As I've said many times, I'm all for doing things as easily as possible while still maintaining good quality.
That goes for in the kitchen, too, where I'm loathe to crank up the oven during the summer. And I strive to spend as little time as possible slaving over the stove.
So if I can cut corners by incorporating a rotisserie chicken into a recipe instead of roasting my own, I'll do it. Yes, I'll use packaged tortilla chips instead of frying or baking fresh tortillas.
The first recipe I thought of making—a meatloaf with an interesting origin—required the use of the oven for over an hour. Ugh. I decided to table that idea until the cooler months when Katie needed another break.
So I decided to make Chicken Tortilla Soup, something I hadn't had in ages and is quick to reheat for lunch and dinner on the run.
I headed out to the supermarket with the list of ingredients I still needed. I already had a can of Ro-Tel tomatoes, olive oil and turkey broth in my pantry and frozen corn and onion in the chill box.
So all I needed was the chicken, taco seasoning mix, tortilla chips and Monterey jack cheese.
The first stop at the supermarket was in the deli for the rotisserie chicken. There weren't any, and I didn't have time to wait on line to ask. But there was a rotisserie turkey breast. That would do just fine, I thought. After all I was using turkey broth.
On to the dairy department for the cheese. There was plenty of Monterey jack to choose from, but I spotted something I hadn't seen before: reduced-fat pepper jack. It's Monterey jack to which jalapeno picante peppers are added.
Perfect. I'd still have the cheese for garnish and creaminess, but there would be an additional bit of heat. And fewer calories.
For the chips, I was just looking for a bargain that would add crunch and salt.
Last on the list was the taco seasoning in the spice aisle. Yes, you can put your own spice blend in the soup, and if you have a recipe you like, feel free to use that.
But convenience being my goal, I was looking for something already assembled.
Then I spied a fajita seasoning mix and figured why not? It would add a citrusy note that would compliment the heat of the soup.
Because it's one of my favorite products, I used Trader Jose's frozen roasted corn, but you can, of course, substitute a 10-ounce box of regular frozen corn.
When I serve the soup, I top the bowl with crumbled tortilla chips and shredded cheese, but there are other things like a dollop of guacamole or sour cream that would be great as well.
Don't be afraid to play around with the recipe. It can be made vegetarian by using vegetable broth and vegan by omitting the cheese.
Before sitting down to write, I searched online for other tortilla soup recipes. Some added the tortilla chips at the beginning so they "melt" and give a different mouth feel to the soup. One recipe, which I might try some other time, added refried beans to the soup, making it creamier and hardier.
Maybe refried black beans. Mmm.
Turkey Tortilla Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1.12 ounce package fajita seasoning mix
- 10 ounce can original Ro-Tel tomatoes
- 32 ounces turkey broth
- 2 cups shredded roasted turkey
- 8 ounces frozen roasted corn
- Tortilla chips, crumbled
- Pepper jack cheese, shredded
- Heat a large pot over medium. Add the olive oil.
- Saute the onion until translucent.
- Add the fajita mix and stir occasionally for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the broth and turkey. Stir, and bring to a boil.
- Cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the corn, stir, and bring back to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Serve hot with crumbled tortilla chips and shredded cheese.