Chicken Tortilla Soup

 

This past weekend was spent in Austin, Texas. You may be thinking I went to Waco since it was 2 hrs away or meet Rachel Holiis (she lives there now), sorry to disappoint neither happened. Most of the weekend was spent at bars and doing a bar hopping bike tour for my best friend’s bachelorette party. Apparently Austin is becoming the next best place for a bachelor or bachelorette party. The bars are pretty awesome. We went to Rainey Street and Sixth Street. Rainey street is filled with A TON of food trucks and fun theme bars. These bars are in renovated houses turned into bars. The bars that sparked my interest was Icenhauer’s, the Container bar, and Unbarlievable. Unbarlievable was so stinking cool! It had a little slide and was circus themed. The Container bar was just a bunch of large storage containers stacked up. It was a bit chili, so dancing was a must to keep us warm!

The last night we went to sixth street and listened/sang along with some amazing performers at the Blind pig pub and San Jac Saloon. We spent the rest of the night dancing and admiring a 3 piece band. The one guy was amazing at the piano, the singer also played this type of drum with his heels and used the harmonica, and the last guy played the electric guitar. It was a great night, my feet did not agree and were screaming at me!

When I travel with my husband, my focus is finding the best tasting food. On this trip drinking was more of the highlight, since it was a bachelorette party. But, we did enjoy some tasty food. The first day we started with veggie and fish tacos at Wilder Wood Restaurant, which was walking distance from our house. I saved a taco, rice, and beans for leftovers. I felt very full until the next morning and didn’t want to eat the rest of the night (so not me, I always have room to eat!). Everyone got hot dogs or food from the food trucks that night.

On Saturday morning, my friend and I went to a sculpt class at CorePower yoga. It was a perfect addition to a weekend of partying, not much sleeping, and food I am not used to. After, we went to Whole Foods (WF) where I got a green juice, rice cakes, and some other items. We already had natural peanut butter and bananas, so I survived on my go to: rice cake with peanut butter and banana. It felt so good to get some greens into my body! When we were leaving WF I found out it was their headquarters and Austin is where WF began… how freaking cool! It totally made my day (I know I am a bit of a dork).

On Sunday morning/noon, we went to Fixe Southern House for brunch. OH MY GOODNESS it sure was a treat! We got biscuits that came with honey, jam, some meat spread, and gravy. I may be living under a rock, but I now know why everyone loves biscuits and gravy…I am now drooling thinking about them. We also got their deviled eggs…again I am drooling. For my meal, I got a soft boiled egg ‘benedict’ with crispy panisse (a fried chickpea flour cake), refried white beans, and mushrooms. I may try to make this at home with my air fryer because it was that good! (Don’t mind the poor photo quality, at least I had a good friend that provided some lighting for those eggs!)

And that was the extent to the food we had in Austin. Maybe I will go back with my husband, explore the food of Austin, visit the Gaines in Waco, and find Rachel Hollis! In the meantime, Austin inspired me to bring more Mexican inspired food into my life more. Since we were hit with FREEZING temps come back to Jersey, soup was the only thing I wanted. So this Austin inspired chicken tortilla soup hit the spot!

I had two of my girlfriends over for dinner last night. It was so nice to catch up with them. We must have had a lot of catching up to do since we finally looked at the clock and it was 11:30 PM! To put this into perspective, my bed time anymore is around 9:30/10pm. I served this chicken tortilla soup with homemade chili lime tortilla crisps and a tossed salad. My friend brought these delicious chocolate toffee almonds and Jeni’s brambleberry crisp ice cream. I don’t eat a lot of dairy, but I had to try this since I always wanted to try Jeni’s ice cream. It was so dang good with the raspberry and oats blended in.

I love serving for people, this time I wanted to use cloth napkins to add a little “fancy” touch. Having people over compared to going out is nice at times because (1) cheaper (2) healthier (3)can talk for awhile without getting kicked out (4)can share things you wouldn’t at a restaurant (5) makes me do a deep clean of my house and (6) wear comfy clothes because heck, it is my house!

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Chicken Tortilla Soup


Chicken Tortilla Soup

Serves: 5 large servings

Directions:

  1. In a slow cooker or pressure cooker, first cook chicken with 1/4 cup broth for 10 minutes.

  2. Add remaining ingredients (except toppings).

  3. Pressure cook at high for 10 minutes OR slow cook for 3 hours.

  4. Remove chicken, shred with two forks and add back into the soup.

  5. Slow cook the soup until ready to serve. The longer it sits, the better.

  6. To make homemade tortilla strips: preheat oven to 350℉, slice tortillas thinly, add to pan, spray with oil, sprinkle with chili lime seasoning (From TJ), bake for 20 minutes.

  7. Top soup with homemade tortilla strips, avocado, cilantro, lime, and whatever else you fancy.

  8. Disfrutar! (Enjoy in Spanish)

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts

  • 1/4 cup low sodium broth

  • 1 can (15oz) black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 can (15oz) tomato sauce

  • 1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes low salt

  • 1/2 onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1 celery stalk, chopped

  • 1 carrot stick, chopped

  • 1/2 fresh lime juice

  • 2 cups low sodium broth

  • 1 tbsp chili powder

  • 2 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

  • Topping: chili lime tortilla strips, avocado, cilantro, lime