Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tex-Mex Chicken Soup

I love the Tex-Mex Chicken Soup because it’s so versatile and has many variations – great for any diet!
·      You can use whatever veggies you have from your garden or, if you’re so lucky, the neighbor’s excess.
·      Make it vegetarian by leaving out the chicken and using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.  
·      Add black beans and brown rice for a complete protein.  
·      Serve it hot or cold.  
·      Omit the chicken broth and serve it as a side dish or do not cook the vegetables and serve it as a salad with a lovely balsamic vinaigrette.
This recipe can be adjusted to be low-carb, vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free.
 ~ Charmane

Tex-Mex Chicken Soup

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 large bell pepper, coarsely chopped
3 large celery stalks, coarsely chopped
4 large button mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
3 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1-32 oz. can of diced tomatoes, in their juice
1 medium-sized Cubanelle pepper, finely chopped
8 cups chicken stock, low sodium
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
3 oz.  black olives, chopped
Juice of one lemon juice
½ cup cilantro, chopped
4 cups cooked chicken, coarsely chopped
Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
Sour cream
Cheddar cheese, shredded

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium heat.  Add onion, bell pepper, celery, mushrooms, carrots and a pinch of sea salt.  Let the vegetables sweat until they begin to soften, approximately 8 minutes,  stirring occasionally.  Add garlic; continue cooking for 2 more minutes.

Add the diced tomatoes and deglaze the pan.  Add the pepper, chicken stock and Tex-Mex rub.  Increase the heat to high and bring to a simmer.  Once simmering, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the vegetables are fork-tender, approximately 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the corn, black olives, lemon juice, cilantro and chicken. Taste for seasoning; add sea salt and pepper, if needed.  Serve with sour cream, cheddar cheese and extra cilantro leaves.  Serves 8-10

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