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As Winter approaches, cooler temperatures bring culinary opportunities to warm the kitchen, and comfort our appetites.

This is truly one of the easiest soups to throw together. Easily altered, you don't have to stick to the exact recipe. In fact, this soup was the end result of picking five recipes from various cookbooks, then combining them to make a soup my family loves.

Don't feel bad about changing the recipe. It is a great one to use when you're cleaning out the refrigerator and raiding the pantry. If you are lucky enough to have fresh Hatch green chiles, corn on the cob, tomatoes from your garden, then by all means, use fresh. Heck, toss a bit of squash in there while you're at it, maybe a carrot.

This soup is so simple! Other than baking a chicken breast in an oven for a bit, and a small amount of prepping, the entire soup is created by means of dumping, adding and stirring. It is easily remembered as followed:

6 spices

6 cans / cartons of vegetables and broth

6 fresh vegetables

Chicken

Tortilla chips or strips

Full and hearty, the recipe can be amended with lower sodium ingredients for a more healthy soup.Yes, it is pretty much Chicken Tortilla soup, but maybe you don't want tortilla strips in your soup, so we'll call them a garnish in the end.

Step 1: Gather the Ingredients and Equipment

To make this particular recipe, you will need the ingredients listed, as well as a large pot in which to cook it all.

Shopping list:

VEGETABLES

  • 2 Bell peppers
  • 1 onion (yellow or white will be fine)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 poblano

SPICES

  • Ground cumin
  • Ground coriander
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic salt
  • Black pepper
  • Table salt

CANNED, bottled or cartoned GOODS

  • 10 oz. can of Original Rotel
  • 11 oz. can of white corn, drained
  • 15 oz. can of black beans, which you will later drain and rinse
  • 28 oz. can of crushed, diced, or whole tomatoes, do not drain. If you choose whole canned tomatoes, you may wish to dice them. Note that since you will be using a large can of tomatoes, the flavor will count towards the taste of the soup, so use the good stuff, if you can, they could make or break the soup!
  • 32 oz. carton of low sodium chicken broth
  • 10 oz. can of green chiles - whole, then diced, or diced to begin with
  • Olive oil or vegetable oil
  • Crunchy tortilla strips or chips


MEAT

  • 3-4 raw, boneless chicken breast halves

* You may also use 2 cups of cooked, shredded rotisserie chicken and omit this prep step *

Our local meat market always mentions the fact that a 'breast' is technically two halves, so if you ask for 3-4 of them, you may be given enough chicken to feed a crew!

Another great idea, instead of chicken, make tiny meatballs for the soup.

Additional items needed include the following equipment:

A soup ladle

Wooden spoon or other item for stirring

A knife

A cutting board

Measuring spoons

Measuring cups

A baking sheet

Can opener

Colander (Ha! I could have sworn 'colander' was spelled with two Ls.

<p>I'm making this for dinner. Try adding some &quot;chile ancho&quot; and chicharr&oacute;n at the end.</p>
<p>Manny, great suggestions. I have to admit, I had to look up what 'chicharr&oacute;n' might be. Ah, pork rinds. </p>
<p>OMG, this soup will be mine, thanks for posting!!</p>
<p>Many thanks, Mr. Geminius! I hope you like it as much as I do. <br>After the second day, I serve the soup on top of a bed of macaroni. :-)</p>
<p>I love me some good soup! Looks tasty!!</p>
<p>Many thanks, Tomatoskins! (Love your username)</p>

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Bio: Let's skip the pretentious titles. At present, I am a paper pusher for a manufacturing plant. In the remainder of my life, I am ... More »
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