If you are looking strictly at pictures, I suppose this bowl of soup looks very similar to some others that I have made, but I promise, it’s different. At least a little different!
First, and foremost, I realized that all of my soups and stews were either vegetable based, or used pork or beef, and none were focused on chicken. Second, while my meat stews certainly include vegetables, none of them are really focused on trying to jam as many in as possible, with the possible exception of my pork guisado recipe which uses a whole lot of tomatillos.
So I felt like it was time for a change, time to find a one pot meal using chicken as my protein and including loads of vegetables and, of course, ensuring that I fully utilize this opportunity to include homemade chicken stock.
If you are so inclined, here’s a pretty nerdy article about a few health benefits of eating/drinking homemade chicken stock.
If you’ve been reading my recipes for any amount of time, then you already know that I’m often concerned with my health, and the health of my family, when preparing meals, and that I like to think through my list of ingredients to ensure that I am being intentional and thoughtful about what we all put into our bodies on a daily basis.
But for this recipe, there is really very little to worry about. The base of this soup is my homemade chicken stock, which is always a better option than store bought when possible.
And vegetables? Always a good idea. When possible, I buy organic, not because it’s guaranteed to help me lose weight or suddenly become super healthy, but because it’s usually a better option than conventionally grown vegetables, which most likely still carry pesticide residue, which I would just as soon live without.
The last major ingredient to worry about is the chicken, which turns into a convenience vs health concern for me. On the one hand, I’m sure it would be best to pick up my chicken from a Farmers Market where I can be pretty sure it’s been raised while be allowed to forage like a chicken should and without the use of antibiotics, making it a superior choice to conventionally raised chickens.
But I don’t always make it to Farmers Markets, and when I do, I don’t always buy everything that I’ll could possibly need for future meals, so sometimes it’s chicken from a grocery store. But even then, you can still make the best decision based upon what is available, so I try to buy from chickens that have been raised as ethically as possible, not in conventionally farming operations, and with as much pasture room as realistically possible. Again, without antibiotics.
Once you have all of the ingredients sourced, the actual making of the soup is pretty easy! A whole lot of cutting and dicing, and then some waiting around while everything cooks through on the stove.
Mexican Chicken and Vegetable Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 onions chopped
- 6 stalks celery chopped
- 4 cloves garlic diced
- 6 carrots chopped
- 2 jalapeno peppers chopped
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground chipotle pepper
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 can diced tomatoes – 28 oz
- 8 cups chicken stock
- chop and prep all your vegetables and spices
- over medium flame on your stove, add your cooking oil and once ready, add your chicken thighs and cook until nicely browned on both sides
- remove chicken from pot and set to the side
- add onions to pan and a little more oil if needed and cook a few minutes, scraping frequently, to release the chicken fond from the bottom of the pot
- add the rest of the chopped vegetables, garlic and peppers then turn to coat with any liquid or cooking fat in the pan
- add the spices and stir
- add the tomatoes and stir to combine
- cut the chicken you set aside earlier into small bite sized pieces, and then add to the pot
- add the chicken stock, stir to combine, and let simmer for 2-2 1/2 hours
- serve warm with avocado, sour cream and/or cheddar cheese if desired