My family could live on Mexican food and there are so many reasons why. Besides being hearty and flavorful, we typically always have ingredients on hand to make Mexican dishes, and they generally do not take a ton of time to prepare. One of our go-to dishes is this Chicken Tortilla Soup. I like to double the batch (it doubles so easily), and put half of it in a ziplock bag, flat in the freezer for another week. I love being able to put about an hour of work in and get a couple dinners, and lunches, out of the deal.
About a year into our marriage, I was making up a batch of this soup for me and Michael. I would generally throw in some rice, beans, or corn, to make my meal go further. We were especially economically aware during this time in our life and I, surprisingly, didn’t have any of those things on hand in my pantry. Instead, I had a multi-color quinoa – so I threw that in and to my surprise, it was a hit and I kept on doing it. I think this was the moment I fell in love with the beauty of quinoa and started experimenting with it in a lot of other dishes.
I’ve perfected this tortilla soup recipe some more as the years have gone by and it is a recipe I really look forward to making. I generally prep everything in the morning if it is a work day and throw it in the pot to start cooking as I am logging off for the day. Or even better, yet, make it ahead the night before and simply reheat.
Chicken Tortilla SoupDifficulty: Easy
My take on Chicken Tortilla Soup adds quinoa to mix with other fresh vegetables and herbs.
1 cup yellow onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1/4 cup carrots, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon tomato paste
6 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup quinoa
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 cups (about 1 pound) cooked, skinless chicken breast, shredded
- Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat in a dutch oven or large pot.
- Add onions, garlic, green pepper, jalapeño, carrots, salt, cumin, and coriander and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring to coat, for about 1 minute.
- Add the chicken stock, quinoa, paprika, oregano, thyme, and onion powder and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the shredded chicken and cook for 10 minutes longer.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper (if needed). Garnish as desired with fresh lime juice, cilantro, cheddar cheese, green onions, sour cream, and tortilla chips and serve.
- Chicken Tortilla Soup will last about 3-4 days in an air-tight container when refrigerated, and will last in the freezer for at least 4 months.