Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Dinner Last Night - Chicken Tortilla Soup

It is strange to me that I have never made this before.  It is exactly the kind of thing I love but for some reason I have just never made it.  Even stranger, there are the millions of variations of essentially the same dish.  I suppose they all have slightly different flavours but they are all called Chicken Tortilla Soup and have the same core ingredients - chicken, chicken broth, and tomatoes - but from there the ingredients run the gamut from black beans to Italian salad dressing?  So keeping all these recipes in mind I made one up of my own.  It went like this. (prices in brackets)


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (maybe $.25)
  • 1 medium onion, diced (I buy organic so maybe $.50)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic ($.25)
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced (free out of my garden)
  • 6 cups chicken stock (1 1/2 organic tetra packs at $1.50 each = $2.25)
  • 1 jar of my homemade canned tomatoes (I figured out they cost me about $1 each)
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained ($1.49)
  • 1 can of corn kernels, rinsed and drained(1.49)
  • 6 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless ($7.49)
  • 2 limes, juiced, plus wedges for garnish ($.99)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves ($.99)
  • 4 (8-inch) corn tortillas, toasted, cut into thin strips (These are a gluten free sprouted corn tortilla.  They aren't cheap but you don't eat many.  The pack has 9 and we toasted 4-5, a pack is approx $4.00, we used $3.00 worth lets say)
  • 1 avocado, pitted, sliced ($1.00)
  • 1 cup shredded Monterrey cheese ($1.50)
  • 1 cup thick set yogurt ($1.00)
  • 2 tablespoons chilli powder ($.25)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika ($.10)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
Total = $23.55/4 adult servings and 4 kids servings = $2.94/serving


In a large saucepan, over medium, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes. Once the onions have softened add the garlic and jalapeno and cook for another minute. Pour the chicken broth, tomatoes, corn, beans, chilli powder and paprika into the pot and bring to a boil. Once at a boil lower heat to simmer and add your chicken. Cook the chicken for 15 to 20 minutes. Once chicken is cooked remove from pot. When cool enough to handle, shred or chop it up and add back into the soup. Add the juice of one lime and fresh cilantro to the pot. Let simmer for 5 minutes and then ladle into serving bowls. Top with a lime wedge, toasted tortilla strips, avocado slices, cheese and a blob of yogurt (I completely combined the yogurt into the soup for the kids.  It calms any spicy and acid from the tomatoes) For the adults I made a side plate with toppings for everyone to 'self top'

Everyone really liked this.  The kids asked for it for lunch the next day which is always a good sign and Big Daddy announced after dinner that he "would eat that again".

Kids bowl with yogurt mixed in

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