• 1 3-4 lb. Whole Roasted Chicken
  • 6 Low Sodium Cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 14 oz. Can Rotel
  • 1 14 oz. Can Mexican Stewed Tomatoes
  • 2 Tbs. Tomato Paste
  • 2 14 oz. Can Black Beans
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Yellow Cornmeal
  • 2 Tsp. Cumin
  • 2 Tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt & Pepper

Yesterday, I was looking through my refrigerator to see if there was anything left to salvage from Thanksgiving, and I also wanted to see if I could avoid a trip to the grocery store by lucking into something for dinner.

Sadly, all the Thanksgiving goodness was gone, but there was about 6 cups of chicken stock left over that needed to be used before it went bad. (I will always fail to freeze this before that happens).  I went to the pantry to see if there was anything I could make happen with it, and the idea hit me.  I have beans, canned tomatoes and stock.  All I need is to shred some chicken and I can throw together a pretty quick chicken tortilla soup.  Granted, I still needed to go buy some chicken, but I could scoop up one of those already cooked, rotisserie birds in the front of the store and be out in a flash.

That’s exactly what I did, and the result was fantastic.

To do this, just heat 2 Tbs. Olive Oil in a large dutch oven on medium-high heat.  Next, dice the onion and mince the garlic and add them to the pot.  Let this cook for about 5 minutes or until they are softening.  Add the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes and give it a good stir.  Let the spices cook for about 1 minute and add both cans of tomatoes and the tomato paste. (I usually hand crush the stewed tomatoes before I add them to soup because I like smaller chucks)

Next, add the chicken stock and 1 1/2 cups water.  Drain the beans and add those to the pot and bring all of this to a boil.

As this is coming to a boil, mix the cornmeal with the remaining 1/2 cup of water to make a paste.  This will add a subtle corn flavor to the soup and also act as a thickening agent.  Once the soup is boiling, add the cornmeal mixture, lower to a simmer, cover and let cook for about 20 minutes.

While this is cooking, tear the cooked chicken into bite-sized chunks and add to the soup after it has cooked for 20 minutes.  At this point, taste for seasoning and add salt & pepper, if needed.  Let this cook for another 10 minutes and you are all done.

This was seriously one of the easiest recipes I have made, but it had so much flavor that it tasted like I had cooked it all day.

I sprinkled some shredded pepper jack cheese and a spoonful of sour cream on mine.  I also crushed up some tortilla chips to sprinkle on it, then I went back for more.