Chicken Tortilla Soup
There’s a chain of casual dining restaurants in the Midwest called Max & Erma’s, and when visiting my brother in Ohio I discovered their sinfully good Chicken Tortilla Soup. I came home desperate to find a knock-off recipe, but since much of their soup’s deliciousness presumably comes from creamy cheese and fried tortilla strips I was doubtful I was going to find one that could be lightened up. Luckily, I stumbled across a recipe on food.com that used a lot of cream based soups and I knew I could easily substitute the light versions. The recipe originally served 15 but I halved it and made a few other changes/substitutions. It turned out great. It’s creamy and has just the right amount of kick for me. I never would have guessed I could get so close to the restaurant flavor using canned soups, but it's really similar!
2012 Update: This was originally one of the first recipes I posted, and as it’s perfect for Fall football-watching, I wanted to encourage readers to dig through the archives and make it this season. The problem was that the photos I took of it back in December 2010 were just plain awful. I decided to make it again and take new photos, and while I was at it, I tweaked the recipe a little to improve it overall. After receiving a few reader comments that the soup was too thick, I thinned it out a bit by adding a cup of water which made it enough for 8 servings. This allowed me to add tortilla strips to the recipe while keeping it at only 4 Weight Watchers Points+ and 160 calories per cup.
This is a great recipe for football season and also for potlucks, because you can easily heat the soup up in a crock pot rather than on the stove top. I brought it to work back in 2010 for just such a potluck and it was a huge hit
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Source: Adapted from Food.com
6 oz cooked chicken breast, shredded or chopped
1 cup water
1 (15 oz) can fat free, low sodium chicken broth
1 can Campbell’s 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Campbell’s 98% Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can Campbell’s 98% Fat Free Cream of Celery Soup
1 can Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese Soup
½ can of Rotel Tomatoes & Green Chiles
½ cup chunky salsa (I used Medium)
½ onion, chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ t red chili powder
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
12 T of tortilla strips (the type found in bags by the salad toppings) – I prefer New York Texas Toast brand in Chili Lime, but Fresh Gourmet also sells something similar
1. In a large pot, combine all ingredients except the tortilla strips and stir until mixed. Bring to a boil and then simmer covered for one hour. When serving, sprinkle 1.5 tablespoons of tortilla strips over each cup of soup.
Yields 8 (1 cup) servings. WW P+: 4 per serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
Nutrition Information per cup serving from myfitnesspal.com: 160 calories, 19 g carbs, 5 g fat, 9 g protein, 2 g fiber
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