Sunday, October 13, 2013

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili Soup


This soup was color, flavorful, comforting, and oh so good. Despite the 85* and high humidity days, I was already pinning soup recipes for the upcoming fall season. The recipe is straightforward, and even with my substitutions (omitted corn, increased chicken, used canned jalapeƱos), the soup turned out delicious. 


It definitely has some heat (feel free to include the seeds from fresh jalapeƱos if you're feeling adventurous), and has a good rich flavor. This soup ups its ante with an entire brick of cream cheese, but I used the reduced-fat kind so I wouldn't feel as guilty eating one two bowls in 1 sitting.

Original recipe calls for 1.25# chicken breasts and omitting the chicken broth for a thicker consistency, but since we always feel like there isn't enough meat in soups, we increased the chicken to 1.75#. We also normally like thicker soups so we had planned to omit the chicken broth, but there was hardly anything to simmer for 30 minutes, so we did include the full 1.5 cups of broth.

Ingredients

  • Olive oil, for sauteing
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 jalapeno peppers, diced, seeds removed (used 4-oz canned diced jalapeno peppers)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1-1/4 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces (used 1.75#)
  • 2 tsp chile powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano, crushed between fingertips
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 Knorr Chipotle seasoning cube
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth*
  • 15-oz can kidney beans 
  • 1 cup corn (omitted)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, reduced fat
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled, for serving (used crumbled bacon from Costco)
  • Monterey-Jack cheese, shredded, for serving (we use this cheese from Costco)

Directions:
  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium heat and saute onion, both types of peppers and garlic until soft and tender. (This took about 15-20 minutes, and instead of adding more oil, I added some splashed of chicken broth- no added oil and helped cook the veggies along!)
  2. Season the chicken well with salt and pepper. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan with the chicken and lightly brown chicken on all sides. Season with chile powder, cumin and oregano.
  3. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, chipotle cube, beans and corn. Bring to a simmer and cook 30 minutes. Taste and season as needed.
  4. Add cream cheese and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
  5. Serve with crumbled bacon and both types of cheese sprinkled over top.
Source: Adapted from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

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