So, I’m not a recipe person. Never have been. That’s probably why I’m a terrible baker. I get ahead of myself. I don’t read the whole thing. I add or subtract ingredients as I go. That’s just me. But today, I made an attempt at crafting a recipe for a low-calorie chicken tortilla soup that we’ve enjoyed eating this winter. We serve it often with sliced honey crisp apples or a salad.
Low calorie dense foods
As a self-proclaimed Noom nerd, I came up with this 110-calories-a-cup soup recipe in an effort to add low calorie dense food to our diet. As you may already know, Steve and I have been using the Noom weight loss app and as of Feb. 4, 2020, we’ve lost a combined 135 pounds. We’ve done this by adding more nutritious, low calorie dense foods to our diet. You can read all about it HERE.
We quickly learned that broth-based soups are a great way to fill up without expending many calories. When I searched online for low-calorie soup recipes, I didn’t find many good ones so decided to create my own. Here’s one of our favorites. This spicy broth-based soup is full of hot, Southwest flavors and definitely warms you up on a cold day. And, even with crispy tortilla strips as a garnish, it is only 125 calories a cup! (If you’re interested in trying the Noom weight loss app, you can click HERE.)
How to make low-calorie chicken tortilla soup
First, I gather all of my ingredients and then dice the bell peppers and onions. I like using two different colored bell peppers – say one orange and one green. Then, I get out the largest pot I have in my kitchen. I love my eight quart Le Creuset dutch oven and use it all the time for soups and stews. Heat the pot first, then add just 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the peppers and onions and sauté in the oil until they are soft and fragrant.
Next, add the two cloves of minced garlic. I buy minced garlic in those little jars in the produce section of the grocery store. Go ahead and get actual garlic cloves if you’d like. I just hate my hands smelling like garlic all day.
After adding the garlic, stir until it is heated. Then, add the low-sodium chicken broth, water, green chilies, and the Rotel. A quick note about the Rotel hot diced tomatoes with habaneros: These are spicy. Really spicy. So, if you can’t take the heat, just substitute these with Rotel mild diced tomatoes with green chilies. Add the tomato paste now, as well, and give the soup a good stir to blend in the paste.
PIN FOR LATER
This is where I usually add the cooked chicken. The last time I made this soup we cooked our chicken breasts in the Instapot. But you can bake the chicken, boil it, or cook it in a crock pot, as well. Add the cumin, garlic powder and salt to taste. Let this all simmer for 10 minutes or so while you clean up your dishes and then add the cannelloni beans. I like to take one of the cans of beans and puree it (with the liquid) and then add it for a creamier soup. Simmer a little while longer while you prepare your garnishes.
We like this soup with baked crispy corn tortilla strips. You can buy those in a bag but I think they are too expensive (and besides, they are fried so they have more calories) so I usually make my own. Just cut a few small corn tortillas in strips. Lay them out on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet and spray with a cooking spray like Pam. Then sprinkle a l little cumin and chili powder (or taco seasoning) and bake at 375 degrees until golden brown and crisp. (Sorry, but I can’t remember how long that takes.) Prepped the same way, you can also make these in an air fryer.
Serving up your low-calorie chicken tortilla soup
By the time your tortilla crisps are done your soup will be, too. Serve your low-calorie chicken tortilla soup garnished with your tortilla strips and thinly sliced fresh jalapeños. I use my Pampered Chef mandolin to get really thin slices, but you can slice with a knife, as well. One cup of soup and half of a tortilla is about 110 calories.
This low-calorie chicken tortilla soup also freezes really well. We filled six clear plastic containers with four cups of low-calorie chicken tortilla soup each. I think it would be OK in the freezer for about three months. However, we loved it so much we ate it all long before then.
If you make this soup, let us know what you think! You can send us a photo and/or message on social media @postcardjar or just comment on this post.
Low-Calorie Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Large pot
- Kitchen knife
- Blender, immersion blender, potato masher, or fork
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 2 large bell peppers any color
- 2 onions small
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 6 cups chicken broth low sodium
- 4 cups water
- 2 cans Rotel tomatoes with habaneros 10 oz. cans
- 1 can diced green chiles 4 oz can
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 lbs. cooked chicken breast boiled and shredded OR browned and chopped
- 2 cans cannelloni beans 15 oz. cans (with liquid)
- 3 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 jalapeño pepper thinly sliced, for garnish
- Yellow corn tortillas
- Heat a large pot and add olive oil.
- Dice bell peppers and onions and saute in the oil on medium heat until soft. Add minced garlic.
- Add chicken broth, water, Rotel, green chilis, and tomato paste to pot. Stir.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or so.
- Add cooked chicken breast, cumin, garlic powder, and salt to taste.
- Using a blender or immersion blender, puree one can of the cannelloni beans. If you don't have a blender, crush the beans using a masher or a fork until smooth.
- Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the can of whole cannelloni beans, and the pureed/smashed cannelloni beans.
- While soup is simmering, cut corn tortillas in small strips and spread them out on a cookie sheet. Spray with cooking spray, then sprinkle with cumin and chili powder (or taco seasoning) and bake at 375 degrees until golden brown and crispy.
- Serve soup with crisp tortilla strips and fresh jalapeño slices