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Mexican Tortilla-less Soup

A group of us were sitting around having dinner at one of our local ‘healthy’ haunts, and settled on a cup of soup before dinner… than it hit us… why don’t we reinvent Mexican Tortilla soup… take out most of the bad stuff (including the fried tortillas), pack it with lean chicken protein, and kick the flavors up. You’ll love this recipe.. its very easy to make, keeps well in the refrigerator, and best of all, makes it really easy to eat the required ounces of protein we all need in each meal.

RECIPE LEVEL: EASY

Ingredients:

1 large onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into medium size chunks
3 stalks celery, cut into medium size chunks
4 ears fresh corn – husk, and slice off kernels
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped finely
5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders
1 16oz can fire roasted style chopped tomatos
1 small can tomato sauce
1 Tbl. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, and any additional for garnish
2 cartons chicken stock (pick your favorite low sodium variety.. the cartons are usually 36 oz or so)
Several dashes – or more if you like hot – Cholula Chipotle hot sauce (the Chipotle variety adds a great smokey rich flavor to the soup)
Precooked rice (cooled, fresh or whatever.. doesn’t matter)
Fresh lime juice, for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

NOTE: you may add or substitute additional low-glycemic vegetables to your liking (asparagus, broccoli, squash etc.)

Method:

In a large dutch oven oven or pot, place the chicken breasts/tenders in and cover with water. Heat on high heat until boiling, then reduce heat and cook on a low simmer about 15 minutes for tenders, 20 minutes if whole breasts. Remove from water and cool. After cooled to the touch, shred chicken into chunks.

In a large dutch oven or very large pot, spray the bottom with Pam or your favorite vegetable spray. Over high heat, sauté the onions, carrots, celery and corn until onions are translucent… about 4 minutes; add garlic and saute another minute. Add in poached, shredded chicken, tomatos, tomato sauce, herbs, cilantro and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 30 minutes or more over very low heat (you can even simmer this for hours); add a few shakes of Cholula Chipotle hot sauce, and salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, use kitchen tongs to pull out chicken chunks (some vegetables will be stuck with them.. dont worry); weight your chicken according to your nutrition plan amounts, but add 1 oz to account for the vegetables mixed in with chicken. Add in rice, again, according to your nutrition plan amount, then ladel soup stock and vegitables to cover and make soup.

Garnish with fresh cilantro, more hot sauce if you like it spicy, a squeeze of fresh lime and you have complete meal. This keeps for a week or more if tightly covered in the refrigerator.