This past week I was feeling like I was going to die of cold… I’m in the Bay Area… don’t judge me, some places lack proper insulation, and we have crazy fog and, and…. fine, it’s not that cold here relatively speaking. Much in the same vein that Boston is not that cold if compared to Siberia, or Texas is not that hot if compared to the Saharan desert, but my view is that once you’re below comfortable, cold is just cold… and this past week while I was watching all the coverage of the ice storm in Toronto, I think my body was sympathizing with all my friends there, and started to get the chills too 🙂
So I was in the mood for some soup to warm me up and I adapted a recipe I’ve used in the past. I was next to Safeway, and so it was easy to pick up items I needed – and hour and half later, bowl of soup in hand, chills successfully fended off, my feelings of sympathy were slowing disappearing as well and while watching more coverage of the ice storm, morphing into feelings of bemusement instead…
Here’s the recipe:
- 2 cans Diced Tomatoes (14.5 oz)
- 1 Can white beans
- 1 piece Chicken Breast
- 4 cloves Garlic (minced)
- 2 Jalapeño peppers (diced)
- 4 celery stalks (ribs) (diced)
- 1 medium sized Onion, diced (I bought pre-diced…)
- 8 cups Chicken Broth (I split 4 cups with Vegetable broth)
- 1 tsp Tumeric (for the chills!)
- 1 tblspoon Cumin
- 2 tsp Oregano
- 1 Lime
- 1 bunch cilantro
Prepping the Stage — as always, the first step is to prep all the ingredients. You don’t want to be franticly running around the kitchen balancing cup of broth, while wielding a knife to cut celery, while spilling cumin and turmeric all over the floor, chancing the risk of having an impromptu festival of lights throughout. Better to prep everything one by one, and then start the cooking process — contrary to common (and disproven) beliefs, you won’t end up spending more time cooking.
Note – my ingredients are doubled up in general as I’m adding Cannellini Beans (White beans) and making this for a few days.
After prepping all the ingredients, the first step is adding the chopped celery, onions, garlic and jalapeños to a pot with 2 tbl spoons of heated Canola Oil and sautéing for about 5 minutes (or until the celery is tender). I also leave the jalapeño seeds in, as it adds to the spice, but some like to remove them.
Next, add the diced tomatoes, broth, cumin, turmeric, oregano, and chicken breast and bring to a boil. Once it is at a boil, reduce it down to low heat and simmer, covered, for an hour. Now is about when you’ll start to smell the food and be getting hungry… stop munching on crap food sitting around… wait it out!
You’re nearly there! Scoop out the chicken and use two forks to shred it — pull apart in the same direction of the meat, and it will come apart easily. Once you have it to the texture you like, transfer the chicken back into the broth and gently mix.
Finally, add the chopped cilantro and squeeze as much lime juice as you’d like for flavoring. I added pulp as well for added texture and flavor. Depending upon your taste, you may also want to make it spicier – I added a tsp of ancho chili at this stage too.
And Voila! all you have to do is add some tortilla strips (add them once you’ve added the soup to bowls) and serve! You can add avocados if you prefer as well – I unfortunately didn’t have any at home!
Add your recipe ideas to the comments – I’m always looking for more recipes to try. If you liked this post, share it out too!