Saturday, September 14, 2013

Chicken "Tortilla" Soup

The weather has turned cool(er), Starbucks brought back the PSL (not paleo), and the most anticipated college football game of the season is only 5 hours away.... it must be Fall!

And with Fall comes soups and stews. Foods that are easy to make, taste great, and feed a crowd of athletic-enthusiasts without requiring a whole lot of time slaving over the stove. Chili is a natural choice. It's basically a three step dish (brown beef, put all ingredients in a pot, simmer). Everyone loves it. It scoops up great with a chip (if you're in to that sort of thing). Heck, it's practically expected at a football-watch party.

But what if you want something a little different? What if you're looking for a Chili that tastes like a taco? What if all you really want is a vehicle for avocado? I've got your back! You probably have all the makings for this recipe in your kitchen right now. And if you don't you can easily get them purchased, prep'd, and prepared before kick-off.

Have fun! Let me know what your guests think about the soup. And Gig 'em Aggies!

Chicken "Tortilla" Soup
Mmmmm. Avocado!


3 lbs chicken (breast or thighs)
2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
2 yellow onions, diced
1 head celery, diced
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 4 oz cans sliced black olives
6 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 envelopes taco seasoning*
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken in a baking dish and season with salt, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, paprika, and a few shakes of black pepper. Bake unit chicken is fully cooked. 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool enough to touch.

At the same time, grease a large baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Arrange cauliflower florets in an even layer. Drizzle with an additional tablespoon of olive oil. Season with a few shakes of salt and pepper. Cook in 400 degree oven until cauliflower becomes tender and begins to brown. About 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool enough to touch.

While the cauliflower and chicken cook, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot. Add onion and celery and cook until onion becomes translucent. Add tomatoes, olives, taco seasoning, and chicken stock and stir to combine. Cover and let simmer until the chicken is ready.

Once chicken is cool enough to touch, shred the meat (using two forks or your KitchenAid stand mixer) and add it to the simmering soup. Stir to combine. Continue simmering another 15 minutes.

Once the cauliflower is cool enough to touch, run a knife through it to chop it into rice-sized pieces. 

To serve, place a scoop of cauliflower rice in the bottom of a large bowl. Then ladle chicken soup overtop. Garnish with sliced avocado and a lime wedge (if desired). Makes 8 servings.

*Note: OK. You caught me. I admit this recipe isn't strictly Whole30 because I used McCormick taco seasoning, which contains whey (and sugar). Dairy is not Whole30-approved. But that's fine because A) The whey and sugar are so far down on the ingredients list I'm sure their super-diluted once the get into my soup, and B) If you're keeping it super-strict, you could always make your own taco seasoning mix. It might take you some time to perfect the right ratios but McCormick shares their secrets right on the website:

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