamole, sour cream, and green onions). Enjoy!