Aaand we’re back in business.
I did a ton of cooking over this nice little holiday break, you know, the one where your kids and I get to stay home and never change out of their pajamas for two weeks because there’s no school? I’m only half sorry that I basically fall into the same category as them right now. Except to be honest about what I really did over break, it’s more like I did less of the cooking and a ton more of the eating. Which was wonderful and I needed it. <—um, what?
I didn’t really need it. But it was awesome.
In keeping with the busy season of family time, we had lots of get-togethers this year. One of our favorite Christmas family traditions is The Extended Family Christmas. In which everyone brings way too much food, kids run rampant, gifts are “stolen”, the new babies and spouses are introduced, and the 12 days of Christmas is enthusiastically sung by extended family in small groups (I got assigned Three French Hens with Grandma this year – oheyeah). Also, it is the time during which most of us end up going home with the flu. No I’m not a gerbophobiacafreak. I’M NOT.
What I’m really trying to say here is that I did genuinely cook at least one thing over break: THIS SOUP. For that party. And it was a surprisingly big hit with my Midwestern-ly extended family members and obviously with yours truly. In Minnesooota, or maybe I should just say in my family, we’re not really known for loving spicy food. Jalapeño = no. But it was our family’s own Christmas miracle: they tried and they liked. And I scooped up all the leftovers with tortilla chips, and squeezed on extra lime juice please and thank you, and it was a Happy New Year.
Alright, soup details comin’ atcha.
First, use a food processor for the jalapeños.
I just don’t want you to end up with watery eyes for three years because you forget to wash your hands and then, just, it’s not pretty.
Also, simmer in a Swiss Diamond pot. I swear it will taste better, especially if you can win the pot for free.
You must squeeze lime into the soup before serving. It’s called jalapeño lime soup for a reason that involves amazing flavors that you don’t want to miss. Fresh, bright, yum.
Finally, top with cheese.
Because you made that resolution to eat more cheese this year too, right? I thought we were doing that together.
The soup, in a nutshell, is a delicious family-friendly (except probably not for, like, infants, but seriously, it’s just mild+ so no fears) fresh meal, full of awesome flavors, that will change up your soup routine. Chicken, white beans, and a salty/spicy kick, but with a cool and refreshing broth to simmer it all down.
I hear ya – we’ve all been stuck in that chicken wild rice soup rut for the last few weeks, and while I do love that creamy goodness, it doesn’t have the energizing powers of this green goddess. This is the one that will clear out your left over head colds from extended family holiday shenanigans and make your eyes do the googly-pop thing and give you a nice booty kick start to 2014.
Enough already. You guys put up with too much, honestly.
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 2 pounds chicken breasts
- 5 jalapeños, ribs and seeds removed
- ½ large red onion
- 4 14 ounce cans white beans (canellini or great northern)
- 2 16 ounce jars salsa verde (I like Guy Fieri’s)
- 4 limes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- fresh cilantro for serving
- sour cream for serving
- shredded cheese for serving
- Bring the chicken broth and water to a boil in a large pot. Add the raw chicken breasts to the hot liquid; cover and cook for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat but leave the lid on so that the chicken continues cooking. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and check to make sure there is no pink in the center of the chicken breasts. Remove the cooked chicken from the hot liquid and set aside to cool.
- To remove any unwanted chicken fat in the broth, pour the liquid through a fine sieve, reserving the liquid. Return the liquid to the pot over medium heat. Shred the chicken breasts with two forks and add them to the pot.
- Mince the jalapeño and onion in a food processor. Add the jalapeño, red onion, white beans, and salsa to the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes over medium heat. Just before serving, squeeze the juice of one lime into the pot. Cut the remaining limes into wedges for serving. Add the salt; taste and adjust as needed. Serve with fresh cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese, and lime wedges.