We are all still shaken by the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. Even though we are oceans away, we are shocked and saddened by the tragic event. We hope and pray that recovery will be smooth and swift.
Here in London, the Siberian winds and the steady rain didn't do much to make Halloween a celebration. The trees were rushed to shed their leaves which quickly turned to mush on the wet ground. We all definitely need a warm hug, preferably in a bowl in the form of a hot and spicy soup.
This soup takes after the Mexican tortilla soup but is a much abbreviated version. You'll be glad to know that most things in it are just store cupboard staples. If you are lazy to go out and shop, this is the very thing to make.
I used leftover rotisserie chicken for this but used homemade stock. The bones of the rotisserie chicken are good for making stock for soups and gravies. Simmer for a few hours in water with onions, carrots and celery. I always say that a good stock is the bone of your soup. With this soup however, you can get away with store bought stock (a good quality one) because there is already so much flavour from the vegetables and spices.
This just takes a few minutes to make and will perfume your house with the warm, heady fragrance of spices. I'd say this is good enough for a main meal soup if served with rustic or corn bread. Make sure you make allowances for seconds because one bowl will need another.
(for 4 servings)
2 tbsps. of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. crushed garlic
1 red chilli, choped
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp. whole cumin, roasted and ground,
1 tsp. of paprika
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 carrot, diced
1/4 sweet red pepper, diced
1 400 gm. tin of chopped tomatoes
1 sprig of thyme
2 c. chicken stock
2/3 of fresh, frozen or tinned sweetcorn
1 c. flaked, cooked chicken meat
1/4 c. roughly chopped coriander leaves
chopped fresh tomatoes
chopped red onions
yoghurt or sour cream
grated cheddar cheese
In a pot, sauté the garlic in the olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the onion and a pinch of salt (to help it soften). Cook until soft and translucent. Add the cumin, paprika and cinnamon. Stir for 2 minutes.
Add the carrot, sweet red pepper, chopped tomatoes, thyme, chicken stock and sweetcorn. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the carrots are cooked.
Add the chicken meat and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Add the chopped coriander, stir and switch the heat off.
Serve with a variety of toppings on the side so that each one can "personalize" their own soup: chopped tomatoes, chopped red onions, cubed avocados, yoghurt or sour cream, grated cheddar cheese and tortilla chips.
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