Some of the best things come from South of the border. One example: tequila. Another example: tortillas. If you’ve overdone the homemade tortilla chips (more than just a vehicle for perfect guacamole), then make a spicy and hearty soup ladled over fresh tortilla strips and spicy tomato-based broth. The soup is chunky with chicken and avocado, but it’s the spices — cumin, chili powder and garlic powder — that give it plenty of bold and zesty flavor.
If you love Mexican cuisine, this soup is a fun representation of some of your favorite flavors. It might not be an exact duplicate of the cuisine you’d find in the Yucatan, but it’s low-fat, full of flavor and packed with veggies, a guilt appeasement that rarely accompanies a good old chips-and-guac binge.
One of the best things about this soup is its striking similarity to actual tacos — shredded chicken flavored with chile and cumin plus the ability to top it with avocado, sour cream and cheese (also known as: a few of my favorite things). Ladle the soup into bowls, making sure to get plenty of chunks (chicken, veggies, beans, tortilla strips) in each bowl. Then add on the toppings: a nice dollop of sour cream, onions, avocado, cheddar Monterey Jack cheese, cilantro….sky is the limit.
For the Soup:
- 2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- ¼ cup diced green bell pepper
- ¼ cup red bell pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (14-ounce can) fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 can (4-ounce can) diced green chilies
- 32 ounces, fluid low sodium chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cups hot water
- 2 cans (15-ounce can) black beans, drained
- 3 tablespoons cornmeal (masa)
- 5 whole corn tortillas, cut into uniform strips (2-3 inches)
For the Garnishes;
- Sour cream
- Diced avocado
- Diced red onion
- Grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix the first four ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over chicken breasts and sprinkle a small amount of spice mix, rubbing into both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix.
- Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Shred chicken using two forks (or if you're not afraid to get into it, your fingers).
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mixture. Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir.
- Add tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.
- Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour mixture into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Check seasonings, adding more if needed---add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and salt liberally. Turn off heat and allow soup to sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Five minutes before serving, stir in tortilla strips.
- Ladle into bowls, then top with sour cream, diced red onion, diced avocado, and grated cheese