Chicken is by far my favorite soup meat so I make a lot of chicken soup. When my simple herbed chicken soup gets tiresome, this Southwestern chicken soup is one of my go-to options. Like most soups, it’s simple to throw together and is easily adapted to accommodate what you have on hand. Just don’t skip the onions and bell pepper – I think they’re necessary for the Southwestern flavor.
Since I can’t stand spicy food, this soup is not a bit spicy. Jesse likes to add hot sauce to his bowl for some extra heat. I’d imagine hot salsa or cayenne pepper would also be good options for boosting spiciness.
Even though we’re only a family of two, I always make this in big batches so I can benefit from several days of easy lunches. (If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my tips for making big batches of soup.)
Ingredients (serves 8):
3 medium onions, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
4 mushrooms, sliced
1/4 medium cabbage, diced
About 1 cup zucchini, shredded
2 cups diced chicken (or whatever amount of chicken you need for eight servings)
8 cups chicken broth
1 7 oz. jar tomato paste
5 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon oregano
3/4 teaspoons cumin
Dash of pepper (or more, if you like pepper)
Salt to taste
Lard, olive oil, refined coconut oil or other oil of your choice for sautéing
Cheddar cheese, butter, diced tomatoes, and avocado for garnishes (optional)
Sauté onions in lard, olive oil, refined coconut oil or other oil of your choice until soft.
Add minced garlic to onions and cook another couple of minutes, until garlic is cooked but not yet browned.
Add chicken broth, tomato paste, bell pepper, carrots, celery, mushrooms, cabbage, diced chicken, oregano, cumin and pepper. Bring everything to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer. Allow to cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Add shredded zucchini, then continue to cook until all vegetables reach your desired tenderness.
Serve. If desired, top bowls with grated cheddar cheese, diced avocado, diced tomatoes and a slice of butter for additional flavor and nutrition. Enjoy!
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