Try these peppy and zesty soups at home
A steaming bowl of chicken soup has long been a popular comfort food. That combination of chicken, vegetables and broth has been said to cure ailments ranging from a case of the sniffles to even the most severe cases of homesickness. There is even an entire series of books named after it.
A few weeks ago, I fell victim to a cold and was looking around my pantry for something soup-like. I came across a few different chicken options, but none of them seemed like quite the right fix. I wanted something I could actually taste and something that had a little bit of a zip to help me breathe easier or maybe even put some pep back into my step.
When I’m not feeling well, I always look to use chili peppers, garlic or ginger to help give my immune system an extra boost. My Ginger Chili Chicken and Rice Soup or Southwest Chicken Soup are both great options with those ingredients, and they’re just plain delicious. Once you’re on the mend, don’t be surprised if you’re whipping up another batch!The Ginger Chili Chicken and Rice Soup brings a little bit of an Asian theme to your soup bowl. You’ll fill your house with the deliciously light aroma of fresh garlic, ginger and jalapeno sauteing in olive oil. All of that chopping and mincing might sound like a lot of work, but there are now convenience tubes of garlic and ginger in the fresh herbs section of the grocery store as well as jars of chili paste in the ethnic foods section.You’ll add another layer of flavors by adding Sriracha sauce, soy sauce, premade chicken stock and brown rice to the pot. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for 35 minutes or until the rice is tender and almost cooked through.The chopped rotisserie chicken, lemon juice, fresh red bell pepper and bias chopped green onion are added for the last five minutes of cooking. When the soup is finished, garnish it with fresh chopped cilantro and lemon zest. The taste is the perfect balance of savory from the garlic, sweet, stomach-soothing ginger and a very mild, good-for-the-sinuses heat at the end.If you think you’re in the mood for something with a little Tex-Mex flare, then my Southwest Chicken Soup might be the perfect cure for what ails you.It’s along the lines of the cheesy restaurant tortilla soup we love up north, but instead is made from a chicken and green chili broth. The base for this is simple and is made with only two ingredients: chicken stock and salsa verde. This is a green (verde in Spanish) salsa that is made from tomatillos, chili pepper, onions and cilantro. It can now be found in most ethnic sections of the grocery store or near the tortilla chips.To the broth and salsa mixture, add frozen corn, black beans and shredded rotisserie chicken. The delicious soup simmers for 20 minutes, so the flavors can come together. Serve it piping hot with a fresh lime wedge, a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt and fresh chopped cilantro.Karley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read her food blog at EverydayGourmet.Area Voices.com.Ginger Chili Chicken and Rice Soup2 tablespoons coconut oil1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped4 cloves of garlic, minced3 tablespoons fresh grated ginger1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce1 tablespoon soy sauce1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (optional)52 ounces of chicken stock1 cup of water1 1/4 cups brown rice2 cups diced rotisserie chickenJuice from 1 lemon (save zest for garish before juicing)1 bell pepper, cut into thin strips or julienne2 green onions, cut on the diagonalGarnish:1/4 cup chopped cilantro, freshZest from 1 lemonIn a large soup kettle, combine coconut oil, jalapeno, garlic and ginger. Cook over medium heat until fragrant and cooked through (about 2 to 3 minutes). Add Sriracha sauce, soy sauce and kosher salt. Cook for an additional minute. Add chicken stock, water and brown rice. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium/low and let simmer for 35 minutes or until rice is almost cooked through. Add lemon juice, chicken, red bell pepper and green onions. Let simmer for 5 minutesGarnish:Combine cilantro and lemon zest in a small bowl. Sprinkle over top of prepared soup.Southwest Chicken Soup32 ounces of chicken stock16 ounces of salsa verde3 1/2 cups diced rotisserie1 cups frozen corn2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed well1/2 teaspoon kosher salt1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepperGarnish:1 lime, cut into 8 wedgesChopped cilantroSour cream or plain Greek yogurtTortilla chipsIn medium sauce pot, combine all ingredients (except for garnishes). Over high heat, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro, yogurt and tortilla chips.