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Mexican-Inspired Chicken Soup

Over the last 10 years, I have gathered tons (literally) of food magazines. This spring, in a quest to streamline my home office, I have started leafing through them, one by one, tearing off interesting articles, blog post ideas or recipes to try. It takes a lot of patience but to date, it’s been worth it. I have tried great new recipes, many of which have earned a permanent spot in my recipe binder.

Amongst the to-review contenders is a huge pile of Real Simple magazines – huge because I was a subscriber for many years and also because each issue is always really big. The recipes they feature are always very simple, sometimes too simple for my taste. However, I found a few really basic, make-it-in-10-minutes recipes that made me wonder why I hadn’t come up with it myself. These recipes are great because they are no non-sense and can usually be starting points to elaborate your own variations.

The soup recipe I’m about to share with you is just that. It’s a spicy soup with Mexican-ish flavors in which you could add any vegetable or seasoning you crave for. Serve with the usual fixings: nachos, avocados, etc. and you have a complete, hearty and healthy meal that’s a breeze to make. Perfect when the weather isn’t so warm yet: its flavors will make you want to fly south of the border!

Mexican-Inspired Chicken Soup

Makes 4 hearty servings

1 12-ounce (about 400 ml) jar of salsa verde *
3 cups cooked chicken pieces from a leftover rotisserie or home cooked chicken
1 15-ounce (about 425 g) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3.5 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin

To serve:
Green onions
Sour cream
Grated cheese
Tortilla chips
Fresh coriander
… you get the idea!

Empty the salsa jar into a large saucepan. Cook 2 minutes over medium-high heat then add the chicken, beans, broth and cumin. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a bit of salt and some freshly ground black pepper to taste. Top each bowl with a sprinkling of onions, a dollop of sour cream, diced avocadoes and fresh coriander. Each with a spoon or with tortilla chips, it’s a pretty hearty soup, almost like a stew or a chili. You can add more broth with you prefer a soupier dish.

Note: It freezes beautifully. Also, don’t worry if you have more or less of some of the ingredients, this recipe really isn’t rocket science. It’ll work anyhow! And don’t hesitate to make your own additions (E loves it really spicy so I add a bit of sambal oelek in his portions).

* Update: Salsa verde sells like regular salsa, in jars (and sometimes in cans). You’ll find it in the Mexican products aisle. In Canada, the “President’s Choice” brand makes it (on sale at Provigo, Maxi, Dominion and Loblaws). You can also find some online on Amazon.com.

Adapted from Real Simple Magazine.

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