Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tortilla Soup for Your Man's Soul

Is the way to a man’s heart really through his stomach?   Duh!  While not the only way (you can use your imagination for some alternate routes), I think it’s a safe bet to say that being able cook your guy a delicious home-cooked meal is a sure way to earn a few brownie points (and even more if you serve him brownies for dessert…see previous post!).  And to my domestically-disinclined female readers out there, DON’T FRET.  It doesn’t take much skill or ability to whip up a really great dinner for your man.  For my law ladies in particular: if you can get through the excruciatingly boring, ungrammatical, tedious rambling in our assigned judicial opinions, you can follow this recipe.  Trust me.  Unlike those so-called “justices,” I won’t make things excessively complicated for no reason whatsoever.  

And best of all, this not only tastes BOMB, it’s actually healthy.  Shocker, I know.  You’re probably asking yourself, “Why would she even risk using the 'H' word to describe a meal that she wants me to cook for him?”  But I totally get it. No guys like “healthy” food…or so they think.  But there are so many fantastic healthy recipes out there that no man would ever begin to imagine as being remotely nutritious.  Why? Because they are packed with flavor, spice, and fresh ingredients (just like this recipe).  Healthy food doesn’t have to be bland, boring, reminiscent of cardboard, or include wheat germ or spinach in the ingredient list.  Try making my tortilla soup and you’ll discover this first hand.  Just remember not to tell him it’s healthy before he digs into his first of many bowls.  No preconceived notions allowed!  And, to any guy for whom I’ve made this dish in the past...I sure fooled you, didn’t I?  ;)

Devon’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, minced (de-seed and de-vein if you don’t like things spicy, or omit altogether)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
4 cups chicken broth (more or less, depending on how thick you want your soup)
1 cup frozen yellow corn
2 uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-sized pieces (again, shredded rotisserie chicken meat can be used here, too)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
Optional—for a thicker, chili-like consistency, I sometimes also add a can of refried beans. Feel free to substitute pinto beans, white kidney beans, really any kind of bean, for the black beans.
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste

Suggested accompaniments
Crushed tortilla chips
Guacamole or sliced avocado
Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
Sour cream
Chopped cilantro

1. In a soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno in oil for 2 minutes. Add garlic. Continue cooking until soft, stirring occasionally (approx. another 3 minutes).

2. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and oregano, cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, green chilies, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.

3.  Add frozen corn, chicken, and black beans. Simmer for at least 10 minutes, or longer for better flavor.

4.  Right before serving, stir in chopped cilantro, fresh lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

5.  Serve soup with suggested accompaniments. Enjoy!

Notes: Please adjust spices and seasonings to your liking. Another nice way to both thicken and flavor the soup is to add crushed tortilla chips while the chicken cooks. Adding a dollop of sour cream to the entire pot before serving also lends a creamier texture.


  1. When you made this that one time last semester, did you just leave out the chicken for the veggie version or did you add anything else in?

    It was delicious!

  2. To make this soup vegan or vegetarian, omit the chicken and substitute a can of refried beans or an extra can of black/pinto/kidney beans, and replace the chicken broth with vegetable stock. Also, feel free to add extra veggies when you saute the onions and green bell pepper (zucchini, diced carrot, red/yellow bell pepper, for example). Please adjust spices and seasonings to your liking!

  3. Tortilla soup is one of my favorite things Devon!! When I make it I add hominy, it gives it a great texture and another layer of flavor for those who love their veggies!