Monday, March 17, 2008

Chicken 'Pepperilla' Soup

This just might be my very favorite soup. Ever. I love that it has all the flavors of Chicken Tortilla soup- but with out the soggy chips, that, let's face it, taste better on the side with a heaping tablespoon of homemade guac! I make a large batch- but that only serves my family of 6 twice.  And only barely.  I suggest you make this much, and either have leftovers, or freeze the rest.  It freezes quite beautifully, and in the days of less children, I would still make the same amount and freeze it regularly.  It's jam-packed with veggies, protien, and deliciousness  and seriously, we could all eat it for days.

The key is braising the chicken breasts (instead of roasting them) so that they are super moist, and then using the braising liquid as part of the broth...However, if you are lazy (as I am quite apt to be often), you can always purchase a store bought rotisserie chicken or two, and toss that pre-cooked meat right into your soup.


4 chicken breasts
extra virgin olive oil
1 Onion, sliced
5 bell peppers, sliced into strips (I use a mixture of red, orange and yellow)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T cumin
1 T chili pepper
3 vine ripened tomatoes, chopped
3 boxes (12 cups) chicken stock, split use
1 lb baby carrots, sliced into rounds
4 fresh ears white corn (if not in season, one bag of frozen corn)
1 cup of Basmatic rice
1 bunch Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
limes, cut into wedges
sour cream
salt/pepper to taste


To make the chicken:

Preheat oven to 400. Liberally salt and pepper each chicken breast, and rub in a generous amount of olive oil. Place breasts in 9x11 glass pan and add 1 box (4 cups) of chicken stock. Braise for 40 minutes. Remove from oven.

Coat bottom of large stock pot with olive oil. Heat on medium. Add sliced onions and garlic, stir to coat with olive oil. Add sliced peppers. Cook until slightly wilted, about 5 minutes. Add cumin and chili pepper, salt and pepper, stir. Add carrots and tomatoes. Cook 5 more minutes, until tomatoes begin to break down. Add 2 boxes (8 cups) of chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Add rice. Once boiling, turn heat to low and let simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add corn and continue to simmer. Break apart chicken breasts with a fork, and add both chicken and braising liquid to the pan. Allow flavors to incorporate 10-20 more minutes. Sprinkle parsley over soup and serve with a dollop of sour cream and lime wedge.

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