Greetings Paleo Comfort Foods friends! It’s been slow going (between our house move and gym move and everything else going on), but we’re back with some new paleo recipes! Yippie! Thank you all for hanging in there with us these last many weeks!
Call me crazy, but when the weather gets warmer, I like soup. Not just any soup, but soup that has a kick. I think the folks living in super hot climates are on to something. That whole notion of letting capsaicin rev things up, get you sweating…maybe it’s my way of preparing for what is likely to be a crazy hot Atlanta summer (given the incredibly mild winter we had).
We had a bit of a cold spell this past week in Atlanta (which was a vast difference from the 80 degree weather we had in March). Yes, cold is a relative term, and low temps in the 30s to 40s isn’t *that* cold, but it’s still pretty chilly! I had to beg Charles to let me turn on the heat one of the nights! My ice-cold feet in the bed likely persuaded him. Fortunately, appropriate springtime temperatures returned this week, and that meant back to t-shirts and sunroofs open and getting that vitamin D. It also meant cooking up soup. Not a nice chilled carrot soup or something like that. Nope, a piping hot chicken tortilla-less soup.
For years, I have loved tortilla soup. It’s always been one of those menu items that jumps out at me. Unfortunately, it’s usually not the most paleo-friendly choice (very often corn or cornmeal is used in the recipe, along with tortillas, and sometimes contains white or black beans, which are pretty darn hard to pick around in soups!). So I set out to create something that was reminiscent of some of those tortilla soup flavors, but without the tortillas.
Here’s how this one went down. Note: this one was pleasing to *my* palate, and did not set my mouth on fire, much to Charles’ chagrin. Want more heat? As you likely know by now, not all jalapenos are created equal, and some lack some punch. Others will light you up like a Christmas tree. To see how hot your jalapenos are, cut off a bit and taste it before setting your own mouth on fire! If it’s got some serious kick, choose wisely based on your taste preference!
Paleo Comfort Foods’ Chicken Tortilla-less Soup
Yield: Approximately 8-1o main course servings, more or less depending on how hungry we are! And Whole30 friendly!
3 pounds chicken breasts (you can use bone-in, skin-on if you’d like, or boneless skinless. The goal is to have somewhere close to 2 or more pounds of cooked chicken at the end)
3 tablespoons of oil of your choice, divided (we used coconut oil)
2-3 teaspoons of fajita or taco seasoning (use a mix of ground cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and cayenne if you don’t have)
1 large or 2 medium onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, diced
1-2 poblano peppers, diced
2 quarts (8 cups) chicken stock
1 28 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes (if you can’t find fire-roasted, you can either fire-roast your own, or just use regular canned tomoatoes**)
Juice of 2 limes
1 cup cilantro, chopped
avocado and fresh cilantro for garnish
1. Preheat your oven 375 degrees Fahrenheit (350 for convection). Place your chicken breasts in a large baking pan, and pour one tablespoon of oil over all, coating well. Sprinkle your fajita seasoning over the chicken, coating well, and place in the oven. Cook for about 30-45 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken pieces) until cooked through and liquid from chicken runs clear. Using two forks, shred the chicken (while this is not so easy to do while the chicken is hot, I find I get a better “shred” if I do so while the chicken is still hot). Alternately, you can just chop the chicken into small pieces.
2. Meanwhile, in a large dutch oven over medium heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and when hot, add in the onions. Cook until onions are translucent, about 4-6 minutes.
3. Add in the garlic and peppers and saute for about 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
4. Pour in the chicken stock and fire roasted tomatoes and bring to a medium boil.
5. [THIS STEP IS OPTIONAL] If you want a slightly thickened soup, strain out some of the tomatoes, onions and peppers to a blender or Magic Bullet and puree. Pour back into the broth mixture. I did this with about 1/2 of the solids in the soup.
6. Add the chicken, cilantro and lime juice to your bubbling cauldron of goodness. Taste to see what you’re in need of (salt? pepper? more of a kick?) and adjust as need be.
7. Serve nice and hot with some fresh cilantro and chopped up avocado to go on top. Maybe a wedge of lime if you’re feeling pretty tart, or some extra diced up jalapenos or poblanos if you need more heat. Heck, get out the hot sauce if you really want some zing!
Bucking that whole iced tea trend, what hot foods or beverages do you like to enjoy in the heat of the summer? What soups do you most look forward to in the summer? Happy eating friends!