Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Easy Chicken Chile Verde Soup (with 2 variations) PLUS How to Caramelize Onions Faster!

Here is another EASY pantry meal: Chicken Chile Verde Soup. Iv'e been doing a lot of sugar-free candy formulating lately (like marshmallows and caramel), so I have needed quick meals for the family, preferably ones that make great leftovers!

Creamy Chicken Chile Verde Soup

I felt like creating a new Mexican-style soup using the batch of home made chicken stock I just made. We like to buy rotisserie chickens from Costco for a quick meal. I then usually make chicken stock from what ever is left of the chicken. Having so much freshly made chicken stock on hand, I am always seeking new ways to use it because we like variety at our house.

Today I felt like Mexican, but I didn't want a black bean soup, or a tortilla soup, or even a red Mexican soup. So tomatillos came to mind, and roasted green chilies...and I was off!

The recipe posted here is what I came up with. I am pleased with the results, especially when my husband said it is now one of his top favorite soups ever. The rest of the family really enjoyed it too.

I like to stock my pantry with some Mexican staples, which makes putting this soup together very quick and easy.

This soup has a lot going on. It is loaded with goodies. It has a nice tang and brightness from the tomatillos and lime, and is accented with a touch of sweetness to balance out the flavor of the roasted peppers. It also has an appealing smoky depth from the chipotle and smoked paprika. And we always love what caramelized onions bring to the party, right?

Here is a tip about caramelizing onions more quickly and creating a more flavorful result: 
Add a pinch of baking soda, and for the best flavor a pinch of salt while you are sauteing the onions. They will brown faster and have superior flavor this way. The baking soda changes the pH in a way that affects something called the Maillard Reaction (the browning process). Now you know.

I created 2 soup varieties.: A dairy-free version and an extra creamy version. I served the extra creamy version.


Leila's Easy Chicken Chile Verde Soup (2 ways):

1-2 T. coconut oil and/or butter
A pinch of baking soda
4 large garlic cloves
1/2 t. smoked paprika
1/2 t. cumin
1/4 t. Mexican oregano
25 grinds black pepper, to taste
A pinch ground chipotle pepper, to taste
1/4 t. granulated garlic (or garlic powder)
1 4.25-ounce can chopped pitted black olives
1 7-ounce can Fire Roasted Diced Green Chilies  (La Victoria brand has the best roasted flavor)
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatillos (like Hatch brand)
1 15-ounce can Great Northern beans (white beans), undrained
1 28-ounce can green chile enchilada sauce (like El Paso brand)
1 29-ounce can Mexican Style Hominy (like Juanita's brand), drained
1 quart home made chicken stock, or organic boxed chicken stock
1/4 c. good quality white wine, optional
2 t. BioSalt or sea salt
1/2 t. onion salt
Shredded chicken meat (about a pound), to taste
1 lime, juiced
3 T. Brown Just Like Sugar and/or raw honey (I used 2 T just Like Sugar and 1 T. honey) *

1 block (8-ounces) Neufchatel or cream cheese, optional for the creamy version of this soup


Garnishes:

Minced cilantro
Avocado slices
Mexican cheese
Diced ripe tomatoes
Sour cream
Smoked paprika


Method:

Saute the onion in the oil, adding a pinch of baking soda and a pinch of BioSalt to caramelize the onions faster.

Smash the garlic with some of the salt called for and add to the almost finished onions. Saute.

Add the smoked paprika, cumin, Mexican oregano, garlic powder, fresh ground black pepper, and chipotle powder. Saute until fragrant to bloom the flavors of the spices.

Add all of the canned goods and chicken stock and let the soup simmer about 30 minutes or so. The soup will thicken slightly.

Add the cooked and shredded chicken meat.

To make the creamy version of this soup: Cut up the block of Neufchatel or cream cheese into cubes and stir into the soup, and let simmer a few minutes to let the cheese melt, stirring to speed the melting process. Turn down the heat so that the soup doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.

Add the rest of the BioSalt called for and the juice of 1 lime.

Add the Just Like Sugar and/or raw honey. If using honey, add just before serving so that you don't boil the honey. Taste the soup and adjust seasonings if needed.

Serve hot with garnishes of choice.


Note: You may also use Lakanto's golden zero-calorie granular sweetener instead of Just Like Sugar.


Tip: I think a lovely appetizer would be my Chili"s Copy Cat Salsa recipe and corn chips!



Get your ingredients ready.

Caramelizing the onions.

Adding the canned ingredients to the soup.

The finished Dairy-Free Chicken Chile Verde Soup (not the creamy version).

The Dairy-Free Soup Version garnished and ready to eat.

The Creamy Chicken Chile Verde Soup is finished (with the cheese added).

The Creamy chicken Chile Verde Soup is served.

How I like to smash my garlic, releasing the maximum amount of flavor oils.

Brown Just Like Sugar (a healthy sugar-free brown sugar replacement).



Enjoy,

Leila.


P.S.   In case you were curious about how my sugar-free candy testing is coming out...

Sugar-Free Hand Wrapped Vanilla Caramels.

Fluffy Sugar-Free Vanilla Marshmallows.

Author, Leila.