Light Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup is spicy and low in calories.Tex-Mex food is one of my guilty pleasures. I love it, but seldom indulge because of the high calorie-count. Even when the ingredients are healthful the calories can add up from the delicious avocados and cheese. Add some fresh, crunchy tortilla chips, and all too soon it is a disaster for the hips.
 
This soup has flavour and crunch, but it is lightened up! It combines very little oil with a handful of spicy crunchy tortilla strips, topped with only a light grating of cheese. The soup gets its flavour from herbs and garlic.
 
You can add chicken or beans and corn, depending on what you have and whether you want a veggie dish! Make this Mexican delight in minutes.
 
In large a heavy pot sauté:
2 tsp. olive oil
1 chopped medium onion
1 chopped bell pepper
1or 2 de-seeded jalapeños, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
Sauté until soft not brown
Add 2-3 tsp. of ground cumin (I add more I like the smoky taste), cook 1 minute and stir!
Puree 1 large can of good tomatoes with 3 cloves of peeled garlic. Do not use puréed tomatoes!
 
Add:
1½ cup organic chicken stock
1½ tsp. kosher or sea salt
2 tsp. of your favourite sweetener
2 cups shredded and chopped chicken from leftovers or from a BBQ or rotisserie chicken
1 cup of corn, fresh or frozen.
2 tsp. oregano
 
Bring to boil, and then reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes on medium-to-low heat.
Cut 1 small or half of a large tortilla per person in thin strips
Spray the strips with vegetable spray such as Pam, or toss with a little olive oil and a small amount of kosher salt and cumin.
 
Toast the strips in a pan in a hot oven for about 10 minutes. Watch carefully and shake occasionally.
 
Top the soup with crisp tortilla strips, a light grating of cheese – cheddar or Monterey Jack. You can add some fresh green herbs, such as cilantro or chives, and a squirt of lime if you like!
 
For a tasty vegetarian dish, add water or tomato juice instead of chicken stock. Then add 1½ cup of well-rinsed organic canned kidney or black beans instead chicken. It’s fabulous.
 
For a party, make a pot of both. Add some guacamole and sour cream for those not watching their calories!
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