Friday, April 8, 2016

Mexican Chicken Soup

The weather is going to be a bit nasty this weekend. Rain is forecast for the next 4 days - unheard of in Southern California! Could it be El Niño (gasp)? We’ve been expecting it for months now, and we’re still waiting. Regardless, you know me - at the very mention of rain and the inevitable cooling of the temperature (however slight it may be) I’m off making soup! And in honor of El Niño, this time we’re making it Mexican.

I’ve made this soup several times now and love it more each time I have it. It’s a great combination of flavors. The addition of the roasted tomatillo salsa makes it "the bomb!" The traditional version of this soup is “chicken tortilla soup” but as I’m avoiding grains right now, there are none in this version. It’s from Danielle Walker’s cookbook, “Against All Grain”, a cookbook geared towards those with digestive trouble. It’s very digestion-friendly.

The recipe calls for it to be prepared stove top but I recently made it in my slow cooker because I was leaving the house and wanted it ready when I got back. So please note that I  only cooked it this way for a few hours. All day would be too long for the chicken, which would overcook and become dry.

The soup is very simple to make but do make sure you use homemade (chicken) bone broth for best flavor and superior nutrition. A simple soup needs a boldly flavored broth to lend backbone to it. Don’t use a wimpy stock from the grocery store unless you absolutely have to.

You can either choose, at the end of the cooking, to puree half the soup in a blender and return it to the pot to thicken it somewhat, or you can just leave it as it is.

Mexican Chicken Chowder


2 pounds chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, trimmed of fat
2 cups roasted tomatillo salsa
4 cups Chicken Broth
3 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes or butternut squash
2 cups peeled and sliced carrots
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. sea salt (or more to taste)
2 cups chopped pre-washed spinach
Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro and avocado slices


Place the chicken, salsa, broth, sweet potatoes, carrots, lime juice, garlic and salt in a stockpot over medium-high heat.

Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 1 hour over medium-low heat.

Remove chicken, and using 2 forks, shred the chicken and set it aside.

Scoop 2 cups of cooked vegetables from the soup and puree in a blender. Make sure there is at least 1/4 cup of broth with it. Puree for 15 seconds or so and return to the soup pot.

Add the chicken back in and then the spinach and simmer 10 minutes until the spinach is slightly wilted.

Serve hot, garnished with the cilantro and avocado.

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