Lost in the journey of life…

Chicken Tortilla Soup (comparison)


Not pretty, but tasty!


A blog, Girlichef has been taunting me with her Mexi-goodness posts over the past years, and especially the Tortilla Soup Challenge. So I thought, “What a better way to show examples of how to adapt recipes for diabetic eating, than to search for recipes,. This is how I end up making one of my favorite soups”!

I found two recipes for Tortilla Soup- one with chicken, and the other without. Hubby would die if his soup (he has no choice but to eat what I cook *evil laugh*, and will too benefit from the low fat and sugar diet) was not ‘rustic’, without bites of vegetables and chicken, and was all broth! I am just as happy with a bowl of broth, but let’s see if we can make this work.

Here is the first recipe with chicken (breast cooked separately):

6 cups (1.4 l) 98% fat-free, no-salt-added canned chicken broth

canola oil cooking spray

1 cup (160 g) chopped white onion

2 jalapeño chile peppers, seeded and minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups (600 g) chopped plum tomato

1/2 tablespoon (7.5 ml) crushed dried oregano

freshly ground pepper to taste

6 fresh corn tortillas, cut into thin strips

1 cup (140 g) shredded cooked chicken breast

3/4 cup (84 g) shredded low-fat Monterrey Jack cheese

1 small ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut lengthwise into twelve wedges

2 scallions, white part and 2 inches green, chopped

3 tablespoons (12 g) chopped cilantro

1 fresh lime, cut into six wedges

1. In a large soup pot, bring chicken broth to a boil; reduce heat to simmer.

2. Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add onion, chile peppers, and garlic. Sauté over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomato, oregano, and pepper. Sauté, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer mixture to soup pot and stir into simmering broth. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450° (230°C), Gas Mark 8. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange tortilla strips in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes, tossing strips occasionally. Remove from oven and set aside.

4. Stir cooked chicken into simmering soup.

5. To serve, place 2 tablespoons (14 g) shredded cheese in each of 6 shallow soup bowls. Divide the soup equally between the bowls and top each serving with two avocado slices and some of the scallion and cilantro. Float tortilla strips on top and offer a wedge of lime to squeeze over each serving.

My first alteration on this recipe, would be to delete the tortilla strips. I rarely eat chips, even at restaurants I ask them not to bring them to exchange my calorie points. My next exchange would be to leave out the cheese, but having some ‘Lemon Peel Stilton’ Cheese I had already bought; it seemed like a gourmet exchange, but cut the amount in half. I would also measure the soup into cup and half portions, and not just ‘divide’ between bowls. Portion control is important.

Second ‘Tortilla Soup’ recipe, without chicken:

3 olive oil cooking spray (to coat pan & tortillas)

2 low carb tortilla (10-inch) , cut into 2×1/4 inch strips

1 small onions , chopped

1 cup fresh chopped celery

1 medium tomatoes , coarsely chopped

1/2 tsp dried basil , leaves

1/2 tsp ground cumin

5 cup low sodium vegetable broth

15 1/2 oz Beans, pinto, unsalted, fat free, canned , rinsed, drained

2 tsp fresh cilantro , finely chopped

2 tsp fresh lime juice

1 pinch salt (to taste, optional)

1 pinch ground cayenne (red pepper) (to taste)


1 Heat a cooking spray coated medium frying pan over medium heat. Arrange tortilla strips in pan and coat with cooking spray. Cook 5 minutes, flipping a few times; tortillas will be golden and crispy.

2 Heat a large cooking spray coated pot over medium heat. Cook onions, celery, tomatoes, basil, and cumin in pot 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in stock and beans and let boil. Lower heat and let simmer 3 to 5 minutes. Mix in cilantro and lime juice and season with salt (if desired) and cayenne.

3 When ready to serve, arrange tortilla strips in bowls and spoon soup over top.

Once again I would remove the tortillas strips, add 1/2 avocado slices, use olive oil instead of cooking spray, and cut beans in half. Personally I only eat lentils or black beans, and NEVER use canned food products. Frozen is you have too, otherwise make dried beans and freeze portions if you feel time is of the essence. You will cut down on salt. Jack up the onions for crunch to replace the tortillas!

I leaned towards the first recipe with chicken- my suggestions:

Sugar free and low salt chicken broth in the box (canned contains more sodium, but homemade is the best!)

No corn is usually allowed in a diabetic diet- I missed this a bit, but what can I do?

I cooked my chicken breast with no skin, and in a seasoned tomato-chicken broth puree too keep them moist

Made my bowl more brothy, so hubby could have more ‘rustic’ bite to his

Added more seasoning and deleted salt

Used smaller amount of cheese, but tried the ‘Lemon Peel Stilton’, and was yummy!

Extra celery and onion added towards the end added more crunch to replace strips

Always measure your portion sizes- 1 and 1/2 cups of this soup with some raw veggies, salad, fruit and nuts will be a complete and well balanced meal.

Chicken broth, and or Chicken Breast Recipes:

Since having high blood pressure I have learned to cook things by flavor blasting them, and leaving out the salt, or reduce salt. I hope you enjoy this easy chicken recipe!

1 whole chicken, skin removed (breast is preferred due to fat content of dark meat- remove skin), or 4 large skinless chicken breast (you can remove skin from rib breast, leave bone to add flavor to use broth for soup or future meals)

6 to eight plum tomatoes, small chop and use all but core top

2 Tablespoons paprika

2 Tablespoons chili powder

6 whole garlic cloves (more if you like, it lowers sugar levels), or 3 Tablespoons garlic powder

1 Teaspoon black pepper

1 Teaspoon of sea salt of choice (optional, if you use canned tomatoes, although not recommended, it contains salt, so delete)

2 Tablespoons cumin powder

3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

2 cups chicken broth

Bake for about 45 minutes, covered in a 350 degree oven (internal temp is 165 degrees with a cooking thermometer)

Uncover and let cool until you can comfortably shred the chicken and add back to the pan ingredients. Freeze half or less, and use in Tortilla soup recipe. I have also been know to plate this in a bowl atop spinach, or other greens; even add it to the soup! Eat more weeds!

Another alternative is too not fry the tortilla pieces and add them to the soup fresh, corn tortillas are better for diabetic diet if they are not fried (girlichef noticed I forgot to mention this, lol).

I know the photo is a bit hard to see when it comes to the soup, but the other photos I took are a bit blurry. The soup is brothy, something hubby does not care for, but I LOVE! I thicken it up with the lemon peel cheese, and top it off with the avocado. You fill up on this very easily (2 cups). I am also entering this into Girlichef’s ongoing Tortilla Soup Challenge, so enjoy…


How about you, any tortilla soup recipes that would fit this profile? Give us a link, and tell us what you think if you have made either before…


Chef E

What else am I up too?

Food- Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

Wine- Partners In Wine Club

Poetry- Creative TMI


One response

  1. Okay, they both sound really, really good!! BUT I’m gonna have to forbid you to leave tortilla out…because then it will not be tortilla soup any longer 😦 Or at least pretend, for my sake, okay!? You’re doing fabulous on your venture…very proud of you! So glad you’re linking up to my quest, as well 😀

    October 17, 2010 at 11:35 pm

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