Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup

We're still unpacking, surrounded by boxes, but I wanted to serve a familiar food that my family loves. This is a delicious, light soup, and a perfect dinner for a cool evening in Virginia.

It was a fun process making this, mostly because we still hadn't unpacked bowls and I was missing my 5 quart pot that I usually make this in. I was prepping and cooking surrounded by cardboard and packing paper, trying to keep an eye on my husband as he opened boxes with abandon. We did find the bowls, but I had to settle for a different pot.

I remember scoping this recipe out of a magazine years ago, but over the years I have made it my own with a few tweeks here and there. Like most of my recipes, I have changed it to reduce the fat and salt content, while adding flavor. Try this one, I think you will enjoy it!

Chicken Tortilla Soup
This is enough for my family of 5 with plenty of leftovers - halve it for a smaller crowd.

3 pints low sodium, low fat chicken broth (note: this is a light soup, so broth works better than stock)
1-1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 tbsp uncooked white rice, medium grain
1 medium yellow onion
2 large tomatoes
1 bunch fresh cilantro, thoroughly washed
2 large ripe avocados, halved and pitted (this is plenty to have extra guacamole to eat with chips alongside the soup)
salt to taste
unsalted, baked tortilla chips
shredded low fat Monterey Jack cheese
juice of one lime
Tabasco sauce

In 5 quart saucepan, heat broth to boiling. Add whole chicken breasts, lower heat and cook 10 minutes. Remove chicken and cool in refrigerator. Add rice to broth and cook 15 minutes. In the meantime, dice onions, seed and chop tomatoes, and stem and chop cilantro. Mash avocados with salt and, if desired, Tabasco sauce; set aside. Remove cooled chicken from refrigerator and chop; return to broth. Add tomato, onion, and cilantro. Heat just through. Add lime juice. Serve over chips. Top with avocado sauce and cheese. Top with additional Tabasco sauce, if desired.

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