… Not Your Grandma’s Chicken Soup!
With cold and flu season wreaking havoc right now, I thought it was time to break out the chicken soup recipe once again. Traditional chicken soup recipes are tasty, but I like to change things up a bit – especially if chicken soup will be called into duty more than just a few times during the flu season.
I love warm and healing soups that offer a spiciness, freshness, and punch. When the ingredients can lend a hand in clearing the head congestion, warm the soul, and sooth a sore throat, then I feel like I’ve done my job (you know, the “Dr. Mom” job).
One of my favorite soups that is always a go-to for me when someone is under the weather is my gluten-free Asian Vegetable Soup. We love Asian food and flavors, but variety is the spice of life, right? So, taking all the criteria mentioned above, I’ve changed cuisines and have created a gluten-free Mexican Chicken soup. We love anything Mexican too! The complex pairing of mild green chiles, “warm” red jalepeños, smokey and spicy adobo sauce, earthy cumin, red pepper flakes, fresh and bright lime juice, and pungent freshly chopped cilantro make this soup say, “Flu? … Bring It!”
This soup is easy to make ahead (waiting to add the lime and cilantro until serving time) and will safely store for up to a week in the fridge. It can also be frozen for up to three months in a well-sealed container. Don’t wait until the cold and flu season hits you (hopefully it hasn’t already). Make a batch today … so you’re ready tomorrow!
P.S. This soup is great even if you don’t have a cold or the flu … but it will still make your nose run:-D
Mexican Chicken Soup
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Makes 6-8 servings
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 leek, white part only, rinsed and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced
5 stalks celery, no leaves, sliced
5 mini sweet peppers, stemmed, seeded and sliced
1/2 of 1 medium red jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely diced*
1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped – I use La Costeña brand in a can
1/4-1/2 teaspoon mild green pepper sauce – I use Tabasco brand
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon crushed, dried oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
6 cups chicken broth – I use Swanson’s Natural Goodness Chicken Broth – in the box
salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups cooked brown or white rice
one fresh lime, cut into 6-8 slices, seeds removed
about 1 cup fresh cilantro, lightly chopped, optional
Heat oil over low heat.
Add leek, garlic, carrot, celery, sweet peppers, and jalapeño pepper. Sauté about 5-7 minutes, stirring periodically.
Stir in chipotle peppers, Tabasco, red pepper flakes, cumin, oregano, and onion powder. Let flavors combine about two minutes.
Add chicken broth. Stir well and bring soup to a simmer.
Simmer about 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender but not mushy, and flavors have bloomed. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.
To Serve, add about 1/4 cup cooked rice to bottom of individual serving bowl. Ladle soup over rice. Squeeze juice from one lime wedge into soup. Garnish with some cilantro.
*When working with fresh jalapeño peppers, I suggest wearing rubber gloves. The “juice”, known as capsaicin, in the peppers is hydrophobic. This means it will not wash off your hands with water. It will remain on your skin, though you won’t feel it, and will cause a burning and tearing reaction in your eyes if rubbed … even the next day. I didn’t heed this advice and paid the price:-D The hotter the pepper, the stronger the burn.
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™