Tortilla Soup

Book club was at my house last week.  The book: Sugar in my Bowl by Erica Jong.  Book club just happened to land smack dab in the middle of the busiest week of the year for me, the week before the SVDP Christmas Baskets go out.

Thanksgiving Baskets are no cakewalk, don’t get me wrong.  But at Christmas, everything is bigger.  More dinners needed for more needy families.  More phone calls, more spreadsheets…Oh yes, and the presents.  Hundreds of presents to be gathered and sorted and tagged and bagged.

I’ve been coordinating this basket project long enough to know that I should probably think twice about scheduling anything else in the week running up to Christmas delivery day.  But I love having book club at my house and there’s nothing like an evening of friends and laughter to get one through a stressful time.  One book club meeting is nearly as potent as a good night’s sleep in its restorative powers.

Of course, I didn’t have time to cook anything elaborate.  So I fell back on one of my simplest but tastiest recipes: Tortilla Soup.  This soup can actually be assembled the night before, in about 15 minutes, and then refrigerated until morning, at which time the crockpot is set to low and forgotten about until evening.  A quick squeeze of lime juice, a handful of quickly crisped tortilla strips, and dinner is served.

This recipe originally came from my friend Denise, who has a demanding full-time job, four kids, and at least eight million other responsibilities.  So she knows fast.  And while I don’t normally cook recipes that are all from cans, this one is truly a keeper that belongs in everyone’s crockpot repertoire.  I’ve never had anything but sighs of pleasure and requests for the recipe from anyone I’ve served it to.  It fairly tingles with bright flavors and pleasing textures.  It’s a party recipe.

The Christmas baskets went out today,  A record eighty-three familes got Christmas groceries and presents for the kids, and in record time, too–all wrapped up by 10:30 in the morning.  And tortilla soup helped get me through the week and across the finish line.  Not bad for a recipe mostly from cans.

Tortilla Soup

  • 1 diced zucchini
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-12 oz can of chicken
  • 1-15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2-15 oz cans black beans, drained
  • 2 cans broth
  • 1-15 oz can corn, drained
  • 2 cups salsa
  • juice from 2 limes
  • corn tortillas
  • shredded cheese
  • 1 avacado, diced

Whiz zucchini, onion, cilantro, and olive oil briefly in food processor or in bottom of crock pot with immersion blender, until somewhere between blended and pureed.  Add all remaining ingredients and a bit of water if needed to bring the soup up to 1 inch from top of crockpot.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours.  Before serving, add lime juice and stir.

Cut tortillas into approximately  ½ inch-wide strips and place under broiler for a few minutes, stirring as necessary, until lightly crisped.

Serve soup topped with tortilla strips, shredded cheese, and diced avocado.

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9 thoughts on “Tortilla Soup

  1. Hedda

    HI There – Wow! That soup sounds awesome and is all pretty low carb (except the tortillas of course) so I think I can even have it!!! I am totally making this next week.


  2. Monet

    Oh! Once again I so wish I was in your book club. I adore tortilla soup. Thank you for sharing…we’re getting ready to go to Colorado, and I’m glad I got a chance to stop by before we depart. Happy holidays and many blessings!

  3. Natalie

    I like the sound of this soup. I have heard of tortilla soup before (possibly when I have been in the US) but never had it. Could you explain what it is that you do with the giving of the gifts for the families at Christmas? I am sure it is a very worthy cause so well done you for taking part. Have a lovely Christmas, I hope that you may consider writing something for my blog again in the New Year. All the best, Natalie.

    1. The Rowdy Chowgirl Post author

      Hi Natalie–there are a few links in the post to (perhaps) fuller explanations, but in short, our Saint Vincent de Paul Society puts together the groceries to make up Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for needy families in our parish area. We include gifts for the children at Christmas, too. Then we assemble and deliver it all the Saturday before each holiday. So it’s a busy couple of months organizing all of it. And I’d be happy to do another guest post for you, and hope you’ll think about doing one for me in the New Year as well :)

      1. Natalie

        Of course I will, I would be delighted to do so. If you let me know what you might like I will do one in January. Thanks for the explanation, I will follow the links when I get a minute.

  4. Pam

    Boy, that soup looks good!! Is your SVDP work voluntary, or is that your “day job?” You are BUSY, and it’s admirable!

    1. The Rowdy Chowgirl Post author

      Yes, it’s all voluntary–and exhausting sometimes. I’m looking forward to being a little less busy for a while…


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