Chicken Soup Recipe: You Can Thank Me Later

Oh, you think I’m cocky, do you?  Thinking my chicken soup is just all that and a bag of chips?

I assure you: it is.  Minus the chips.

Not only is this soup A) delicious, B) nutritious, C) easy to prepare, and D) economical, but E) it fits pretty much any modern non-vegetarian diet that I’m familiar with, with just a teensy bit of tweaking.  So don’t rush away, my gluten-freers!  Come back, my traditional eaters!  Low-cal, it can work for you, too!

If I seem to be gushing, it is simply because this is my go-to recipe.  The one that never ever ever fails.      The one that is delicious and guilt-free and eaten by every human in my house, every. single. time.  And that is saying a lot, considering it’s possible I’ve cooked it 100 times over the last 3+ years.

This recipe is based on a soup made by my friend Monse.  She prepared it for my family after Gabriel was born and my life was forever altered.  Monse is a super super fantastic lady in many other respects, too.  Everyone should have a Monse in their lives.  (Monse, I wish I was there to cook for you and baby Luz!)

Blah blah blah.  The RECIPE, Micaela.  Yeah.  Sorry.  Here goes:

Caldo de Pollo, Darr Style

The Ingredients:

Soup:
Chicken broth
Leftover chicken, cooked
Onions
Garlic
Carrots
Celery
Cabbage
Canned diced tomatoes (optional)
Salt N’ Pepa

Sides:
Rice
Cilantro
Onions
Limes/lemons

Avocado (optional)
Sour cream (optional)
Salsa (optional)

 

The Method:

Begin with chicken broth.  I posted my recipe a few months ago, but if you go the store-bought route, no judgement here!  Just make sure to check the label and get one without any gross ingredients.

Bring the broth to a boil in a stock pot.  While it heats, chop the vegetables that go in the soup.  They don’t need to be tiny, or even small.  Just chop coarsely and set them aside.  Tear chicken into smallish pieces and set aside.

When the broth is boiling, add the vegetables.  I usually add carrots first, since they take the longest to soften, and then add the other veggies a few minutes later.  But trust me: you can throw it all in at the same time and no one will know or care.  Season with a bit of Salt N’ Pepa. Sing an early 90’s ditty if it strikes your fancy.

When the veggies are softened, add the cooked chicken.  Return to a boil and turn it off.

Chop the onions.  These should be slightly more finely cut than the veggies in the soup, but don’t stress over it.  Tear the cilantro leaves from the stems.  Slice the lemon or lime. Place them all on a serving plate and set on the table.

(We call the sides “the keys” in our house.  It was born out of a dinnertime conversation:  Kevin suggested that cilantro was the key to the soup.  I countered that I thought it was the onions.  The girls both thought limes were the key to the goodness of the soup.  So Gabriel pipes up, “Hey, can somebody puh-leaze pass me the keys?”)

The Secret:

The secret to this soup is in the serving.  Put rice in the bottom of the bowl.  (Cold leftover rice is fine.) Add the soup.  Garnish with “the keys,” sour cream, and salsa.  Eat with joyful abandon.

F/2.8, 1/50, ISO 400

Voila!  A hearty soup that everyone in the family can season to their own taste.

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Variations:

Low-carb, Whole 30, or no-grain: omit rice.

Dairy-free: omit sour cream

Low-cal: use low-cal broth and sour cream (I cannot vouch for this, as I don’t use low calorie anything.)

Kitchen sink: substitute any veggies you have on-hand for the soup.  I don’t recommend subbing for any of the sides, though.

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Linking up for Manual Mondays over at Amongst Lovely Things.  Trying my hand at food photography with the new lens.  🙂  Cursing the lack of natural light combined with heavy fluorescent light the whole time.

Comments

  1. Yum! I love the idea of people getting to season it themselves. Brilliant!

  2. Great shot! I’ve never thought to put cilantro on my chicken soup before. Or sour cream either! Yummmmmm.

  3. You can make it Veggie too by using Vegetable stock and MorningStar Farm Chik’n Strips. I do that with my mom’s Chicken and dumplings recipe and it is awesome!

  4. Oh yeah, Monse forever changed my life with her caldo as well! I top mine with hot sauce, chopped cilantro and onions, avocado, and crunched up (real) tortilla chips. Oh yeah.

    And I don’t know why, but I teared up reading this post!!! Maybe because Monse is just that awesome and that baby Luz is just that beautiful and the whole family just rocks and I, too am grateful for them.

    But that’s how I think/feel about you and the Darrs, too. Can’t wait to see you in a few months!!!