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HEART Insight:
doi: 10.1097/01.HEARTI.0000437027.32927.53
Departments: The Hungry Heart: Taking It Slow

A Healthy Twist on Slow Cooking: Chicken Tortilla Soup

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This recipe is reprinted with permission from American Heart Association Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook, Copyright © 2012 by the American Heart Association. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc. Available from booksellers everywhere.

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Give thanks for your slow cooker! It's the perfect kitchen appliance during the busy holiday season to make entrées, sides, and even breads without spending hours in the kitchen.

Serves 4; 1½ cups per serving

Slow cooker size/shape: 3- to 4½-quart round or oval • Slow cooking time: 6 to 8 hours on low, OR 3 to 4 hours on high

A garnish of avocado bits, thinly sliced red bell pepper, and crisp tortilla strips adds texture and color to this popular soup.

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1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, all visible fat discarded, cut into ½-inch cubes

2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed

2 cups fat-free, no-salt-added chicken broth

1 14.5-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained

¼ cup finely chopped onion

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon ancho powder

2 medium garlic cloves, minced

¼ teaspoon salt

2 6-inch corn tortillas, cut into ¼-inch-wide strips, and 1 6-inch corn tortilla, torn into pieces, divided use

2 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

¼ cup finely chopped avocado

¼ medium red bell pepper, cut into matchstick-size strips

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In the slow cooker, stir together the chicken, corn, broth, tomatoes with liquid, onion, sugar, ancho powder, garlic, and salt. Cook, covered, on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Arrange the tortilla strips in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until crisp. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack. Let the strips stand for about 15 minutes, or until cool. Transfer to an airtight container and set aside.

When the soup is ready, transfer 1 cup to a food processor or blender. Stir in the tortilla pieces. Let the mixture stand for 1 minute so the tortilla pieces soften. Process until smooth. Stir the mixture into the soup. Stir in the cilantro.

Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with the avocado, bell pepper, and reserved baked tortilla strips.

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Nutrients per Serving

Calories 292

Total Fat 5.5 g

Saturated Fat 1.0 g

Trans Fat 0.0 g

Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0 g

Monounsaturated Fat 2.0 g

Cholesterol 73 mg

Sodium 350 mg

Carbohydrates 33 g

Fiber 5 g

Sugars 8 g

Protein 30 g

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Dietary Exchanges

1½ starch, 2 vegetable, 3 lean meat

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Cook's Tip

Adding the processed soup and tortilla mixture to the rest of the soup gives the finished product more body and distributes the tortilla flavor.

© 2013 by the American Heart Association