Mexican Chicken Soup

The chili on the right is a poblano. The red ones on top are jalapenos.

The chili on the right is a poblano. The red ones on top are jalapenos.

Here it is. The beginning of another year. I don't make resolutions, because I always break them. I have permanently removed a certain reprehensible four letter word from my vocabulary. I am not referring to the F word, but I must admit that describes the way I feel about the D word. That dreaded word-- DIET. Every time I go on one, I end up feeling deprived and bingeing. If I made one resolution it would be to never try to D again.

That brings me to this week's recipe.  After eating (and cooking) non-stop throughout the holidays, I wanted to make something light, healthy and delicious for dinner that I could throw together fast. 

Scouring my fridge, I found a poblano chili, leftover chicken, an avocado and a few sprigs of cilantro. The definite beginnings of Mexican soup. I added some tortilla chips to help thicken the soup while it simmered and sprinkled some on top to add crunch.

You should try adding or substituting whatever is in your fridge---leftover pork, ham, turkey or even turning the soup vegetarian with vegetable stock and whatever veggies you have.

Poblanos are a mild to medium chili, but since every chili varies in heat, I like to taste the soup and then stir in jalapeños to give it more zing.  

Mexican Chicken Soup

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1  yellow onion , chopped
1 poblano chili pepper, chopped
4 cups chicken stock (organic Swanson or Trader Joe)
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes with juice
1½ cups whole grain or other tortilla chips, finely crushed + more for topping
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro + sprigs for topping
2 to 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cut into chunks
1 to 3 teaspoons diced jarred or fresh jalapeños
1 avocado, chopped

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat until hot.  Stir in onion and poblano and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about  8 minutes. Add stock, tomatoes with their juice and crushed tortilla chips.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until tortillas soften and can be stirred into soup to thicken it, about 8 minutes.  Stir in cilantro, chicken and half the avocados.  Simmer 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and stir in as many jalapeños as desired.
  2. Ladle soup into bowls and top with avocado, cilantro and coarsely crushed tortilla chips.

Makes 4 main dish servings.

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