comfort food

17 Nov
green chile chicken soup

the best comfort on a cold day

Winter begins to gnash its icy teeth at our doors again. Though we enjoy 320+ days of sunshine per year here in southern NM, heavy grey clouds shroud the Organ Mountains on stormy winter days. A mournful wind hurries yellow leaves through quiet streets, and the crisp morning greets me with its steamy breath. And I, like many people this time of year, crave comfort food.

Why is it that sustenance, such a simple thing, can be so much more than its organic components? Why is it that our taste experiences can trigger such a visceral and emotional response? I think it’s more than warmth on a cold day, somehow…

Anyway, this is one of my favorite winter comfort foods. It is not vegan, but it is dairy-free, gluten-free, and quite delicious. Furthermore, it adheres to the notion of clean food, keeping our meals close to the source and made with whole, fresh ingredients, many of them locally-sourced. It is low-fat, high protein, high-fiber. Doesn’t get much better!

And I suppose you could easily make a vegan version by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and using potatoes or lentils instead of chicken. 🙂

Green Chile Chicken Stew

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts organic free-range chicken broth (I like to make my own, boiling chicken carcasses with onions, garlic, and herbs)
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, chopped finely
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 whole free-range organic chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces (I like to use BBQed chicken for a smoky flavor)
  • 4 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 3 carrots,  sliced
  • 1/2 head of green cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup of wild rice, rinsed
  • Hatch green chiles, roasted and peeled and chopped (to taste… I like a cup or more in my soup)
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • In a large soup pot, boil broth and add onions and garlic. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10-15 minutes.
  • Add wild rice and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add green chiles, carrots, celery and chicken. Cover again and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add cabbage, cover and simmer for 10-15 more minutes, or until rice is cooked.

Ta-da! So easy, and so delicious. Warm, a little spicy, and very satisfying. You can add more vegetables if you like a thicker stew. Mine is usually very thick and hearty. Yum!

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