This recipe is one of my family’s favorites. I haven’t found an easier way to get my kids to eat so many veggies at once. With all the colorful fruits and veggies, healthy fats and a good dose of lean protein, it’s a dietitian’s and a mom’s dream! Not to mention it doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare. Keep in mind, frozen and canned veggies are good options. The nutrients in frozen veggies are preserved and if you drain and rinse canned veggies, you won’t get too much sodium. If you prefer to use fresh veggies, that’s fine too it’ll just take a little more prep time.
12 ounces of boneless chicken breast, diced (substitute for beans if vegetarian)
½ yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
1 can of diced tomatoes, 14.5 ounces, undrained
1 can of diced mild green chilis, 4 ounces, undrained
1 can of tomato paste for thickening, 4 ounces
1 can of sweet corn, 14 ounces, drained OR ½ cup of frozen
1 can of beans– black, kidney or pinto as desired, 14.5 ounces, drained
2 medium zucchini, diced
2 large carrots, diced or 1 can, 14.5 ounces, drained
2 cans of chicken broth, 14.5 ounces each
1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon of seasoned salt
¼ teaspoon of ground cumin
1 avocado, cubed
Chili powder, as desired
Fresh lime, as desired
Fresh cilantro, as desired
Shredded Mexican cheese, as desired
Heat 4 qt pot over medium heat. Add extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and allow to heat. EVOO is a great source of healthy fats. If you’re looking to save calories, use vegetable oil spray instead. Add diced chicken, sprinkle with seasoned salt, cumin and chili powder (if desired). Stir for 3-4 minutes. Add diced onion and garlic and stir for an additional 3-4 minutes. (If you’re pressed for time, get a precooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and add some of that at the end or use leftover chicken). Add diced tomatoes (undrained), mild green chilis (undrained) and chicken broth. Stir in 3-4 tablespoons of tomato paste for thickening. Bring the soup to boil and add the beans, corn, carrots and zucchini. If you’re looking to add calories, throw in a diced potato or add extra beans. Lower heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste.
Once added to individual bowls, each person can sprinkle cheese, avocado, cilantro and fresh lime as desired. My kids love to crush a few tortilla chips into the soup. Aside from this recipe being packed with nutrients, it makes great leftovers. Enjoy!
Author: Kat Barefield, MS, RDN, CPT, CES, PES, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist