It’s quickly changing into the winter season, at least here in the NYC area. Goodbye 65 degree lazy Sundays and hello morning flurries! On that same note, adios rooftop tacos and margs and hola tortilla soup! Alas, not even a blistering cold winter day can discourage me from eating some sort of Mexican food.
However, soups and I have a rocky relationship. I can’t ever decide if soups are enough to satiate me. It’s hard for me to conceptualize “drinking” my meals. As you can probably guess, I’ve never done a juice cleanse. BUT, add in some lean proteins, hearty veggies and zucchini noodles and we’ve got ourselves a Mexican feast… in a soup! I can dig that.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good miso soup as an appetizer or a bowl of tomato basil with a sandwich. But soups as the main event? Eh, maybe for lunch. There are a few exceptions of course, like a solid chicken noodle or an egg drop. Another exception? This tortilla soup with zucchini noodles. Oh my, it’s so filling and flavorful!
What’s the secret? Adding in the zucchini noodles at the end. The noodles offer more fiber and nutrients to fill you up and keep you satisfied. The noodles pair well with the texture of the warmed avocado and take on the flavors of the cumin, paprika, oregano and chili powder.
Honestly, my kitchen smelt so amazing that I kept the pot of soup out on the stove for a while to enjoy the aroma!
The best part about this soup is that it can easily be prepared in advance and enjoyed as lunch or dinner later. When you prepare it, leave out the zucchini noodles. Then, when you reheat the soup on the stovetop, just add in the zucchini noodles once it boils up and cook for two minutes at a simmer. Top with the crunchy and salty tortilla strips and dinner is served!
Don’t get me wrong, I love this soup to death, but….. I’m already looking forward to outdoor tacos and margs at La Esquina next summer. Too soon? Or too late?
Don’t forget about the Justin’s peanut butter giveaway – enter to win here:
- 1 chicken breast
- olive oil to drizzle
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
- 1/2 pepper, seeds removed, diced
- 2 tsp freshly squeeze lime juice
- (1) 14oz can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup black beans
- 3 cups chicken broth, low-sodium
- 1 tsp Mediterranean oregano (or regular oregano will work)
- 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1 avocado, insides cubed
- 2 medium zucchinis, Blade C
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the chicken breast on a baking tray lightly coated with cooking spray. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and massage into skin. Season lightly with salt and pepper on both sides.
- In a small bowl, mix together the cumin, chili powder and paprika. Dust both sides of the chicken with about half of the mixture. Save remaining spices and set aside.
- Bake the chicken for 20-25 minutes, turning once. Since we’ll be shredding the chicken later, test after 20 minutes to see if the chicken is cooked through. If not, cook another 2-5 minutes. Once done, set aside to cool.
- While the chicken is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan/pot. Once the oil heats, add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add in the onion and cook until the onions begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
- Add in the jalapeno pepper and lime juice and cook for about 1 minute. Add in the tomatoes, remaining spice mixture, black beans and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add in the chicken broth, oregano and cover. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Half way through, add in the cilantro.
- While the soup is simmering, take your cooked chicken and shred it with your hands and a fork.
- When soup is done simmering, add in the shredded chicken, zucchini noodles and avocado and stir for about 2 minutes to let the avocado and zucchini soften.
- Pour the soup into two bowls, add salt and pepper to taste and top with tortilla strips. Enjoy!