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Goodness in Life: Tortilla Soup
Friday, March 20th, 2009

In a life with a to-do-list that could always be shortened, I find myself constantly carving out the perfect work-life balance that is uniquely mine.  Not my husband’s, my best friend or even yours.  Ah…only mine.   A bit heady and daunting this business of work-life balance.

In my quality of life equation I find myself particularly happy when I have woken up early, exercised, learned something new for the day, made some kind of contribution, researched something, written something, cooked something, helped somebody (including myself), hugged a little bit, and enjoyed music during the day.

Some days are good and some not so much.

But it is all worth striving for because it is my own formula of happiness.  Soup to me is like life.  So many things can be in your life and all together it makes for a fabulous and hearty experience.  Leaving you content.  I have found as I coach others on wellness that the underpinnings of simplicity make for the best life and tortilla soup.  Read on for the recipe.

This tortilla soup’s virtues (vegetarian or non-vegetarian) don’t stop at providing superstars such as fiber and vegetables. To me this recipe’s greatest attribute is how long it takes…I have made it in 20-25 minutes on most nights (in supermom mode) and have enjoyed it each time.  This quick recipe is an easy family favorite because of the topping options.  Like life, freedom to make choices including choosing your favorite tortilla soup toppings and creating your ultimate tortilla soup can be invigorating in its own way.

Despite the the liberty that can be granted on Tortilla Soup Night… my suggestion is to go “lite.”  This healthy and fiber-rich soup on its own is very capable of quenching even the most ravenous appetites.  The lite cheese and lite sour cream will give you wiggle room in the calorie and fat department as you go for seconds to savor.

Tortilla Soup (quick version)


2 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced (Trader Joes offers frozen minced garlic)
½ cup onions, chopped
½ cup green peppers, chopped
½ cup carrots, chopped (baby carrots work well)
3 cups chicken broth (homemade) or
1 cube chicken bouillon or vegetable bouillon with
3 cups filtered water (you can play with this to get the consistency you like)
1 cup shredded cooked chicken breast (optional)
1 cup black beans, canned (rinsed – reduces sodium content by 25-45%)
1 cup kidney beans, canned (rinsed – reduces sodium content by 25-45%)
2 cups of favorite salsa (try Trader Joes – Double Roasted Salsa)

salt to taste


Tortilla Chips (Try Trader Joes Blue No Salt version if watching sodium)

Lite Mexican Cheese (Trader Joes or Reduced Fat Cabot work well )

Low-fat Sour Cream

Optional – Minced Cilantro and/or slices of avocado for garnish


Heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion and garlic.  Sauté 2-3 minutes.  Add carrots and sauté 2-3 minutes.  Add green peppers next and sauté 1-2 minutes.

Add all of the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Top with toppings and garnish with cilantro or/and avocado if you like.  Enjoy!

Optional Homemade Chicken Broth

Make fresh chicken broth by boiling 1 chicken breast in 2 cups water with salt and pepper to taste.  (optional)  Shred chicken with fork once cooked and add to soup.

What do you savor in your life?

Filed under Food & Recipes, Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition & Health  |  One Comment

One Comment on “Goodness in Life: Tortilla Soup”

Katy Harvey says:
March 28th, 2009 at 5:33 pm

I love the idea of pondering your quality of life equation. I always feel best too when I get up early and exercise and do something meaningful during my day. My most rewarding forms of exercise are running and yoga – they make my body feel good for the rest of the day. It’s a real confidence-booster. I have also been savoring scents around me lately – in my shower soap, cup of tea, and the smell of spring. I think it’s important to take a step back every once in a while and remember how great life’s simple pleasures can make our bodies feel. I love reading your blog – keep ’em coming!

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