November 6th, 2011

Trader Joe’s spiced apple cider isn’t the only thing that will heat you up this November (but I can’t deny the fact that I just love the taste of their spiced apple cider in the fall!). Spicy chicken tortilla soup definitely hits the spot when you’re looking for a meal that will warm up your entire body.

For Student Health 101’s November issue, I was asked to produce a video about spices and how to use them to make meals less boring. A video about spices?! You can imagine how excited I was to create this video since I use spices in almost all of my recipes. This particular recipe features five spices, one herb, and three different kinds of peppers. Now that’s spicy! (In case you are wondering, my favorite spice is garlic powder. I truly believe you can make anything taste good with a touch of garlic.)

Not only does the recipe heat you up, but it’s simple to make. The laziest of the lazy could make it! All you have to do is put the ingredients into a slow cooker (also known as a Crock-Pot) for a few hours, and BAM! It’s ready.

No need to feel guilty when going for seconds (or even thirds) with this soup. Spicy food is typically considered healthy because spices and herbs are often used for medicinal purposes as well, such as for boosting the immune system and improving digestion. And you can’t go wrong with a recipe that’s high in protein (chicken & grated cheddar cheese, anyone?) and monounsaturated fat (the avocado slices are a must).

To learn more about the health benefits of the spices in this soup, you can watch me prepare this recipe here. You can also view the latest issue of Student Health 101 here.

And remember, the spicier the pepper, the better. The heat in peppers comes from capsaicin, which promotes heart health by reducing cholesterol levels. Feel the burn!

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup
Makes 8 servings

1 quart (32 fluid ounces) chicken stock
1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound cooked chicken, shredded
7 corn tortillas (or tortilla chips)
Olive oil spray (if making tortilla strips)

Optional toppings:
Grated cheddar cheese
Avocado, sliced
Green onion, sliced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (if making tortilla strips).

Place all ingredients (except for the tortillas or tortilla chips, olive oil spray, and toppings) into a slow cooker and stir. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

Meanwhile, if making tortilla strips, cut tortillas into strips and lightly spray both sides of the strips with olive oil spray. Place on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 minutes.

When soup is complete, serve in a bowl and top with tortilla strips (or tortilla chips), grated cheese, avocado slices, and green onion.

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One Response to “It’s Gettin’ Spicy in November”

  1. Leah says:

    TJ’s Just Chicken would work great in this recipe!