fave dish makeover: chicken tortilla soup

Even though the high in Minneapolis is 77 degrees today, something about it simply being fall (even if it doesn’t feel like it) makes us want do all sorts of cozying up in the kitchen, whether it be baking with apples or making satisfying soups. The problem with this overwhelming feeling? It’s so much easier to pack on the pounds. Little by little, we can find recipe makeovers that will make it possible to feel indulgent while keeping winter weight gain at bay. One of our fave’s? the barre’s Paula’s chicken tortilla soup. Seriously: YUM. And also seriously? You can count all the ingredients with your ten fingers AND make the bowl size XL since it’s so low-cal! Win, win…win!

Here’s the scoop: using jarred salsa here seriously cuts down on kitchen time but doesn’t add fat, adding a serving of veggies and adds a nice, spicy kick! Aim for low sodium chicken broth to pair with the protein-packed chicken, and using whole grain baked chips or pita chips for our “tortillas” cuts down the calories & boosts the fiber from your typical restaurant soup.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 15 oz jar salsa (we prefer medium, but spice it up or down to your taste!)
6 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth
3-4  cups shredded chicken (shred a rotisserie chicken, losing the fatty skin, of course, or cook 3-4 chicken breasts and shred)
3 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 cups crumbled chips or pita chips (shoot for whole grain here for the added fiber)
1 cup shredded low fat cheese
Optional nutrition boosts:
15 oz can of black beans, drained & rinsed
Frozen corn, thawed
Diced avocado

Heat oil in a medium stockpot and add garlic, onion and cumin – cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add salsa and cook until slightly browned and thickened, about 6 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and shredded chicken and bring to a boil (if using optional nutritional boosts, add the corn & beans here), reduce heat and cook for 15-20 minutes. Add lime juice and cilantro and cook 5 more minutes.

Divide soup into bowls and top with shredded cheese, crumbled chips & optional avocado. Ole!

Serves 4-6.

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