Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup

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)

Preparation Instructions

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!


Julie said...

I would just love this! Sounds like the perfect birthday dinner to me!

Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

That's a wonderful soup!

Chicago Mom said...

I have never seen a Chicken Tortilla Soup with cheese - wow! I can't wait to try this!
Belated Happy Birthday!

Katy ~ said...

Yummm..a good soup to chill out with. Love the addition of salsa. Excellent idea.

Deanna said...

Um.... YUM! Too bad my crazy hubby doesn't like cheese! BOO ON HIM! I love to have a pot of soup on the stove when I have a friend over for a playdate though! I'll have to add this one to my recipe box and try it out!!!!! :)

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

I just wanted to post and say that I made your soup a few days after your posting and it was just divine!! My new favorite soup. Thank you so much for sharing this great recipe!

Alycia Freimund said...

This soup was so amazing. I definate keeper!

Stacy said...

Made this for dinner tonight and just tasted it. It is soooo yummy! Can't wait for dinner time!

Unknown said...

Is it 8 X 12oz velveeta or just 12oz of velveeta?

Krista said...


Sorry that I am just seeing this question. It is 8 to 12 oz. depending on how much cheese you want to use.

Hope that you enjoy the soup!

Mama2Mischief said...

I just saw this soup and think I MUST make it soon!! Just wondering if the tortillas got left out on purpose or on accident? And wondering how they would be used if they were put in.... Thank you in advance!

Ashley said...

I found your blog a couple of weeks ago and have loved browsing through your recipes. Tonight I made this soup with a few changes for our tastes but it was AMAZING!! Thanks for posting.. this is definitely one of our new favorites!

Sarahbearsmile said...

Your soup looks amazing...Im not a big fan of Velveeta cheese (call me crazy I know) is there anything I can use instead of Velveeta that will melt just as good and taste oh so yummy?!?!? Regular mild cheddar?!?!? I hope so this soup looks AMAZING and I want to cook it soooo bad!!!!!

Erin Cusson said...

Made the soup....added actual flour tortilla....and let then dissolve into the soup overnight. Out was delicious!

FarAway_Grafx said...

When making tortilla soup I always cut a few flour tortillas into slices and then fry them in oil until just under golden brown. Delish with this soup the last time I had it. Thanks for the recipe by the way Krista!

Unknown said...

I love this soup! Just curious, is it 2.5 or 4 cups of broth? In the explanation and pictures at the top it says 2.5 cups. In the recipe list at the bottom, it says 4 cups.

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