Chicken Poblano Soup

Summer is finally at an end and there’s a slight crispness to the air.  The cool evenings are making me crave a nice warm soup; nothing heavy or rich, but a light, brothy bowl with just a little kick.  This chicken poblano soup couldn’t be made of simpler ingredients, but the resulting flavor is robust, zesty, and complex.  It’s thoroughly satisfying, but still easy on the waistline at only about 125 calories per serving (it makes 8 servings).  With a low calorie count like that, you can afford to top it off some cool, diced avocado, a sprinkle of cheese, or some crunchy tortilla strips.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 c. onion, diced
  • 1 c. poblano pepper, diced
  • 1 can (10 oz.) Rotel tomatoes and green chilies (chunky style, if you can find it, or use your home-canned version)
  • 8 c. reduced-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 T. cooking oil
  • 1 ½ T. cumin
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 1/3 c. fresh lime juice
  • ½ c. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Salt to taste

First, heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the onions and a pinch of salt.  Cook the onions for 5-10 minutes until lightly caramelized and tender (be careful not to burn them, but if you have a little brown on the bottom of the pan, don’t worry, that’s good stuff).

Next, add the poblano and a cup of the broth and deglaze the pan by scraping up those brown bits.  Add the rest of the broth, lime juice, spices, cilantro, and the whole chicken breasts.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

Poach the chicken for 40 minutes or until it pulls apart with a fork or tongs.  Remove the chicken to a bowl and let it cool for 10 minutes or until it is cool enough to handle.  Shred the chicken into bite-size pieces and return it to the pot.

Simmer for another 20 minutes (or longer) and serve alone with your favorite topping(s).

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