I think I’ve mentioned several times before that I’m obsessed with Mexican food. I eat it once or twice a week in some form or another. I like Mexican food because it’s so easy to make it clean. Sure, everything is better wrapped up in a big old flour tortilla and loaded with cheese, but that type of Mexican food is not realistic for my training or health. On a rare occasion I’ll go for a burrito and splurge on the tortilla but keep the insides clean and stick to meat, avocado, lettuce/veggies and pico…maybe a little cheese. But in general, whenever I order Mexican food, I typically get one of two things – lettuce wrapped tacos or chicken tortilla soup. Most Mexican restaurants load their soup up with tortilla strips and it can get a little overwhelming. What I like about the soup is the shredded chicken and the intense Mexican flavors. I’m always trying to recreate restaurant-style Mexican soup and I think I came pretty damn close this last time. The broth was the perfect consistency and the spices were right on. This is one of those soups that you can throw together in the morning and leave in the pot all day so that the ingredients meld together and the chicken really absorbs those flavors. When it comes to soups in general, I like to plan a little bit ahead because the longer it sits and simmers, the bolder the flavors are going to be. If you don’t have the time, it’s absolutely not necessary, just something I like to take into consideration! This soup looks and tastes fancy but it is so easy to make. And even though it’s summertime, Mexican soup is never off the table for me.
I made this soup for my husband a few nights ago and had a bunch leftover and fed my entire family the rest last night. I just added a few more ingredients and another few chicken breasts to ensure that there was enough. The basic recipe for the soup is super clean and Paleo. There’s barely any calories to it, it’s high in protein, but super low carb and fat. However, the traditional toppings of Mexican soup can get a little excessive – cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips, etc! If you choose to top your soup with all the fixin’s then you can really start to blow through your macros. I topped ours with just a bit of shredded jack cheese and chopped avocado and it was perfect. For the rest of the family though, I fried them up some tortilla strips 🙂 I also paired our soup with grilled corn on the cob…another one of my summer BBQ obsessions that we can talk about another time.
For those following a flexible eating program, the macros for one serving of soup only
(Approximately one bowlful with 4 oz. of chicken and no toppings) are:
237 Calories – 11C / 5F / 33P
Mexican Chicken Soup
1 Whole Rotisserie Chicken Breast Shredded (no skin) or 3-4 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts
8 cups Chicken Broth
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Chopped White Onion
5-6 Minced Garlic Cloves
1/2 cup Chopped Cilantro
1 Finely Chopped Jalapeno Pepper (seeded)
1 Finely Chopped Poblano Pepper (seeded)
28 oz. Can Mexican Stewed Tomatoes
Juice of 2 limes
1 Tbsp. Cumin
1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
Optional Additions: Chopped Avocado, Shredded Jack Cheese, Tortilla Strips
Preparing the Chicken: Depending on your choice of chicken, either pull apart both breasts of a pre-made rotisserie chicken (no skin) or boil 3-4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts in water until cooked through. Chicken will cook faster if you cut the breasts into smaller pieces. Shred the boiled chicken breasts with two forks and put into a mixing bowl. In a small mixing bowl, combine all spices and then coat chicken with it. Set chicken aside while preparing the soup.
Preparing the Soup: In a large pot, pour the olive oil and coat the bottom. Warm through and then add one whole chopped white onion. Sautee the onions until they begin to soften, then add the chopped garlic, jalapeno and poblano peppers. Stir the onion and pepper mix until all ingredients become soft.
Place the stewed Mexican tomatoes in a food processor and blend until they turn into a thick liquid. Add both the chicken broth and stewed tomatoes to the onions and peppers. Once the soup begins to boil, add the juice of 2 limes, the chopped cilantro and chicken. Simmer and stir occasionally until ready to eat!
Additions: If you want to make your own tortilla strips, Take 4-5 regular small corn tortillas and cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick pieces. Heat a small skillet with Canola Oil and place a small bunch of strips at a time in the oil and fry until they just turn golden and begin to harden. If you leave them in the oil too long they will turn brown. Remove the strips from the oil and drain the excess oil on a plate with paper towels. Once finished frying all the strips, sprinkle with salt and let cool. Use the strips as a soup topper!