“Muy Sabrosa Mexicana” simply means “Very Tasty Mexican,” and this wonderful southwestern delight certainly qualifies for that title. Delicious on a cold snowy day (or even just a “cool” day down here in sunny Florida!) and best served piping hot! (Southerners, who are known for their wonderful soup and stew recipes cooked in large quantities in huge cast iron caldrons, (like my Carolina Brunswick Stew) refer to them as “blizzard stews,” because they are just the perfect internal warming mechanism for a blustery Winter day!)
There are many Mexican Chicken Soup recipes out there, but the specific mix of ingredients in this one really enhances the flavor and make it even more delicious! Not overly spicy but still tasty and flavorful, and just right!
Perfect for a Sunday afternoon, can be easily frozen. Highly recommended!
- 4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (boneless, skinless breasts, tenders or canned chicken can be used as well)
- Olive oil (Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or EVOO is always recommended!)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups chopped onions (about 2 medium onions)
- 2 cups chopped celery (about 2-3 stalks)
- 2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
- 6 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 1/2 quarts chicken stock (Homemade is best!)
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed (San Marzano – highly recommended!)
- 2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, minced
*Note – most recipes recommend removing the seeds and membranes from peppers — I prefer to leave them in, as I like my food to have a kick! If you or your guests don’t like spicy food, you should probably seed your peppers)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional
- 6 (6-inch) fresh white flour tortillas (this is optional, it thickens the soup -or- can be used as a garnish — you can also use store bought tortilla chips/strips if you prefer)
- 2 – 14.5oz cans black beans
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1.5 cups frozen corn
- 1 – 4oz can chopped green chilies
The basic recipe calls for roasted split chicken breasts, but this recipe works well with virtually any kind of chicken you want to use; grilled chicken breasts, boneless breasts, chicken tenders, and even canned chicken can also be used. For roasted boneless or split chicken breasts, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and a little oregano, and roast for 40-50 minutes, until done.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, (if you used split breasts), discard the skin and bones (they can also be frozen to make chicken stock with at a later date), and shred or dice the meat. Cover and set aside.
In a large stockpot (mine is 12qt) or a dutch oven (mine is 7qt) heat 3 tablespoons of EVOO. When the oil is heated and you can begin to smell the fragrance, add the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to turn translucent.
Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, corn, black beans, cumin, coriander, chili powder, chopped chiles, salt and pepper to taste…and, if you opted for the cilantro, add it as well.
Cut the tortillas into 1/2-inch strips and add to the soup. (Or save to use as a garnish later — or — both!)
Whisk the tomato paste into soup (this simply intensifies the tomato flavor). Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken, stir, and season to taste.
Serve the soup hot. Suggested toppings: shredded Monterrey Jack or Cheddar cheese; cilantro; black olives, sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, and of course those tortilla strips – can be broken or crumbled. A lime wedge squeezed over it all just before eating really provides a little enhanced Mexican goodness!