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Jump Into Fall Tortilla Soup Recipe

With the weather finally cooling down, the telltale signs of fall are finally upon us. The kids are playing in piles of leaves, pumpkin fans are in bliss, and cheers of football games are commonplace. In our household, though, the fall season would not be complete without another important tradition: Fall Tortilla Soup.


This soup is an easy make-ahead dish for the week, or you can pop the ingredients into a crockpot. If you do the crockpot route, you’ll need to sauté the onion and garlic ahead of time in olive oil. Then dump the remaining cooking ingredients into the crockpot. Keep the pot on high, then flip to low/simmer for 6-8 hours.

What You Need

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic (fresh or bottled)

1 packet of fajita seasoning (like McCormick)

2 ¼ cups water

2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans drained and rinsed

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, do not drain

1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth (low sodium, fat free)

1-2 (4-ounce) chopped green chiles

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (or bottled if you don’t have fresh)

1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (reduced fat)

¾ tortilla chips (gluten free or baked alternative)

The magic of the chicken and mexican spices begin to blend in the pot.

The magic of the chicken broth, tomatoes and mexican spices begin to meld.

What To Do

  1. Heat the oil in large nonstick skillet (or stainless steel pot) over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes.
  2. Add fajita seasoning packet and cook 1 minute.
  3. Stir in water and next four ingredients (water through green chiles). Bring to a boil. The chiles add extra punch, so I usually stick with just one can when serving to my family.
  4. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in lemon juice
  6. Top with cheese and tortilla chips, or fresh avocado slices

Makes about 6 servings (2 cups of soup each). As a side, add grilled cheese quesadillas or cheese bread. You can also add chicken (like Trader Joe’s pre-cooked “Just Chicken”) to the recipe if you want to bump up the protein levels and chicken flavor.

This Fall Tortilla Soup is not only delicious, but gluten free, healthy, filling and packed with high protein and fiber. The timesaving trick of using the fajita seasoning helps eliminate measuring more than a half-dozen spices.

Bon appetit and Happy Fall!

Kristal Zacharias is the mother of two beautiful, vivacious girls, and wife of a hunky husband who works in the action sports industry. For the past 15 years, Kristal has worked for several Fortune 500 companies as a professional communicator. Follow her journey at Clearly Kristal or on Facebook and Twitter.


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