Chicken, Chipotle and Avocado Soup

As the warm summer air slowly fades away, cool shorter days begin their take over. This recipe is for those of us stuck between mourning summer’s end, and anticipating the crisp fall colors. The fresh ingredients in this simple soup will keep you locked in to the summer, while the richness and wamth of homemade broth ease you into the cool fall nights. Since the ingredients and this recipe are so simple, the broth takes center stage. Making your own broth is the only way to ensure it can stand up for this task. We reserve our chicken carcass from recipes such as our “Whole Roasted Chicken Tacos”, and store it in an airtight bag in our freezer.

BROTH
Ingredients:
1 chicken carcass
10 cups water
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped (see note*)
1 cup onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
1 bay leaf

Combine all ingredients in a large heavy bottom pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, place lid on the pot, and set your timer for 90 minutes. Strain the contents through a mesh sieve into a large bowl, reserve the carcass, toss the veggies and any skin. When the carcass cools, you can pick off the bits of chicken to use in the soup, usually about 1 cup.
* NOTE: For the veggies, you don’t need to carefully chop up each piece in uniform shape or size, these are only used for flavor in the broth and are dicarded. For the celery, we like to use the discarded top and core that aren’t what you would want to snack on with your peanut butter.

Chicken, Chipotle and Avocado Soup
Ingredients:
6 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 chipotle chili pepper in Adobo sauce, seeded and sliced thinly (see note**)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon each Salt/ Pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 avocados, pitted and diced
3 green onions, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
2 limes

Bring the broth, chipotle chili, and garlic to a boil in a large pot. Meanwhile, you will need to cook up 1-2 chicken breasts to add in on top of the reserved chicken from the carcass. We seasoned ours with 1/2 the Olive Oil, Paprika, Garlic, Salt and Pepper. Pour the other 1/2 of the olive oil in a medium pan over medium/ high heat, cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes per side, until cooked through. Set aside under foil for 5 minutes before chopping it up. In four bowls, divide the avocado, green onions, chicken, and cilantro. Ladle the broth mixture over each bowl, and squeeze some lime juice over the top. Serve with tortilla chips and sour cream if desired.
** NOTE: Chipotle Chilis in Adobo come in a small can at the store with about 10 chilis, we divide them in to separate zipper baggies and keep them in our freezer to use whenever a recipe calls for it. Usually a recipe will only call for 1-2 chilis, as they are very potent in flavor (and heat if you leave those seeds in!).

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