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Chuy’s (No) Tortilla Soup!

By admin | In Nutrition | on December 7, 2012

Chuy’s is one of the first places I went to after moving to Houston and loved it! I think it provides the perfect Houston lifestyle experience – a place that’s flip-flop-friendly, casual outdoor seating (even when it rains!), great customer service, lots of meat… and the best chicken tortilla soup!

I think I frequent this place even more now, having gone paleo because it’s the one of the few restaurants where they customize and and serve a decent sized portion of fajitas “with extra veggies” instead of rice/beans/tortillas. However, it’s been tricky to paleo-fy the delicious tortilla soup. So here’s an attempt to recreate this awesome menu item:

* I had a lot of time on hand, and wanted to try making a chicken soup base from scratch. But, you can, of course, use cooked chicken leftovers and ready chicken stock. Just follow the recipe starting at step 7 plus the seasoning for the base.


For the stock:

  • 2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or bone in. A whole chicken or additional cartilaginous chicken feet would be even better!)
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 2-3 carrots roughly chopped
  • 3 pods of garlic, peeled
  • 2 tsp red chili powder (or paprika)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning

For the soup:

  • 3-4 roma tomatoes diced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 green bell or poblano pepper diced
  • 1 jalapeno chopped
  • 1 tb sp almond flour (to substitute the gritty cornmeal texture)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1-2 lemons to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 avocados to garnish
  1. In a large dutch oven or stock pot, add the onions, carrots, garlic and chicken. Add enough water to cover the contents by 2-3 inches. Turn the heat up to a medium.
  2. Once the water starts bubbling (after approximately 25-30 minutes), turn the heat down to a medium low and let it simmer for about 45 minutes.
  3. Add the seasoning – red chili powder, cumin and poultry seasoning. Feel free to add any fresh herbs you have at hand.
  4. After approximately 45 minutes, when the chicken is cooked and no longer pink, turn off the stove. Let it rest for 10 minutes and skim off any fat that may have collected on the surface (if you’re using boneless/skinless meat, there won’t be much).
  5. With a slotted spoon, remove all of the vegetables and chicken, leaving just the liquid in the pot.
  6. Using a fork, shred the chicken. Discard the other vegetables.
  7. In a separate skillet, heat the olive oil and stir fry the diced onion, green pepper and jalapeno on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Then add this mixture to the stock
  8. Add the diced tomatoes and shredded chicken to the stock.
  9. Add salt, and make sure to taste throughout the cooking process! Add any additional amounts of the seasoning if you feel like it.
  10. Add the almond flour and stir well. This is the secret ingredient!
  11. Add the lemon juice and taste.
  12. Let the mixture simmer for another 10 minutes before serving.
  13. Garnish generously with fresh avocado and enjoy!

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