Friday, January 14, 2011

creamy southwest chicken soup

(adapted from Cuisine at Home magazine, October 2010)

I’m the type of person who goes in and out of ‘phases.’ Just ask anyone who knows me and they’ll remember my ‘I’m going to read all the classics’ phase, or the ‘history of the whaling industry’ phase (no kidding….that phase began after I read Moby Dick). I have also become obsessed for a season with Mt. Everest and thoroughbred horses…..  Can’t say why this happens!

I guess all cooks go through food phases also; at least I do. For me, there’s nothing better than a pasta phase or a Thai phase. Well, I announced to the family yesterday that I think I’m entering a soup phase. Must be the cold snowy weather. Here is the first recipe to share.

Here’s what you need:
2 T butter
1 red bell pepper
1 poblano pepper
½ C diced onion
1 T minced garlic
1 t chili powder
1 t cumin
½ t ground coriander
6 T flour, divided
3 C whole milk (you need whole milk here because the fat content keeps the cheese from separating)
12 oz beer
1 C chicken stock
½ C dry rice
3 C shredded pepper Jack cheese
2 C shredded chicken
Garnishes: sour cream, cilantro, lime wedges, tortilla chips

Here’s what you do:
Remove all the seeds and veins from the peppers and dice them, but not too small. The poblano has a little heat, so determine how much you want to use. The real heat is in the seeds and veins, so be sure to remove them if you want less heat.

Saute peppers, onions, garlic and spices in butter for about 5 minutes or until veggies are soft. The kitchen smelled so good!

Whisk in half of the flour. Allow the veggies to continue to cook for about 2 minutes longer while stirring in all the flour well.

Slowly add the liquids to the pan. I suggest adding only 1 C at a time and scraping up the bottom of the pan, stirring and whisking well between each addition. At any rate, do not add it all at once – that’s how you get lumps!

Bring to a gentle simmer and add the rice. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. Don’t rush this step.

Mix the remaining flour with the shredded cheese – this handy trick keeps the cheese from separating in the hot liquid. Another trick – add the cheese in small handfuls and stir well between each addition. I added the cheese off the heat.

Add the chicken and allow the warm soup to heat the chicken. It's ready to serve. Wonderful, spicy, cheesy, comforting, rich and definitely a keeper!

(printable recipe)

I would love if you would post a link to a favorite soup recipe. I tend to make the same ones over and over. What's your favorite soup to make? 


  1. We eat a lot of soup in the winter too, Tracy! I'm saving this one to try later this week...spicy is one of our favorite flavor profiles...will let you know what we think of it!!

  2. I'm in such a soup phase, I'll see if I can make this but gluten free.

  3. Hi Tracy......this soup looks amazing! I'm going to have to try and make this sometime soon.

  4. Yum! Thanks! This is exactly the recipe I was looking for today when I didn't know what I wanted. Really hit the spot with a slice of homemade bread. MMmmmmm


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