My biggest problems cooking for myself are as follows:
- I’m busy and don’t have time to cook.
- When I’m not busy, I’m lazy. Pizza rolls, egg sandwiches, and bagels are not an uncommon dinner.
However, turns out that when I actually have time to cook, I can successfully make foods such as this soup. Mom’s tortilla soup was a favorite meal of mine growing up and while I didn’t make it just like hers, I think I came pretty darn close.
Heart Healthy Tortilla Soup
- 1 can (16 oz.) fat-free refried beans
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) low-fat or fat-free chicken broth
- 1 can (5 oz.) 94 percent fat-free chunk chicken, drained or broiled chicken breast (or do what I did just rip apart a store-bought rotisserie chicken, it’s a little nasty but it’s easy…plus it leaves you with leftovers)
- 1 can (11oz.) whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15.5 oz.) black or navy beans, rinsed and drained
- ¾ cup chunky salsa OR 1 can of diced tomatoes (or even a combination of both)
- 1 package of taco seasoning
- 2 cups (1 bag) light shredded cheese
- Tortilla chips
Although I was initially scared by the list of ingredients, it proved to be highly unintimidating. Plus the preparation that followed was super quick and much easier than I thought.
- Combine the first seven ingredients in an appropriately sized pot.
- Bring the soup to a boil over medium height stirring until the refried beans have completely melted and mixed with all of the other ingredients.
- Turn the heat to low and let the soup simmer for 10 minutes. Be sure to check on the soup and stir it occasionally during this time.
- Add 1 cup (1/2 the bag) of shredded cheese into the soup and stir until melted.
- To serve, crush a handful or tortilla chips and places them at the bottom of the bowl. Pour soup into bowl and sprinkle some shredded cheese on top if desired.
I had only intended on making this dinner to share with one of my friends, but a bunch unexpectedly showed up and to my surprise, everyone ended up loving the soup! One friend told me he was bummed I didn’t leave any extra for him and the other two told me they couldn’t stop talking about how good it was…three days after I had made it. I felt like a real chef, if only for a day. Heart healthy tortilla soup is not only a quick and easy dinner, but also a great way to impress friends. Heat, re-heat, and enjoy!