Chunky Mexican Chicken Soup

chunky mexican chicken soup bowl

I’m on a roll with soups lately.

It must be because it’s starting to get cold.

And soup seems like a good way to stay warm.

Am usually not fond of dishes with tomatoes or tomato sauce.  Though I like them in soups as long as fresh or whole tomatoes are used.   In this case I used whole peeled tomatoes in a can.

Yeah…  I could have used fresh tomatoes and peel them myself.  But I was feeling lazy.  And I didn’t feel like blanching and peeling the tomatoes  myself.  So whole peeled canned tomatoes were my second best choice.  A dependable stand in.

This version of the soup is thick and hearty.  Though my husband prefers it to be lighter with less chicken next time.  I agree.  I’m not too crazy about thick soups either.  And I know that has to do with how we ate soups when I was growing up.  Thin and light.  With clean, crisp taste.  And that’s only because we had to make do with what we had.  Soup was a great way to feed a large family of 10.

So… if you like thick and hearty soup, just increase the chicken and corn tortillas.  And if you like your soup heartier, top each serving with cheddar cheese and sour cream, in addition to the chunks of avocados.

Here’s what you need:

You need 3 or 4 large split chicken breasts.  Bone and skin on.  About 4 – 5 pounds.  Only use 3 split chicken breasts if you want a thinner soup.

Remove chicken from the package and rinse them under cold running water.  Pat dry with paper towels.  And place chicken in a heavy-duty baking sheet.

Pour a little bit of oil – canola or olive oil, on each chicken breast and rub the oil all over the chicken.

Generously season the chicken breasts with kosher salt and ground black pepper.  I used about 4 teaspoons of kosher salt and 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper.

Don’t worry.

This might seem a lot of salt to you.  But all this salt is not going to penetrate the meat.  Its just going to make the chicken breasts well seasoned on the outside.Season chicken breasts on both sides.

And roast them, skin sides up,  in a preheated oven at 400°F for 50 minutes.

After 50 minutes in the oven, the chicken breasts are cooked and the skins are crispy!

As you can see… I have way too many chicken breasts here.  I should only have roasted three.  Four the most.  And so I used the rest of the chicken for “chicken club salad sandwiches” .  Another recipe I will post in the future.

But, like I said though… if you like a thicker, heartier soup, use four large split chicken breasts.

Oh by the way… the skins are really crunchy and tasty.   And you can start munching on them if you are feeling hungry and need a quick snack.

Tear the chicken meat off the bones and shred them into chunks.  Place chicken chunks in a bowl.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside.

Discard the bones and skins.

Or give the skins to your puppy.  She’ll love you for it.

~~~

Other ingredients you need for the soup:

Vegetables: 3 large celery sticks, 4 – 5 medium carrots, 2 medium size onions, 4 – 5 jalapenos, cilantro and lots of garlic.

Halves the  celery

And  chop them.

Peel and halves the carrots.

And chop them.

Quarter the  jalapenos

And remove the ribs and the seeds.

The hottest part of the jalapenos reside along the ribs.  That means if you want your soup to have a “kickasss” attitude, keep the ribs and only scrape the seeds.

And chop them.

Onions – peeled, and chopped.

Garlic – smashed, peeled and chopped.

Olive oil. 3 tablespoons.

28 ounces whole peeled tomatoes.

4 cans chicken broth.  About 6 cups.  Plus 2 cups water.

Ground coriander seeds, ground cumin, and dried basil.

One teaspoon of each.

Five or six 6-inch white or yellow corn tortillas.

I was kicking myself when I got home from the store, when I realized that I had bought flour tortillas instead of corn.

I was having a senior moment at 43!

But I used them anyway.  Wishing, while kicking myself, that I had corn tortillas.

Slice tortillas into one inch strips.

And them chop into one inch squares.

Oh.  Don’t forget the avocados.  You will need 3 large, ripe avocados.

One-half (1/2) avocado per serving.

And cheddar cheese and sour cream.  Only if you want a richer, heartier soup!

And your favorite corn tortilla chips to serve on the side.

~~~

How to prepare the soup:

Heat a large pot (I am using a 5 quart pot) and add 3 tablespoons olive oil.

Saute chopped onions until translucent.

Add garlic and saute few more minutes.

Add chopped celery, carrots, and jalapenos.

Stir and saute for five minutes.

Add the whole peeled tomatoes.  Break ’em into chunks using a spatula.

Stir and add the chicken broth.  Plus 2 cups water.

Add the ground coriander and cumin and dried basil.

Cover pot and bring soup to a boil over medium heat.

Add the chopped corn tortillas into the pot.

Reduce heat to low and simmer soup until vegetables are tender. About 20 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup chopped cilantro.

Add the shredded chicken to the soup.

Season with coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Simmer soup for another 15 minutes.

Serve soup warm.  As is…

With your favorite corn tortilla chips…

Or…

Top each bowl with avocado chunks.

And to add more excitement and personality to soup –

And to make it richer and heartier –

Top each bowl with shredded cheddar cheese or Pepper Jack Cheese and sour cream along with the avocados.

I have to be honest…

I was reluctant at first to use the avocados.  So when I served the soup for the first time, I served it with sour cream. To be on the safe side.

But I made a big pot, like I always do, because I’m lazy like that.

So the next day when I served the same soup again, this time, I bravely added chunks of avocados in each bowl.

And you know…

I’m glad I did because the avocados made the soup taste creamier, even without the cheese and sour cream.

The avocados were subtle, yet surprisingly seductive and intriguing that makes the palate hunger for more…

Here’s the recipe:

Chunky Mexican Chicken Soup

Serves 4 – 6 people

Ingredients:

3 or 4 large split chicken breasts – bone in, skin on

3 TBSPs. canola or olive oil

4 tsps. kosher salt

2 tsps. ground black pepper

3 TBSPs. olive oil

2 large onions – peeled and chopped

6 garlic cloves – smashed, peeled and chopped

4 jalapeno peppers – seeds removed and chopped

4 medium size carrots – peeled and chopped

2 large stalks celery – chopped

1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes

1 tsp. ground coriander seed

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. dried basil

4 cans (14.5 ounces each) chicken broth or 6 cups chicken stock

2 cups filtered water

5 (6 inch) white or yellow corn tortillas – sliced and chopped into 1-inch squares

½ cup chopped cilantro

2 tsps. coarse sea salt or to taste

½ tsp. ground black pepper

Corn tortilla chips – to serve on the side

Optional Toppings:

3 large ripe Avocado – peeled seeded and cut into chunks (allow ½ avocado per person)

Grated sharp cheddar cheese or Pepper Jack Cheese

Sour cream

Remove chicken from the package and rinse under cold running water.  Pat dry with paper towels.  And place chicken in a heavy duty baking sheet.

Pour a little bit of oil – canola or olive oil on each chicken breast and rub the oil all over the chicken breast.

Generously season the chicken breasts with kosher salt and ground black pepper.  Season them on both sides.

Preheat the oven at 400°F.

Roast chicken breasts at 400°F for 50 minutes.

(Prepare all the vegetables needed while the chicken is roasting in the oven.)

Tear the chicken meat off the bones.  Shred the chicken with your hands or tear them into chunks.  Place chunks or shredded chicken in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.

Discard bones and skins.

Heat a large pot and add 3 tablespoons olive oil.

Saute chopped onions until translucent.

Add garlic and saute few more minutes.

Add chopped celery, carrots, and jalapenos.

Stir and saute for five minutes.

Add the whole tomatoes.  Break ‘em into chunks using a spatula.

Add the chicken broth, plus 2 cups of water.

Add 1 tsp. ground coriander seed, 1 tsp. ground cumin and 1 tsp. dried basil.

Stir the  mixture.

Cover pot and bring soup to a boil over medium heat.  Once the soup is boiling, add the chopped corn tortillas.

Cover and simmer soup until vegetables are tender.  And soup is slightly thick.  About 20 minutes.

Add the shredded chicken to the soup and simmer again for another 15 minutes.

Taste to see how much salt is needed.  Otherwise, add 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

Serve warm with your favorite corn tortilla chips on the side.

Top each bowl of soup with chunks of avocado.

And for richer, heartier soup, top each bowl with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Tess’ Kitchen Secrets:

#1 – Avocado chunks make this soup taste creamier.  The creaminess comes when you take a spoonful of the soup with a small chunk of avocado.

#2 – Shredded Cheddar or Pepper Jack Cheese takes this soup to another level.

#3 – Corn tortilla chips is a great accompaniment to the soup.  It makes the soup less serious, even though it is.  And makes the soup fun to eat.

Enjoy and Happy Cooking!

Tess Harris

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5 thoughts on “Chunky Mexican Chicken Soup

  1. Pingback: Soup is Fit Food « pFIT blog

  2. It has to be the cooler weather cause I have been craving soups lately. I made a big batch of vegetable soup the other day. I even froze some cause I didn’t wanna eat it all before the weekend….LOL. I would pick a thick & hearty soup any day ~ there my favorite so this is gunna be a hit for me. And don’t forget to post that chicken club salad recipe cause what’s better then a bowl of soup with a sandwich…AWESOME. I like how you topped the soup with avocado ~ interesting. I just started liking avocado so I can’t wait to try this recipe. Another good one…….

    Have a gr8 weekend Tess 🙂

    • Thanks Mario!

      Yep! Cold weather is here. It’s 39 degrees right outside, right now. But I’m sure it’s a lot colder in your neck of the woods…

      Me too. I was surprise how the avocados fit right in with the soup. I hope you like it…

      Same to you.

      Have a great Sunday and the coming week. 🙂

      • I was really curious about the avocado so I went & got some. I pureed some of that vegetable soup I made & added the avocado on top……holy shit what a nice kick…..I luv it! That is my new thing now 🙂 thnx Tess.

        Just came to get your spiced pumpkin cookie recipe ~ can’t find the one I printed off….someone must of stole it. Gunna make them today for our road trip. I hope they freeze well cause if I don’t freeze them I will eat them all before we leave. Then makin them again for Thanksgiving at my friend’s place cause she thinks the kids will like it. Seems so strange having another Thanksgiving but any excuse to make those cookies works for me 🙂

        Have a gr8 week……hugggggerooos

        • Thanks Mario!

          Am so happy you love those cookies!

          … I don’t know if they freeze well.
          I’ve never freeze them.
          We usually eat them all up in a few days. So no need for freezing… 🙂

          Have a fun road trip!

          Hugs!

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