Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Best Soup He's Ever Had . . . True!

While most of my family is watching what they eat, the Boy that lives in my house can eat whatever he wants and never gain a pound.  Currently his favorite food is Lucky Charms, easily putting away half a box each night!  So when he said that the soup I made tonight was "the best soup I've ever had", I take that as a compliment.

Several recipes I've found on Pinterest are listed as "copycats" from a restaurant called Cafe Rio.  Several blogs raved about the food at Cafe Rio!  I want to go to Cafe Rio if this recipe is any indication of the food they serve. The recipe I followed from Eat Cake For Dinner (I LOVE that name!) called for preparing Copycat Cafe Rio Tortilla Soup in the crockpot.  Because I didn't get everything ready the night before to put it in the crockpot in the morning, I made mine in the oven and on the stove.  There are several steps involved, but all your prep can be done in less than 30 minutes and then just let everything cook for about 1 1/2 hours.  This soup is full of flavor & fresh ingredients.  Leftovers are packed and ready for my lunch tomorrow.  Happy girl!!

Copycat Cafe Rio Tortilla Soup with Copycat Cafe Rio Shredded Chicken
 (slightly adapted from Eat Cake For Dinner)   Serves 5-6

(Note:  Start your chicken first, then the soup so the two parts will be ready at the same time.)

Tortilla Soup
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded (or finely chopped)
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
5 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 tsp cumin
dash of cayenne pepper
1 tsp chili powder
pepper to taste
juice of 1/2 lime
Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
Cafe Rio Shredded Chicken (recipe below; start chicken before soup)
Pico de Gallo (recipe below)
Guacamole (recipe below)
Tortilla chips or strips

In large pot, combine chicken broth and water.  Add onion, carrots, corn and cilantro.  Add spices and lime juice.  Bring to a boil.  Turn heat down to medium low and simmer for 1 hour.

To serve:  In individual bowls, layer chicken, pico, a scoop of guacamole, and shredded cheese.  Ladle broth directly over layers.  Garnish with tortillas.

Copycat Cafe Rio Shredded Chicken
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/8 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 c. Italian salad dressing
1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place chicken breasts in baking dish.  Mix remaining ingredients and pour over chicken.  Cover dish tightly with foil.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until chicken shreds easily.  Remove from oven, shred with two forks and leave in broth.

Pico de Gallo
2 Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Mix all ingredients together.  Let sit 10-15 minutes to let flavors blend.

2 ripe avocados
1 tsp. minced garlic
juice from 1/2 a lime
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Remove peel from avocados and mash with a fork.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Let sit 10-15 minutes to let flavors blend.


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