I have often marveled at how soup creates a desire in my soul to savour the moment and to take the time to ponder life. Sometimes I throw together a basic chicken noodle soup merely to bask in the warm of it’s soothing reflective powers. Every bite stirs another look deeper into my very soul. I had plenty of time to ponder some of the more recent changes in my life. I knew that I had some food allergies and issues, but I never really wanted to acknowledge them for fear of losing my love and passion for food. I was always afraid that if I “couldn’t eat” something, that it would make it impossible for me to cook without longing for those ingredients and feeling like I was missing out. But through the last little while, I kept feeling more and more ill when I would eat. I lost interest in food entirely for a little while, but slowly, I started to come to understand that I have a gluten intolerance. Sometimes, even a single bite of gluten would make me ill for several hours, I didn’t enjoy eating because I was afraid I wouldn’t feel well. I looked for ways around it and found that I couldn’t really cheat. I had to make a change. I was so frustrated. It felt entirely impossible. Slowly, I spoke with a friend of mine who is a Celiac and started looking around the internet about how to start making the move to gluten free. I didn’t want to miss out on the things I loved. I eventually found the blog of an amazing woman who has just as much passion for food and flavour as I did and I was inspired to start cooking again. It was much simpler than I thought it would be. Here I am today, I don’t feel sick when I eat (unless I eat gluten) and I create a lot of mouth watering recipes and food that I love to share with those I adore. (Although I really need to start measuring better when creating new recipes, I want to share my amazing creations, but forget to take down ingredient amounts! Coming Soon: Easy Chipotle Mayo, Jalapeno and Apple Slaw and an abundance of wonderful Asian recipes)
…But Back to the soup…
This soup with amazing powers was no basic chicken noodle, it was a delectably warm and inviting spicy soup that smelled of the southwest. A very deliberate departure from noodles. Cumin and green chili wafted about the kitchen with accents of garlic, chicken stock, corn and monterey jack hitting all of the most wonderful accompaniment chords. What a delightful afternoon. not only was it super fast to make, but it was also amazingly satisfying. Best of all, it is full of corn, and if you want to add Cannellini Beans (also known as white kidney beans) that have been washed, soaked and drained.
Southwestern Chicken Soup
- 2 Cups Cooked Chicken, diced (you can use left over turkey from a holiday dinner too!)
- 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil (I use corn oil)
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Onion
- 2 tsp Minced Garlic
- 2 Cups Chicken Stock – Hot
- 1 Cube Chicken Bouillon – crushed (it needs the extra chicken flavor)
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2-3/4 Cup Half and Half Cream (this is to taste, some people like it with more, some people like it with less)
- 1 Cup Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese -Packed (Or Mexican Blend Cheese as some brands call it)
- 1 – 11 or 12 oz Can of Mexican Style Corn (corn with red and green peppers in it) save the water and add it to the soup later
- 1 – 4oz Can Chopped Green Chilies, undrained
- 1/2-1 tsp Hot Sauce (I just use sriracha) to taste
- 1 Medium Tomato – Cored and diced small
- 1 Tbsp Cilantro (I use the cilantro I dehydrate myself, it’s just as good as fresh)
- Salt – to taste
- OPTIONAL: 6-8 oz Canned Cannellini Beans (also known as white kidney beans) drained
- Add Oil to the Pot and heat to medium high heat. Add Onions and Sauté until translucent.
- Add Garlic and stir, cooking for 1 minute. Add Chicken, Cumin, Black Pepper and warm the Chicken. (2-3 minutes)
- Add the Corn, Tomato and Chilies and cook until fragrant. **Add beans here if you want them***(3-5 minutes)
- Add the Broth and bring to a boil, add Bouillon Cube, Cilantro and Hot Sauce and turn heat down – Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add Cheese and Cream and stir well until cheese is melted well into the soup. Simmer 3-5 Minutes.
- Add any extra Salt you feel that it needs.