Thursday, March 13, 2014

Chicken Taco Soup

Happy Thursday! We are officially one day from the weekend, and what a week it's been. I've had multiple appointments and errands to run every day this week, which always makes my week seem a little chaotic. I've finally made it to that part of my week that's more low key. The hubby has a 4 day weekend, I'm going to bake cupcakes, and you can bet we are going to put some movies on. Fun movies, now that the Oscars are over. Nothing boring, weepy, or with subtitles for this girl.

But first, I'm going to talk about this soup! Soup is just the best. I'm serious! You can do almost anything with it, put anything in it and have it turn out freakin' delicious. There are potentially endless combinations out there, and I'm determined to eat my way through a good portion of them. I came up with this recipe on the fly after realizing the recipe I chose was a slow-cooker recipe, and I was starting dinner with t-60 minutes. Luckily, I was starting with cooked chicken, so an hour didn't faze me. When you have cooked chicken meat in the form of a leftover roasted chicken, your options are numerous. That being said, this soup easily came together and was ready in plenty of time for dinner. I took full advantage of my pantry, utilizing several canned veggies to achieve the final product. I always feel so economical when I do that :)

I just realized this is the 3rd chicken dish of the month, as well as the 3rd Southwest themed dish. I can only tell you that we eat a lot of chicken. We eat almost no red meat (I laugh as I say that because I have a steak dish on tap for tonight). But seriously, we eat red meat once or twice a month. We usually have chicken once or twice a week, fish and/or shrimp once or twice, maybe some ground turkey, and then the rest of the week is meatless. I have nothing against red meat, I've just noticed I feel better when I limit the amount I eat. I have more energy, my skin looks better, my weight is easier to manage, etc. Also, I usually roast a chicken every week, or every other week. A whole chicken is my favorite way to go. Why?

1. It's cheap- I can usually get a 5-6 lb chicken for $5. And that chicken goes a long way. I get a roasted chicken dinner out of it, with enough meat for either lunches or a big batch of soup. I always put the carcass in the crock pot and make broth. I get anywhere from 8-12 cups of broth doing that, which as you can imagine, results in numerous meals. All those meals for $5. You can't beat that, not even at (dare I say it?) McDonald's.

2. Options! As I mentioned before, you can make so many things with cooked chicken. Tacos, soups, sandwiches, salads, pizzas, pastas, casseroles... I don't think I need to continue.

3. You know what you are getting- what do I mean by this? I'm mostly talking about chicken broth. Commercial chicken broth has multiple ingredients, chemicals, and preservatives added to it. My chicken broth is made with chicken, onions, carrots, celery, water, salt, and pepper. That's it. Whenever I make a soup or dish with chicken broth, I know exactly what I'm putting in my body. In today's modern world of GMO's and the organic movement, this means a lot to me.

Have I convinced you to roast your own chickens? I hope so!

Have a great day everyone!

P.S. The next 2 recipes will not be chicken! :)

Ingredients (serves 12):

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chiles (such as Rotel), undrained
1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5) oz can corn, drained
6  cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chile powder
1 tsp coriander seed
1/2 tsp ancho chile powder
1/2 tsp Adobo seasoning
1 lb cooked chicken, shredded
lime wedges
toppings: sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro (crushed tortillas chips and/or diced avocado would also make great toppings).


1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. When warm, add onion. Sauté 5-7 minutes, or until onions start to become tender. Add garlic to the pot, sauté another 30 seconds.
2. Add diced tomatoes through Adobo seasoning to the pot. Bring soup to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Simmer for 30-45 minutes.
3. Add chicken to the pot. Allow chicken to heat up in pot, about 5-10 minutes. Season soup to taste. Remove soup from heat, and ladle into bowls. Serve with lime wedges, top with desired toppings. Serve immediately.

Linked to: Weekend Potluck

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