Spicy Southwestern Chicken Soup

So… I could offer all sorts of excuses as to where I have been and why I haven’t been blogging, but I’m not a big fan of excuses, so I won’t. I guess I didn’t think that anybody would notice I haven’t been writing new posts and I could just start posting again as if there hasn’t been a huge gap, but since a few people have actually been asking me what’s up, I figured I better get back to things!

I have been cooking in my “time off” and making things. Last night I decided to cook dinner for my boyfriend and I, and given my “trying something I don’t like” rule, I started browsing soup recipes online.  Soup. I don’t even like the word. It’s not that I’m necessarily anti-soup, it was just never something I really tried or went out of my way to have – just had a “meh” attitude towards it. Plus, it reminds me of old people and dental work. I suppose it was a weird choice for the middle of summer (much less the middle of a heat wave here in Buffalo!) but after I found this recipe for spicy southwestern chicken soup I figured what the heck, and off I went to the store to go shopping.

In addition to not being big on soup as a whole, I also am not big on chicken thighs. I’ll eat boneless skinless chicken breast for every meal and be perfectly happy about it, but thighs or other chicken parts I think are “weird”. Even with boneless skinless breast, if I have two pounds of it, by the time I trim off all the pieces I deem odd-looking (and therefore not edible) I probably wind up with a pound and a half, MUCH to the delight of my dogs. The recipe called for breast and thighs, so that was what I put in, skin and bones and all (bones! I don’t even eat chicken wings because I don’t like eating things off the bone. Too many veins and “what is this?” scenarios go on then.)

I used an 8 quart pot, which was JUST enough, thankfully, being that it was the biggest pot I had. I chopped everything up, resisting the urge to just eat a raw jalapeno pepper. I could tell that this was going to make a LOT of soup.

This was one of those recipes where as I was cooking I didn’t leave my boyfriend alone and had to ask him questions such as “Do I just leave the skin on as it cooks?” and “Do I have to have a lid on when it’s simmering??” I’ve found that with recipes online, there is ALWAYS something I either have to Google or ask about. I’m sure people writing recipes don’t think that someone who may be following them has to know these, that out there there is some general unknown to me standard for these “little” things, but I just never know unless it says “simmer uncovered” or whatever it may be. At least I am getting better at this point at terminology though.

Anyway, oil, chicken, brown the chicken. Over my blogging absence I found that all this time I had been browning chicken ALL WRONG. For some reason my method was to turn the heat up super, super high, throw the chicken in for a few seconds, wonder why it was sticking to the bottom, then try to move it around leaving chicken bits all over the place. So it never really got brown and I never knew why, until one day I was cooking and Luke told me that if the chicken won’t move, it’s not done and not brown so don’t touch it. I’m bad at leaving things alone. So this recipe was the first time I actually PROPERLY browned chicken. Yay. I threw in the garlic, onions, let them get soft, then dumped in everything else – corn, tomato, lime juice, jalapeno, and red pepper. I must admit, I did like cooking soup, which for some reason all I could think of as I was making it was an old episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? Maybe that’s why I never liked soup… Anyway, there was something about just dumping all that stuff in there, mixing it up and letting it simmer that I liked, even though later it struck me it really was the worst idea ever to warm up my house MORE than it already was with this simmering for 45 minutes.

After the 45 minutes I took out the chicken and turned the heat off to let the soup cool so I could skim the fat (gross. Is that a standard soup thing you have to do?) and take the bones out of the chicken. I sort of wish I had a photo of the pieces of chicken that were banned from my soup… honestly, there was a lot (which my boyfriend put in his, claiming there was nothing wrong with it and that I was crazy.). Even with the icky pieces not being in the soup, there was still a lot of chicken in it. And it DID make a lot – I have a ton of it frozen in my freezer for a later date when I don’t feel like making my whole house feel like a sauna. Garnished it with a little cheese, raw jalapeno, a sprig of parsley (Wegmans was out of cilantro) and a teensy bit of sour cream.

It was pretty good. Not my favorite thing by far, but not terrible. I put in two teaspoons of cumin but could have put in more, because cumin is the source of all things delicious. Being that I’ve been eating healthier and working out lately and there’s so many healthy soups to make, I was hoping that I would have some sort of sudden soup epiphany and declare soup to be the new smoothie (I have been obsessed with smoothies. I’m going to have to write a whole blog post on my new-found smoothie infatuation), but that didn’t happen. Luke said it was amazing though, so I suspect he’ll be taking the leftovers so they don’t go to waste. I’d rather have cereal. Hmm, maybe that means I would like a cold soup instead…?

P.S. I still haven’t gotten my oven fixed.

One Response to “Spicy Southwestern Chicken Soup”
  1. Heather says:

    That looks amazing Erin! You should try tortilla chicken soup!

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