Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Southwestern Chicken 'n Corn Soup

Growing up, I spent most of my summers in rural Michigan, and always looked forward to eating at some of the finest Pennsylvania Dutch style restaurants that Michigan has to offer. Their end of summer soups often combined local fresh sweet corn with chicken in a broth redolent with saffron. While I remember those soups with fondness, my years in the Southwest often flavor many of my dishes. This soup features an intersection of those flavors - both the chicken 'n corn of rural Michigan tinged with spicy heat from the Southwest.


1 tsp olive oil
3 chicken thighs
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 quart chicken broth
1-3 cups water
2 carrots, sliced
4 ears fresh corn, shucked and kernals removed from the cob
1 red or green pepper, chopped
1 Anaheim pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (remove the ribs and seeds to reduce heat)
1/2 tsp garlic
2 pinches saffron threads
1 tsp salt (to taste)
2 Tbs cilantro, chopped

Directions: Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Dice the chicken thigh meat and add the meat to the pot along with the onion and mushrooms. Cook until the onions are translucent and the chicken meat has begun to color. Add the chicken broth, 1 cup of the water, the vegetables, and the saffron. When the stock begins to come to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through. Add more water if necessary. Taste the soup, then adjust the seasoning with salt as needed. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a pinch or more of the cilantro.

Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Soups are a wonderful way to add vegetables to your diet, while reducing the amount of meat in your diet. You'll notice that each bowl of soup has less than 1 piece of chicken in it, but the rich soup stock and thickness of the soup means that you won't miss the flavor or feel that you've missed out on your meat! Serve this soup with a salad and you've got a complete meal.

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