Soup for the Soul

The wife of a friend at work is winning her fight with cancer.  After undergoing major surgery I had the pleasure of putting a care package together for her.  I mentioned my plans to him and he asked if I could bring soup since so many people were helping them with dinners.   Sometimes all you need is a small bowl of warmth to bring you comfort.

When she was first diagnosed and was undergoing her first treatment of chemo I sent a package of homemade English Toffee in hopes to boost her appetite.  This is now one of my favorite go to recipes for a splurge.  It’s always a big hit and it makes a fantastic gift.  Well it seems she enjoyed the first box because it was requested a second time. 🙂  Here is the recipe.  I will try to post pictures the next time I make it.  The only change I made is that I use crushed pecans on top but any nut would be delicious.

Low Fat Tortilla Soup with Shredded Chicken

Serves 4 – 6

This is one of my go to soup recipes.  I change it up a bit each time with the level of spice, a touch of lime and sometimes roasting the vegetables first.  It’s super easy, especially if you cheat time by buying a roasted chicken at the market.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 4-6 cups unsalted, fat free, chicken stock
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3-4 cups shredded or chopped, roasted chicken
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
  • Tortilla chips, avocado, jalapeños, and sour cream to garnish

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PREPARATION

In a stockpot over medium heat, sauté onion, bell pepper, jalapeno and garlic in olive oil. Stir frequently until tender.

Mix in the salt, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder and cayenne.

Add the all of the contents of the canned tomatoes.  Mix well to combine all of the ingredients.

Add 4 cups of chicken stock and mix well.

Use an immersion blender and carefully puree the soup until its smooth.

Bring to a simmer over medium to medium high heat for about 15 minutes until heated through.

Just before you are ready to serve it add the chicken, corn and black beans and heat through, about 5-8 minutes.  At this point you may want to add a bit more stock to your desired thickness.

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Serve with your choice of tortilla chips, chopped jalapeños, shredded cheese and sour cream.

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This is another favorite and so simple.  When I buy butternut squash I try to buy two, planning to use one.  I peel and chop the second one and put it in the freezer for later.  Sometimes I add apple to this soup and other times I leave it out, it just depends on what I have on hand.  Either way is delicious.  I also opt to roast the squash sometimes as well, it adds a great depth of flavor.

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Butternut Squash Soup with Apple

Serves 4 – 6

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4-6 cups Butternut Squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken broth

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PREPARATION

In a stockpot, over medium heat, sauté onion in butter.  Stir frequently until soft and translucent.

Add a good pinch of salt and mix to combine then add the squash and apple (if using) and mix well to coat the ingredients.

Mix in the nutmeg and pepper.

Add 4 cups of chicken stock and mix well.  Turn the heat to medium high and simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Use an immersion blender and carefully puree the soup until its smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning and add a bit more broth if needed.

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That’s it.  It’s really that simple.

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