spicy chicken soup

July 22, 2013 § 38 Comments

This soup works really well if you are hosting a large dinner party.    You can make this soup ahead of time and let it simmer for an hour or so.  It is always nice to be able to keep your meal simple and have everything prepared, leaving you with time to sit and relax with your friends.  Over the course of a few years I have made this soup over and again making minor changes and this is the latest and greatest rendering.   I especially enjoy fresh cilantro, lime wedges, extra minced chili peppers, cotija cheese and avocado as a garnish on the table for everyone to finish off  the bowls to their liking.  Cotiija is a part skim milk cheese with a delicious sharp flavor.  It crumbles nicely and melts rather well in soups. It’s characteristics are much like feta so you could substitute if you like.   I put out a large bowl of good quality tortilla chips to crumble on top.  If you are feeling up to it home made tortilla chips are unforgettable and I think you should make them for this soup.


I n g r e d i e n t s

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • handful of cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium size serrano pepper, seeds removed and minced
  • 1 medium size turnip, peeled and diced
  • 4 roma tomatoes diced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder or to taste
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • salt / pepper

G a r n i s h

  • 2 avocados, pitted and diced
  • cilantro sprigs, tough stems removed
  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • finely chopped serrano pepper  (for those who like more heat!)
  • crumbled cotija cheese (you may substitute feta)
  • thinly slice radish
  • tortilla chips (fresh homemade is an excellent choice)

Using medium high, heat the olive oil in a large pot.  Add the chicken breast, cook until browned 5-7 minutes each side.  Remove to cutting surface and allow to cool.

While chicken is cooking prepare onions, cilantro, garlic, turnips and tomatoes and set aside.

After you have removed the chicken from the pot keep  the olive oil/chicken bits concoction.  Turn the heat to medium high and add onions, garlic and cilantro and cook until aromatic.  Sprinkle chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper combine well and allow flavors to infuse over low heat.  Meanwhile, chop the chicken into small broken bits and add it to the pot and mix well.  Allow to cook 5 minutes.


Add the stock to the pot, then turnips and tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for an hour.


While your soup is simmering and If you decide to make homemade tortilla chips…

Tortilla Chips

  • 1 dozen good quality corn tortillas
  • at least 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt

Heat a good amount of olive oil in a non stick skillet over medium high.  Cut your tortilla’s into desired shape, fry until crisp, using tongs to turn.  Remove to paper towel, salt and let them cool.  Transfer to your serving basket or bowl.

Assemble garnishes in serving bowls and take to the table.

Divide the soup among serving bowls.  Everyone tops their own soup.

Serves 4-6


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