Chicken Chile Soup

Circle B Kitchen

This is a great do-ahead meal for a crowd or a weeknight family dinner. You can throw all of the ingredients in a crock pot and let it cook all day. It just gets better with time. This is also a great soup to adapt to your own tastes. You could easily substitute roasted, peeled and chopped fresh chiles for the canned, or canned diced jalapenos for all or some of the chiles. This would also work well with shredded thigh meat. For those of you with a crockpot, I've also included a slow cooker version below.

Serves 6

For the Soup…

4 cups of cooked, shredded chicken breast (about 4 breasts)

2-3 tbs. olive oil,

1 large yellow onion diced

1 tsp. ground cumin

2 tbs. minced fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)

5 garlic cloves minced

12 oz fire roasted diced canned green chiles (such as Hatch)

6 cups of chicken stock (homemade is nice)

2 15 oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

For serving…

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (or more, if needed)

2 limes, sliced in wedges

Lots of grated jack cheese or cotija cheese

1 to 2 avocados, diced

Fried tortilla strips (optional)

Diced jalapenos (also optional)

In a large soup pot, sauté the diced onion in the olive oil until softened. Add the chopped garlic, cumin and oregano, and sauté until fragrant, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the remaining soup ingredients to the pot, cover and simmer for 1 -2 hours.

To serve, top bowls of the soup with grated cheese, chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado, tortilla strips (if using) and lime wedges.

Slow Cooker Version

Combine 2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs with the remaining soup ingredients, using only 5 cups of the chicken stock. Stir to make sure the spices coat everything, Place the lid on the slow cooker. Cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. (It's fine to cook for 8 hours on low, if needed, but the chicken tends to fall apart a bit more when you shred after cooking, rather than staying in pieces.)

About 30 minutes before the end of cooking, taste and add another 1/2 teaspoon of salt or other seasonings as desired. Add the lid back on and cook for the remaining time.

Lift the chicken from the slow cooker and shred it into large, bite-sized pieces with two forks. Stir the chicken back into the soup. Serve as noted above.