Chicken Tortilla Soup

Wasn't that crazy to wake up to see snow today? Big, huge flakes were falling here in Lake Stevens! Beautiful while it lasted...then the rains came. Perhaps Punxsutawney Phil, the famed groundhog was right...six more weeks of winter!

In any event, soup is still sounding good to me on these cold days so yesterday I tried another recipe from Life:Beautiful magazines' Bowls of Comfort selection. If you've been following along, I've tried the Corn Chowder, Navy Bean and Ham, Homemade Chicken Noodle, and Steak and Potato stew so far. I've been pleasantly surprised by how consistently good these soups have been! I hate it when I go to the trouble of shopping for ingredients and trying a new recipe only to have the outcome be very disappointing.So far, not the case with these soups! 

I must admit I've never made Tortilla soup before, though I have ordered it a number of times at various Mexican restaurants. As I read through this recipe, I was a bit surprised to see that it did not call for any actual tortillas...but used tortilla chips instead. I liked the sound of that already! The soup came together quite easily so no big challenges there. I will say that the condiments or garnishes really make the soup when it's done...sour cream, fresh avocados, and additional corn tortilla chips. Simply yummy! 

Chicken-Black Bean Tortilla Soup by Life: Beautiful

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 Tablespoons minced garlic

2 cups crushed no salt corn tortilla chips

2 cups roasted restaurant-style salsa

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

3 cups shredded or cubed cooked chicken

1 1/2 cups whole-kernel corn, thawed if frozen

1 cup no-salt added black beans

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Fresh lime juice, to taste

Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Sour cream, optional

1 avocado, seeded, peeled and sliced, optional

Additional tortilla chips, optional

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir for 3 minutes. Stir in 2 cups crushed tortilla chips and cook until softened. Add salsa and chicken broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; cool for 5 minutes. Transfer soup to blender or food processor in small batches. Cover and blend for 1 minute or until smooth. Return soup to saucepan.

Add chicken, corn, and black beans. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Stir in cheese until melted. Season to taste with lime juice, salt and pepper. If desired, serve soup topped with sour cream, avocado slices, and crushed tortilla chips.

(8 servings, 319 calories per serving). To be honest, I used regular salted corn Tortilla chips (La Cocina by Josefina) and used regular black beans...just didn't add any salt to taste at the end. I didn't think it tasted too salty using salted chips...however, I do like salt so perhaps I'm not the best judge of that!

Happy Friday everyone! Warmly, Gracia