Friday, December 20, 2013

Fast Friday: 5-ingredient Chicken Tortilla Soup

Happy Friday to you!

These past few weeks have been gloriously busy.  Days and evenings -- even weeknights, gasp! -- have been filled with parties, travel, reunions, shopping, and the most phenomenal concert ever.

To make time for fun things, I'm finding myself borrowing time from certain activities, like sleep.  The bags under my eyes make me look terribly ragged, but I promise I'm awake, alert, and ready to party.  I can sleep in January!

I can also clean and do laundry in January.  I thought about buying more underwear but realized that, too, requires washing and drying before wearing.  If you're interested, I'm looking to hire a laundry associate.  Please inquire for further details.  I will pay you handsomely in cookies.

Though we've been dining out more frequently, I'm still cooking a few dinners at home here and there.  But I'm steering clear of recipes with lengthy prep since my new evening routine looks like this:

4:15 - Gym
5:30 - Arrive home, preheat oven, shower
5:45 - Make cookie dough
6:00 - Put first batch of cookies in oven, prepare dinner
6:15 - Cook dinner on stovetop, take cookies out of oven and put in another sheet
6:30 - Eat dinner quickly (sometimes while standing in the kitchen), swap cookie sheets
6:50 - Wash dishes, continue to bake cookies until bedtime

To be clear, I'm absolutely not complaining and truly love every second of it!

But... but dinners have been a little on the simple side lately.  A protein (chicken or salmon) seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and onion, two kinds of (frozen) vegetables, and maybe a piece of toast on the side.  Glamorous meals they are not, but quick and satisfying and good enough most definitely.

This week I decided that we needed a break from the bare bones meals and wanted to make something new and shiny... and easy.

One pot.  Stove-top.  Five ingredients.  No real recipe.  How's that for easy?  Chicken tortilla soup is hearty and warm and so gorgeous!

The pre-made salsa and taco seasoning are two major time-savers that pack major taste.  Another convenient trick?  Poaching the chicken in the soup as everything cooks.  It absorbs all of the flavors so there's no need to season them separately.

I love the bright yellow flecks of sweet corn swimming with the savory chicken and spicy salsa!

This is definitely a bowl-to-mouth-so-you-canslurp-up-every-last-drop kind of soup.  It's also a go-back-for-seconds type, too.  Might want to make a double batch so you can have even more free time this weekend, whatever you have on your agenda.  TGIF!

Two years ago: Chocolate crinkle cookies
Three years ago: Chicken cacciatore

5-ingredient Chicken Tortilla Soup
-makes 4-5 servings

1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn
1 (16 ounce) jar salsa (I used medium but mild or hot would be great, too)
1 packet taco seasoning
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Sour cream & tortilla chips, optional, for serving

In a large stock pot over medium high heat, add beans, corn, salsa, taco seasoning, and 4 cups water.  Stir to combine and bring to a boil.  Add chicken breasts, cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes.  Remove chicken breasts to a plate to cool slightly, shred with forks, and return meat to soup.  Serve and enjoy!

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