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Monday, January 24, 2011

Fiesta Explosion Soup!!!

Chicken Fiesta Explosion Soup
My daughter calls this "Heaven in a bowl".  And she's right. I decided to make the low fat / low carb version this time, meaning no cheese or sour cream, and only a few corn chips. 
Why, you ask? New Year's resolution? Nope. Not even close. Upcoming beach vacation? Well, yeah... sort of. Utter horror at not being able to wear my skinny jeans?  Or any of my pants? Bingo!!
What we're lacking in fat and carbs, we're making up for in flavor. Break open the spice cabinet, we're on the way to one delicious pot of hearty, filling, good for you and your waistline soup.

 Let's start with some lean, boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs. About 3 will do it. What we're after here are tasty, moist pieces of chicken, not dried out, flavorless chunks of meat. In order to accomplish this, we need to braise the chicken slowly in some really flavorful liquid.
Place the chicken pieces on top of some onion slices (about 1/2 onion) in a baking dish, skillet or pot. Sprinkle with Kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon smoky paprika, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and 1 teaspoon dried oregano. Lay a handful of fresh whole cilantro sprigs right on top. (You'll be taking the sprigs out later). Dump one 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes on top. Add about 1/2 cup chicken stock to the dish; enough so the liquid reaches half way up the breasts. Smash and peel 4 cloves garlic and put them in the liquid.
Cover. Bake at 300 degrees about 40 minutes, until chicken is done. Set aside.
While the chicken is in the oven, prep the vegetables. We need 3 large carrots' 3 celery stalks, 1 large onion, (any color will do), 1 green zucchini, 1 yellow squash, 2 red peppers, and 2 pasilla peppers. Actually, the red peppers and the Pasilla peppers are optional. You can sub a jar of roasted red peppers and (1) 4 ounce can mild green chiles. 
If roasting your own peppers, place them on a sheet pan and pop them under the broiler. Char them on all sides until completely black, like so.


Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. This helps steam the skins off.
Now peel and cut the carrots and onion and place on a sheet pan. Quarter the carrots and thickly slice the onion. 

 Drizzle with extra light olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and cumin.



 Roast them in a 425 degree oven about 20 minutes, until beginning to brown (caramelize). Chop into bite size pieces.
 If you're out of sheet pans or oven space, or just don't feel like roasting these, no big deal. Chop the veg into bite size pieces, season, and sauté in some olive oil until they get a little color on them. 
Color = flavor. Brown food tastes good.
Peel, seed and chop the roasted peppers.

Remove the Cilantro sprigs from the chicken. Chop celery, zucchini, peppers, and chicken. 
Saute' celery in the soup pot.  On medium high heat, add (1) 28 ounce can Fire Roasted Tomatoes, 1 quart chicken stock, chopped onion, carrots, peppers and 1 cup frozen corn kernels. Add the liquid and veg that the chicken cooked in to the pot.

Add 1 package Taco Seasoning mix. Stir.
Add 1 can drained and rinsed black beans, 1 cup frozen corn kernels, and the chopped chicken.
Note: I was planning to add some brown rice, but I changed my mind, thus the "Success Rice" pic.


Taste. Add more stock as needed to get the consistency you desire. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of Cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes. Heck, add a jar of your favorite salsa for extra flavor. Add more cumin or chili powder to suit your taste.

Ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with chopped avocado, fresh chopped cilantro, chopped scallions, and, for those that can still fit into their pants, crushed corn chips, shredded cheddar/jack cheese, and a dollop of sour cream.
This soup freezes well. Fill a few quart size baggies and freeze flat; stacked in your freezer. 
I think I'll have a margarita to wash down the salt....

Ingredients:
One pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
Onion slices (about 1/2 onion)
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper
1+ tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoky paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
6 fresh whole cilantro sprigs
1 packet taco seasoning
One 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken stock
4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
 3 large carrots, peeled and quartered
 3 celery stalks, peeled and sliced
 1 large onion, (any color will do), peeled and diced
 1 green zucchini: Quartered and diced
 1 yellow squash:Quartered and diced
 2 red peppers : Quartered and diced
 2 pasilla peppers Quartered and diced
(Red peppers and the Pasilla peppers are optional. You can sub a jar of roasted red peppers and (1)  4 ounce can mild green chiles). 
(1) 28 ounce can Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 can drained and rinsed black beans 
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 (or more) quarts chicken stock
Fresh avocado
Sliced scallions
Cheese
Sour cream

Method:
  1. Place the chicken pieces on top of some onion slices (about 1/2 onion) in a baking dish, skillet or pot. Sprinkle with Kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon smoky paprika, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and 1 teaspoon dried oregano.
  2. Lay a handful of fresh whole cilantro sprigs on top.
  3. Dump one 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes on top of the chicken.
  4. Add 1/2 cup chicken stock to the dish; enough so the liquid reaches half way up the breasts. 
  5. Smash and peel 4 cloves garlic and put them in the liquid.
  6. Cover. Bake at 300 degrees about 40 minutes, until chicken is done. Set aside.
  7. If roasting your own peppers, place them on a sheet pan and pop them under the broiler.
  8. Char them on all sides until completely black.
  9. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. This helps steam the skins off.
  10. Peel and cut the carrots and onion and place on a sheet pan. Quarter the carrots and thickly slice the onion. 
  11. Drizzle with extra light olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and cumin.
  12. Roast in a 425 degree oven about 20 minutes, until beginning to brown (caramelize). 
  13. Chop into bite size pieces.
  14. Remove the Cilantro sprigs from the chicken. 
  15.  Chop celery, zucchini, peppers, and chicken.
  16. Saute' celery in the soup pot.  
  17. On medium high heat, add (1) 28 ounce can Fire Roasted Tomatoes, 1 quart chicken stock, chopped onion, carrots, peppers and 1 cup frozen corn kernels. Add the liquid and veg that the chicken cooked in to the pot.
  18. Add 1 can drained and rinsed black beans, 1 cup frozen corn kernels, and the chopped chicken.
  19. Taste. Add more stock as needed to get the consistency you desire. 
  20. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of Cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes. Heck, add a jar of your favorite salsa for extra flavor. Add more cumin or chili powder to suit your taste.
  21. Enjoy!











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About Me

Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
I'm a home cook that can put some good tasting food on the table, most of the time. My family knows dinner is ready when the fire alarm goes off.