Mexican Chicken Soup

I LOVE soup in winter, and this has been a particularly brutal winter here in the northeast. Even though I had a soup company, I've always found making soup to be hard work and I have to admit that I've been pretty lazy about making soup since I shut down my business. Between just recovering from a bad cold and my extreme desire to eat some soup, I finally motivated and made a double batch of my Mexican Chicken Soup. I was happy I did! If forgot how delicious this soup is. Even though it's very healthy, it is flavor packed with lots of spices, garlic and jalapeños. I hope you enjoy it, and please let me know how it goes!

*Just 1 tip: I highly recommend getting a kitchen scale to make this recipe. It makes recreating recipes so much easier. When I was making this, I noticed I had written 8 small jalapeños. The jalapeños I used were on the larger size so I literally used 1/2 (4 of them), but without my kitchen scale, I really would have been guessing.

Ingredients:

BROTH

  • 2 chicken breasts (20 oz) on the bone, no skin
  • 1 medium carrot (3 oz), roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk celery (2 oz), roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion (4 oz), roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic (8 grams), roughly chopped
  • 12 cups cool water

SOUP

  • 1 cup dried black beans (7 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 9 cloves garlic (35 grams), minced
  • 4 medium jalapeños (100 grams), seeded and minced
  • 1 1⁄2 medium onions (10 oz), diced
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes – you can use either
  • fresh or canned in juice
  • 3⁄4 cup frozen corn (4 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin (8 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander (6 grams)
  • 2 1⁄2 teaspoons oregano (4 grams)
  • 1⁄2 cup cilantro (20 grams), large stem pieces removed, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt (12 grams)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Rinse the beans to remove any dirt or residue.
  2. Put 8 cups of cool water in a container that can hold at least 12 cups and stir in 1 1⁄2 tablespoons of sea salt.
  3. Pour in the rinsed beans, cover and soak for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Drain the beans and put them into a pot and fill with water to about 3 inches above the bean level. Bring to a low boil and cook until beans are soft. This could take about 1-2 hours depending on how old the beans are. Make sure all the water does not boil off. If you see it getting low, add water.
  5. Drain the beans in a strainer and set aside.
  6. Put all broth ingredients in an 8 quart pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and let it simmer for an hour.
  7. Take out the chicken. When it’s cool enough to handle, remove from the bone and shred.
  8. Strain and discard the rest of the veggies from the broth and set broth aside.
  9. In an 8 quart pot, heat the olive oil on medium. Add the onions, garlic, jalapeno and oregano and sauté on medium heat until veggies are soft, about 20 minutes. If the veggies are sticking, turn the heat to low and add a few tablespoons of water.
  10. Add the cumin, coriander, tomatoes, corn, shredded chicken, cooked beans and reserved broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  11. Add cilantro and simmer for 2 more minutes.
  12. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serving suggestions:
Serve with some crushed tortilla chips, shredded Cheddar cheese, hot sauce and chopped avocado