Cooking Together…Tortilla Soup

This week we made Tortilla Soup…here’s the recipe in case you missed it the first time around:

Tortilla Soup

1lb cooked chicken (salted and peppered to taste)
2 cans of chicken broth
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1 can of diced green chilis
1/2 cup of green taco sauce.

Put it all in a pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Top with jack cheese, avocados and tortilla chips.

And our thoughts on this week’s recipe:

Wouldn’t a photo of the dish look wonderful right here? Too bad I forgot to take one…

Ease of preparation:

Krissa: Well, I made mine in the crock pot. I pretty much love the crock pot and do anything I can to use it. So, it was VERY easy…and ready to go at dinner time. I actually throw the chicken breasts in there frozen in the morning with all the other ingredients, cook it on low for 7 hours, and it’s perfect. About half an hour before it’s done, I shred the chicken with a fork and let it soak everything up. I like shredded chicken better than chunks too, so it’s a win-win for me.

Kim: I did mine in the crock pot too…super easy, not many ingredients….I think I just opened some cans, chopped some chicken, and shredded some cheese, chopped some avocado and cilantro right before dinner.  I cooked on low for about 7 hours also.

Overall opinion:

Krissa: I thought this was good, but I actually prefer another crock pot chicken tortilla soup that I make regularly. This one had a lot of heat, but I didn’t get many other flavors coming through. It was good, but not great.

Kim: The base alone would not be anything I’d think was impressive, but when you add in the cheese, cilantro, avocado, sour cream and tortilla chips…YUM!

Kid friendly? Kid’s thoughts:

Krissa: I didn’t even try to serve this to Charlotte…she’s really sensitive to spicy food, so I knew there was no way she would be able to handle this.

Kim: My kids were both in the middle of nasty colds, so they didn’t have much of an appetite.  But for both, I used a slatted spoon and got out chicken and tomato chunks, then added all the toppings.  They scooped it it up with chips and liked it.  I also used cheddar cheese for them, not pepper jack.

Husband’s thoughts:

Krissa: He liked it alot and I’m sure would be happy to have it again. He said he prefers the other recipe as well, but this one was good for a change.

Kim: He really liked it when it was loaded with all the toppings.  He said he would definitely like to have it again.

Would you have it again:

Krissa: I will probably make it again to use up the green taco sauce I bought, but other than that, I might stick to my old stand by recipe for chicken tortilla soup, which I love. (See below for recipe)

Kim: Yes, we really liked it and liked that it was spicy…the sour cream and chips cooled the chilis, green taco sauce, and pepper jack cheese.

Did you omit anything? Krissa & Kim: Nope.

Did you add anything? Krissa & Kim: Nope.

How did you serve it?

Krissa: Topped with pepper jack cheese and tortilla chips. I actually didn’t realize I had bought pepper jack…I meant to get regular jack, so I’m sure that added a bit to the spiciness of it.

Kim: With tortilla chips, pepper jack cheese, sour cream, cilantro, and avocado.

Would you change anything next time:

Krissa: Next time I would serve it with regular jack cheese, not pepper jack.

Kim: I would shred my chicken…I like it shredded better than chopped!

General Comments:

Krissa: I think that it’s important to note, that unless you like things really spicy, be sure to buy MILD green taco sauce, and if you’re using diced tomatoes WITH green chilis, then you probably don’t want to add the can of diced green chilis. I used mild green taco sauce, and regular diced tomatoes, and the can of diced green chilis, and it was spicy but not “unable to eat it spicy”. However, some other friends that tried it used green salsa instead of taco sauce, and it was too spicy for them.

Here’s my recipe for my favorite crock pot chicken tortilla soup:

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

1/2 t. (or more) minced garlic
4 t. chopped cilantro
1 T. butter
3 cans chicken broth
1 package taco seasoning
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 chopped onion
1 small can tomato sauce
3 chicken breasts
2 handfuls tortilla chips
1 can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes

Dump everything in the crock pot and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

And, since it’s Thanksgiving this coming week, we’re taking a week off…but, next week join us in making Winter Pasta from 101 Cookbooks. Here’s the recipe:

Winter Pasta

I used penne here, but you can substitute whatever pasta you like. Spinach can be substituted for the kale if you like as well.

4 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 small shallots, peeled
1 small bunch of kale – 1/2 lb / 8 oz, stalks removed, washed well
1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup / 2 oz goat cheese, plus more for topping
2 tablespoons + hot pasta water
fine grain sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
fresh lemon juice – optional
12 oz / 340 g dried penne pasta
fresh thyme – and thyme flowers

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the boiling water generously, and add the garlic and shallots. Boil for 2-3 minutes, stir in the kale and cook for another ten seconds. Don’t overcook. Working quickly, use a slotted spoon or strainer to fish the greens, garlic, and shallots from the water. Use a food processor to puree the ingredients along with the olive oil and goat cheese. Add a couple tablespoons of hot pasta water if needed to thin things out if needed. Then season with a touch of salt and plenty of black pepper. Taste. Depending on your goat cheese, you might need a little extra acidic oomph if your sauce is a bit flat. If so, add fresh lemon juice a bit at a time until you’re happy with it the sauce. Set aside.

Reheat the pot of water and boil the pasta per package instructions. Drain and toss immediately with the green sauce. Serve topped with a few pinches of fresh thyme, and more crumbled goat cheese.

Serves 4-6.

If you do make it, I would love to hear your thoughts…let me know by filling out the form below. And if you have a recipe for us to try, send it my way!

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