Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day 5: Chicken Tortilla Soup

chicken tortilla soup

When I posted about my zucchini and asked for recipes, Valerie was first on the scene with a recipe for chicken tortilla soup.  Valerie and I have been friends since college where we met in society.  If you didn't go to a Christian university with societies, than there is really no way for me to describe what it is.  There is just no good context for explaining a mandatory, same-sex social group that meets once a week for activities like reciting poetry, putting on skits, playing mafia, and opening Hershey's kisses with your feet.  Like I said - impossible to explain - but it was the kind of social organization that formed lasting friendship (like Alaina, Kara, Sarah, Melissa, Valerie, Annaleisa, Katie, and the other Katie) so you always have someone on hand when you need a good zucchini recipe.

This, like every zucchini recipe we've tried so far, astonished me.  I know I'm prone to the superlatives and dramatics, but Matt is not. Last night he told me, "This might be my favorite thing you've ever made."  Not his favorite zucchini recipe from this week.  His favorite thing ever.  Out of everything I've cooked for him over the past seven years.

This was my first time making chicken tortilla soup.  I've been trying to remember if I'd ever actually eaten chicken tortilla soup before, and I don't think I had.  It's always been one of those things that looked good but got passed over for something else.  It's the same with cannoli.  I'm sure they're tasty, but I'm never going to pick a cannoli when there's a cupcake or cheesecake bite in the dessert case (cannoli ice cream, however, is an entirely different story).  I think I just always expected tortilla soup to be a pale, watery imitation of a taco.

chicken tortilla soup

The ingredients on their own: chicken broth, tomato sauce, corn, beans, chicken, salsa and zucchini (obviously) aren't too alluring.  I wondered if it would taste like something from one of those "My First Cookbooks" that tell tweens how to make pizza soup by mixing tomato soup with pepperoni and melting grated mozzarella on it in the microwave.  I should have given Valerie more credit.  Sorry, Val!

Since so much of the flavor comes from the jar of salsa, it's probably a good idea to choose one you really like.  I followed Valerie's suggestion and used a black bean and corn salsa.  Also, I had grilled my chicken breasts on Sunday night and think that added a little extra flavor.  Next time, I'm going to grill the corn as well!

An added bonus is that all the ingredients are things I'm likely to have on hand.  I cannot have enough recipes like this!  Thanks again, Valarie!

Totally random, but:

On my way home yesterday, I was waiting at a stoplight and saw this:

I texted Holly a picture and said: "So this freaked me out."

She wrote back: "As it should."

It seems to me that any large wooden head statues should be carried in enclosed trailers only.  Mandated by law.  I work in government, so maybe I can do something about that.

chicken tortilla soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup
adapted from Valerie Coffman

1 medium zucchini, diced
1 15 oz can of black beans
1 cup of frozen corn
2 cans of chicken broth
1 16 oz jar of think and chunky salsa (black bean and corn!)
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
3 cups cubed, cooked chicken (I grilled two chicken breasts)

Combine everything in a pot.  Bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes.  I didn't plan dinner too well last night (started a little early) so mine simmered for 2 hours.  Yeah.  But it still got rave reviews, so it seems you can cook it for as long as you need to.  Serve with tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, red onion, and anything else that strikes you as necessary.


  1. So, I just noticed you added black beans instead of pinto. Great idea! I always have black beans, but have to run to the store for the pinto. I'm surprised I haven't tried that before!

    I've tried to describe societies as a sort of club by which intramural sports teams are determined. No good way to describe it is right!

    1. Yes! I always have black beans too, so I thought I'd try it out. After Matt's response, I don't dare do it differently next time. Thanks so much for the recipe! Also, your explanation of society is far more normal sounding than mine. Apparently the trick is to leave out most of the details.

  2. I've never made taco soup either. Although, I did eat it a couple of times at Kristen's when we lived in PA. I really like it, so maybe I'll have to give it a go. Thanks!
    BTW - I absolutely adore your blog's new look.

    1. Thanks! There are some wonderful free resources out there for bloggers. If you do make the soup, let me know what you think!


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