Quinoa “Tortilla” Soup

So, even though fall started a couple weeks ago, I feel like today is the official first day of autumn, and do you know what that means?  I get to be concocting more soups! A favorite dish of mine {or, ughm, bowl}, I find soups to be a perfectly complete, well-rounded meal – plus, a big bowl of soup never did the soul any harm.

Growing up, my mom made lots of soups. Well, that’s what I think now anyways, because Husband supposedly isn’t a big fan of soups {weird, I know}, which leads me to think either he didn’t have them very much growing up, or I had them a whole lot. But anyways, some of Mom’s staple soups included split pea, red chili, Thai coconut, Italian meatball, and the favorite – chicken tortilla. Yep. She made some of the best chicken tortilla soup you will ever have.

Now, nutritionally, I am pretty sure her version was pretty healthy, but using her basics for the soup, I made my own adaptation, and I think she’d be proud.

The reason that this posts’ title has the word tortilla in quotations is because I didn’t actually use tortillas. So you’re asking, “how can it be chicken tortilla soup with no tortillas?” I swapped out the crispy fried tortillas in the soup for quinoa {pronounced keen-wah for those of you who were just as confused as I was}. It gives it a little crunch with added fiber and protein. Also, I had a whole wheat tortilla on the side to dip into the soup, so fret not – there was tortilla to be had.

To start out, I did something I normally don’t do when adding chicken to a soup or stew: I marinaded the chicken for a whole day, roasted it, and actually didn’t add it into the soup until the last minute. The end result was a very moist, savory and perfectly seasoned chicken.

Marinade {2 breasts should be enough for the pot of soup; add more or less to your liking}:

2 TBSP of Coconut Oil

1 TSP of Salt

1 TSP of Pepper

1 1/2 TBSP of Taco Seasoning

1/2 TSP of Paprika

1/2 TSP of Cumin

A dash of Cayenne

I marinaded it for almost 24 hours, popped it in a 375 degree preheated oven 40 minutes before dinner {or 20 minutes per pound of meat}. Now, let’s talk about jalapenos for a second. Capsaicin is the key in these taste bud-shocking mini-monsters. Capsaicin relieves so many ailments; from headaches and sinuses to cancer and high blood pressure. It also revs your metabolism, being a key ingredient in weight loss. One jalapeno also has over your daily need for vitamin C {but I wouldn’t recommend popping one in your mouth to get the good stuff} and quite a bit of potassium in relation to their size.

Meanwhile, I busted out the ole crock pot. Seriously my best friend – she never fails. Into the pot, I put:

Two 10 oz cans of diced tomatoes with chillies {I used medium, you can use whatever heat you want}

Two 15 oz cans of black beans {drained and rinsed}

One 15 oz can of hominy {also drained and rinsed – this soup is delicious with garbanzos, too}

1/2 an red onion {chopped}

5 baby portobellos {chopped}

1/2 C of frozen corn

1 small jalapeno {minced}

8 cups of water

After I gave all the ingredients a quick stir in the slow cooker, I added the spices:

2 TBSP of taco seasoning

3 TSP of salt

2 TSP of pepper

1 TSP of paprika

Leave the soup on low for 6-8 hours. Garnish with avocado, cilantro, cheese, sour cream, or whatever your imagination comes up with!



4 thoughts on “Quinoa “Tortilla” Soup

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