There is nothing better than a steaming hot, tasty, bowl of soup on a cold winter day. If it was up to me I think soup would be on the menu almost nightly from December to February! That is how much I enjoy soup.
One of my favorites is “Caldo de Pollo” which is otherwise called Mexican Chicken Soup. Anytime I make that soup, my mind races back to my childhood years. It was a meal that was not only delicious but comforting. I remember sitting at my grandmother’s farm table as well as my mother’s kitchen table and enjoying this soup on many chilly days. When I would ask either one of them how they made it taste so good, they would always tell me there was a secret ingredient. That special addition was the LOVE they put into making this yummy soup for their family.
One of the things I truly love about this soup recipe is that you can add as many or as few vegetables to the recipe depending on your preference. I have made it a number of ways but today I will share the heartiest version which is so tasty.
Don’t be afraid to experiment a little with your own variety of ingredients. I can almost promise you that this will become one of your favorites also.
2 pounds COOKED shredded chicken (breasts, tenders, or thigh meat) NOTE: If you do not have time to cook the chicken meat yourself, purchase a rotisserie chicken and pull all the meat from it. Shred it with a fork. Discard the skin from the meat.
8 cups chicken stock or broth (regular or low sodium)
1 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic powder OR 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon red paprika powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional if you want to tone down the heat)
1 Tablespoon of salt OR 2 chicken flavored bouillon cubes
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut in large chunks
4 zucchini, cut in large chunks
4 long celery stems cut in 2 inch pieces
1 large sweet onion, cut in large chunks
1 15 ounce can cut green beans, drained
1 15 ounce can canned yellow corn, drained OR 2 shucked ears of corn cut in 3 inch pieces
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
In a large stock pot, saute’ the carrots, onion, and celery in olive oil on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute’ for 1 minute more. Keep stirring as you saute to avoid burning the vegetables or garlic. Next, add the stock and water.
Now add the potatoes, zucchini, green beans, corn, and crushed tomatoes. Stir well and add the salt OR bouillon cubes, cumin, paprika, chili powder and the garlic powder unless you have already added fresh garlic at the beginning. Cover the pot and bring everything to a boil. Once the soup starts boiling add the chicken, stir well and turn down the heat to a simmer. Leave on simmer until the vegetables and potatoes are completely cooked. They should be tender but do not overcook them or they will get mushy.
Ripe Avocado, peeled and sliced
1 bunch fresh Cilantro chopped
You are now ready to savor this yumminess. Serve yourself up a bowl of soup. You can top with a slice of avocado and a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle some chopped cilantro and finish off with a few tortilla chips on the side. Enjoy!
NOTE: Sometimes my family prefers to have this soup over rice. In that case, I will leave out the potatoes. I do not add the rice to the soup in the pot, but instead put the cooked rice into a bowl and serve the soup over the rice. It is really good that way as well.
You are invited to check out other posts from the series, if you missed it:February Series Intro., 2019