If you like things a little spicy,

then you will love my  Happy, Healthy and Hot Southwest Chicken Soup.  It has those great southwest flavors, and it is super easy.  And it makes a huge pot, which means leftovers for lunch!

southwest soup

Soup, like smoothies, is very forgiving.  It is easy to make changes or substitutions.  Cooking should be fun and creative…not stressful.  I was dancing around my kitchen to 5sos while I made this, not stressing over a complicated recipe.

So here’s some of the good stuff that goes into the soup:

Onions have a unique combination of flavonoids and sulphur-containing nutrients, and are a good source of biotin and copper.

I used a large red bell pepper.  If you can find an organic pepper, that is best, since peppers are on the dirty dozen (if you don’t know what that is, read this post:  When you hear the words “Talk dirty to me”)  Peppers are a great source of vitamin C, which we need to replenish every day since our bodies cannot store it.

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are perfect for this soup.  I buy pastured chicken from local farmers whenever possible.  In this case, I used the next best thing, organic chicken from Wegmans.

The spices really make the soup.  I used ground chipotle pepper, chili powder, and cumin.  If you don’t have all three, don’t worry.  Use what you have on hand.  Read Let’s spice things up  to find out why I switched to organic spices.  I don’t measure…just sprinkle them on.  In fact, I rarely measure anything…this soup really consists of dumping a bunch of stuff in a big pot.  That’s how I cook!

This is a broth based soup.  I used packaged chicken broth because I was out of my homemade bone broth.  You can read more about the benefits of bone broth here:  Better than collagen?

southwest soup broth
This is what I used

Salsa gives the soup even more flavor.  Jarred salsa is fine.  I used mild organic salsa from Wegmans, but my soup still had a really nice kick from the spices.

I rarely use corn, but the natural sweetness really balances the flavors nicely in this case.  Corn is one veggie that you should always buy organic, since so much corn is GMO these days.  I used canned organic corn…frozen would work as well.

This soup could be made vegan by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth, and diced tofu (probably two packages) for the chicken.  It would not need to cook as long either.

So here it is…feel free to adapt however you like!

Happy, Healthy and Hot Southwest Chicken Soup

Olive oil to drizzle in pot

1 large yellow or sweet onion, diced

1 large sweet bell pepper, diced

1 package boneless, skinless chicken thighs…anywhere from 1 to 2 pounds

Cumin, chile powder, ground chipotle pepper

Salt and pepper

1 quart chicken broth

1/2 of a 15 ounce jar of salsa

15 ounce can of organic corn

Optional garnish:  diced avocado, minced cilantro, lime wedges

So here’s what you do…

Drizzle the bottom of your soup pot with olive oil, and put on medium heat.  Dice the onion and add to the pot, stirring from time to time.  Cook about 5 minutes, then add the chicken thighs to the pot.  Sprinkle them with salt, pepper, chile powder, ground chipotle pepper and cumin.  Cook the chicken thighs for about 5 minutes, flip, and cook another 5 minutes.  Then add the diced pepper, chicken broth, and salsa.  Raise heat to high until the soup is about to boil, then lower heat so it is simmering gently.

Let it go until the chicken is well cooked.  Mine took about half an hour.  I check by pulling a thigh out and trying to cut/shred it.  If it shreds easily, it is done.  Fish out all the thighs with a slotted spoon, and shred them with two forks.  Or cut in pieces with a knife and fork if that’s easier.  Return to pot, add the drained can of corn, and cook for just a minute to heat the corn.  You’re good to go!

This makes a big pot of soup!  And the leftovers are awesome.  A squeeze of fresh lime right before you eat it livens the flavors even more.  Diced avocado and/or cilantro make a nice garnish.

The soup is really a meal in itself.  You could add a salad to round it out, or maybe some organic corn chips if you want a little crunch.

Can this soup help you feel happy, healthy and hot?  You know the answer…of course it can!  You will be happy eating such a spicy, delicious soup!  The mix of high quality protein and veggies is very healthy.  And the antioxidants, vitamin C and protein are awesome for your skin…so you’ll be hot!

 

 

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