Chili-Spiced Chicken Soup with Stoplight Peppers and Avocado Relish

Most people want chicken soup when they’re sick. (Among many other things, like to not be sick, I’m sure.) Well, my boyfriend was not feeling 100% last weekend, and he requested chicken soup for dinner. He’s recently decided to try to eat healthier, so he asked if we could find some chicken soup that is healthier than the usual Lipton’s Chicken Noodle that graces our dinner plates. Rather than wimping out and getting the Campbell’s no-salt-added chicken soup, I one-up’ed him – I made my own chicken soup. It’s not quite the traditional “I’m sick, all I want is chicken soup” soup, but it has lots of veggies in it, and I really enjoyed the flavor. Enjoy!

Chili-Spiced Chicken Soup with Stoplight Peppers and Avocado Relish
(Click here for the original recipe.)

Spice blend:
2 1/2  teaspoons  chili powder
2  teaspoons  ground cumin
1 1/2  teaspoons  ground coriander
1  teaspoon  dried oregano
1  teaspoon  cracked black pepper
1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt
Soup:
1  tablespoon  canola oil, divided
1 1/4  pounds  skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
2  cups  chopped sweet onion
1  cup  chopped red bell pepper
1  cup  chopped green bell pepper
1  cup  chopped yellow bell pepper
1  tablespoon  minced garlic
1/2  teaspoon  salt
2  cups  fresh corn kernels
1  (32-ounce) carton fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1  (28-ounce) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, undrained
2  tablespoons  fresh lime juice
Relish:
1/2  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
1/3  cup  chopped green onions
1  teaspoon  grated lime rind
3  ounces  queso fresco, crumbled
1  diced peeled avocado
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

Combine spices in a bowl and set to one side.

Heat 2 tsp oil in a large soup pot over medium to medium-high heat; add chicken, sprinkle 1 1/2 tbsp of the spice blend over it, and saute until done (approx 8 minutes). Transfer to plate, and set aside.

Heat 1 tsp in soup pot on medium to medium-high heat; add onion, bell peppers, garlic, and 1/2 tsp salt. Sprinkle with remaining spice blend, and saute until soft (approx. 8 minutes).

Stir in cooked chicken, corn, broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Last, add lime juice.

Meanwhile, prepare relish: combine chopped cilantro, green onion, lime rind, quesa fresco, and avocado.

Serve 1  1/4 cups of soup with 1/4 cup relish, garnish with cilantro sprigs if desired.

I do not know what quesa fresco is, but using my rudimentary Spanish skills, I guessed it might have something to do with cheese – in any case, I did not bother hunting it down at the grocery store. I also did not really combine the relish ingredients so much as add them to my bowl of soup before serving. And I didn’t include the lime rind either. I was unable to find any ripe avocados, and my hindsight is if you can’t find any ripe avocados, don’t use any at all. I did not really enjoy the green onions in the soup either. So really the only thing I liked about the relish was the cilantro, which I thought was absolutely delicious!

The rest of the soup I did as told, and it tasted delicious! My boyfriend is requesting it for dinner again tonight. I had to cook it all on medium heat though, instead of medium-high, because of the new pots my boyfriend got for Christmas – some fancy even-heat system means I crisped the outside of my chicken quite quickly. I would add less lime juice next time (it was all I could taste!), and as usual I ignored the salt.

Also, for a vegetarian version, remove the chicken. This soup has enough vegetables to stand on its own as a vegetarian meal.

Nutritional Information:
Calories, 285
Fat, 9.6g (sat 2.1g, mono 4.7g, poly 1.8g)
Protein, 27.2g
Carbohydrate, 23.1g
Fiber, 5.5g
Cholesterol, 648mg
Iron, 3.1mg
Sodium, 773mg
Calcium, 99mg

I hope you all enjoy this soup as well! I know it’s going to be a staple in my household.

S.

PS: I wrote a brief update after making this again for dinner. Click here!

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