Dave and I continue to explore Paleo eating. The elimination of grains, beans, legumes, sugar, dairy and alcohol has benefited us both greatly. I mentioned earlier we had excellent blood pressure readings at our recent physical. We received our blood work results last week and they were the best in years for both of us. Dave’s were actually better than mine. I attribute that to his twice daily walks with the dogs and a lower stress life style. I intend to join him more frequently on the walks, which will help with my numbers and the stress!
We don’t feel deprived or miss much of anything eating this way. But when we were both craving Chicken Tortilla Soup, I was concerned with what I could substitute for the standard corn tortilla. I had 4 or 5 sweet potatoes sitting on the counter smiling up at me! A-ha…. I will julienne and toast them. It was a perfect solution and it worked beautifully.
Chicken Tortilla Soup with Sweet Potato Strips
inspired by this recipe from Food & Wine magazine
6 tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 quarts chicken bone broth or homemade stock
3 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (one 28-ounce can)
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup lightly-packed cilantro leaves plus 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
1 3/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Lime wedges, for serving
Julienne 1 large sweet potato. Oil a baking sheet with coconut oil. Place the sweet potato strips on the baking sheet. Place in a 300′ oven to toast. Stir every 15-20 minutes to ensure even cooking. This process will take about an hour. Cook until the strips are dry and crunchy.
Warm 2-3 Tablespoons of coconut oil in a large heavy soup/stock pot. Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onion, garlic, and spices; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, salt, cilantro leaves. Bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes; remove the bay leaves.
While the soup is simmering, prepare the chicken. Cut the chicken thighs into bite size pieces. Add a couple of teaspoons of coconut oil to a large skillet. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and sauté until they are a little brown. Set aside.
Blend the soup using an immersion blender or by transferring the contents to a blender. Add the chicken, bring the soup back to a simmer, and simmer until just cooked through, about 10 minutes.
To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl. Top with sliced avocado and the toasted sweet potato strips. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro, if using, and serve with the lime wedges.
For those of you who do not remember what is under the snow, here are some “first signs of spring” shots from my garden.