Sunday, January 11, 2009
Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to get back to some of my favorite cooking.
One thing I’ve missed is contributing to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen's “Souper Sundays,” a roundup of food blogger’s weekly soup recipes that makes me happy because I love soup so much.
The pumpkin muffins I wrote about in my last post were the perfect accompaniment to the pot of Southwestern Chicken Soup I made on a particularly bitter day last week. I’m not a big fan of chicken noodle soup because it just seems a bit bland to me, but this soup has tons of flavor.
The Kitchen Genius and I are in constant disagreement over how to make a good soup. I think there is no such thing as too many ingredients in a soup. I like my soups thick and chock full of every veggie I have on hand. He thinks my soups have too much stuff in them and need more broth.
This is one of my favorite chicken soup recipes, but the ingredients change just a bit every time I make it. Most of the time I use the leftover chicken from a roasted chicken, but I have also bought a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store if I'm just craving this soup.
In keeping with the Southwestern flavors, I usually use black beans, but I didn’t have any, so I substituted red kidney beans. If I have it on hand, I add cubed butternut squash about 20 minutes before the soup is ready to serve.
The chance for creativity is the true beauty of soup. It is the perfect way to use whatever ingredients you have on hand for a unique flavor every time.
Southwestern Chicken Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper (yellow, red, orange or green), diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 – 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground Italian seasonings
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 – 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
Optional: 1 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash
Heat olive oil in large Dutch oven. Add onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic and carrots and sauté over medium heat, stirring frequently for five minutes or until just tender, but not brown. Add diced tomatoes and chicken stock, adding more or less chicken stock according to taste. Stir in chili powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add chicken, black beans (and optional butternut squash) and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. Add corn and cook for an additional 5 – 10 minutes. Top with baked tortilla chips.
Baked Tortilla Chips
Slice 1 – 12-inch tortilla into thin strips and arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Spray with olive oil and sprinkle with chili powder. Bake at 350 degrees for five minutes.
For a printable recipe click here