Thursday, December 31, 2015

Take Off The Chill Chicken Lime Soup

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Yum...spicy and refreshing!
 Happy New Year!!!

Baby it's cold outside...finally!  After a perfectly balmy Christmas, I am thrilled to have a roaring fire and a pot of soup.  This soup was exceptional, a little undertone of heat, the perky lime, and some decadence on top.  Let's start at the beginning.  I'm not a fan of Mexican restaurants.  I am not one who craves tacos, enchiladas or fajitas.  I don't drink margaritas out because I am terribly allergic to Triple Sec and just can't trust the bartenders.  I always order soup, and have found many different variations. Some have rice, some have other veggies, some are a little thicker like a chili, some have lots of broth.  A lot of them add tortilla strips, I just wasn't up to making them, and my little grocer doesn't carry them premade.

I referenced a Williams Sonoma recipe online, because I remember one published with the line of spices the stores were carrying, and it called for Mexican Oregano, which I just happen to have.  I am just guessing those spices are gone from the stores, because that recipe seems to have been removed and/or changed.  Let me tell you how I did it.  Trust me, it's fantastic. Mr. Preppy was a little concerned at first bite, but the heat is an undertone and not in your face.  He felt it was too limey, but he ate every bite.

Chicken Lime Soup

2 quarts chicken stock
1 1/2 pounds boneless Chicken
1 teaspoon Mexican Oregano
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 yellow Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
4 Carrots, peeled and diced
1-2 Jalapenos (it depends on their size, their hotness and your tastes!)
1 can diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes (mine had chipotle in it)
1/4 cup sliced Black Olives
6 Tablespoons fresh squeezed Lime Juice
6 Tablespoons chopped fresh Cilantro
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
Sharp White Cheddar, shredded
Chopped Avocado
Sour Cream

I started with frozen chicken breast tenders.  I put them in a large soup pot, poured in a quart of stock and a teaspoon of Mexican Oregano and brought to a simmer, cook it slow, no boiling.  As the chicken cooked, the stock reduced.  When I could see the chicken was cooked and would shred I removed from the heat. Pour the entire contents of the pot through a sieve placed over a large bowl.  When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred and set aside.  Reserve the stock.

In the same pot, place the olive oil on medium and add onion, garlic, carrot and jalapenos.  Cook without browning, stirring frequently.  When they are soft and fragrant, add the tomatoes, the second quart of stock, the olives, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper and the shredded chicken with the reserved stock.

These are tasty with the chipotle peppers!
Fresh lime is key!

At this point all you are doing is warming it through.  When piping hot, ladle into large bowls and top with avocado, white cheddar and if it's a little spicy, sour cream.  The sour cream will break and look sort of nasty, but it will help with the heat if the jalapenos are too spicy!  You can also top with fried tortilla strips and even add a scoop of rice in the bottom of the bowl if you want a little starch.  We ate ours with crusty sourdough bread.  So, what are you waiting for?  It's finally cold, get in there and make soup!!!

Sharp White Cheddar and Avocado toppings.

Serves about 8