Christopher and I love Mexican food, and we both enjoy chicken enchilada, black bean and tortilla soups as part of the rotation. But we usually get those dishes at restaurants and only make tacos at home.
We changed that this week and made a delicious chicken fajita tortilla soup.
Here’s the recipe (adapted from Rachael Ray*):
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound chicken breast, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
Salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup minced onion
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
4 ounces white corn tortilla chips, lightly crushed
2 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken, season with coriander, thyme, salt and pepper, to taste, and cook until chicken is almost opaque, about 4-5 minutes. Add onions, bell pepper and jalapeno and cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender, about 6-8 minutes.
In a large pot, add tomatoes and chicken broth and heat through.
Transfer chicken and vegetables to pot and heat through.
Ladle soup into four bowls (or two bowls and two food-storage containers to take to work for lunch the next day), top with crushed tortilla chips and cheese and serve.
*I love Rachael Ray. I learned a lot about food and cooking from her. I own several of her cookbooks and subscribe to her magazine. But I do not love her lack of attention to nutrition.
I calculated the nutritionals for the original recipe, which calls for 6 ounces of chicken per serving, 1/4 cup shredded cheese per serving and 3 or 4 ounces of tortilla chips per serving, and one bowl of soup was about 700 calories!
I tweaked the recipe—reduced the amount of oil for cooking the chicken by half, reduced the amount of chicken by a third, reduced the amount of chicken broth by a quarter, reduced the amount of cheese by half and reduced the amount of tortilla chips by three quarters—and one bowl of soup became a much more reasonable 450-some calories.
Big difference, huh?
I liked my version quite a bit. It was loaded with veggies, chicken and tasty, familiar Mexican flavors. I didn’t miss the insane amount of tortilla chips or the extra cheese. I bet you wouldn’t either.
Do you ever “healthify” recipes from your favorite chefs or family members? What changes do you make?