This has been one of my most requested recipe, after I made it as a “feed the workers a quick dinner before my 50th birthday bash”. Made a quadruple version and served with warm crusty bed, the perfect quick feast before the party…. (Well, it would’ve been perfect, had I not put the wrong start time on ½ the invitations – but that, as they say, is a whole different story… lol)
This is definitely a recipe that I “follow my nose” over, and each version slightly different to the last one, depending on what I have on hand, or what’s pickable in the garden… It’s a “Store Cupboard” Soup, most of the ingredients come out of the pantry, or stuff I have in the fridge. Of course, it tastes better with homemade chicken stock, but it is a soup that lends itself to ready made stock, because you’re adding so many flavours to it.
2l chicken stock
1 med onion finely diced
1 leek finely sliced
1 Chilli finely diced (optional)
1 pepper finely diced
3 gloves of garlic minced/sliced
2 carrots finely diced
2-3 T of Mexican seasoning – I use the one that comes in the gold packaging from the supermarket. I use the mild version, but feel free to spice it up with the hot version.
1 Can whole kernel sweet corn
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1-2 chicken breasts skinned and sliced finely
½ packet of Angel Hair Pasta or vermicelli
(and because my garden is full of Swiss Chard and Spinach, I added a generous bunch of both to this week’s brew)
Gently fry the onions in a splash of olive oil until softened and slightly brown. Add the peppers, Swiss chard and spinach stems and carrots and fry until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute to take soften, add the Mexican spice seasoning, and fry for 1 minute. Pour in the stock, and add the rest of the vegetables. Rinse the tomato can out with the water. Simmer for ½ hour.
Slice the chicken breasts into very fine slices. You’ll be poaching them in the soup, and should only take a couple of minutes to cook. Stir in the shredded Swiss chard and spinach leaves.
Turn the heat up and once bubbling, drop the thin chicken slices in the hot soup a few at a time and stir, between each addition. Then break the pasta/vermicelli in half and drop into the soup, keep stirring to stop them sticking together. It should only take another 3-5 minutes until the pasta has cooked. Check the seasoning and add salt if necessary.
Serve with the fresh coriander, sour cream and slices of fresh chilli. (check the chili heat of the soup and add some dried chili flakes if you think it needs some more zip!)
This quantity makes masses (8-10 servings) but the good news is that it freezes really well, for a “freezer surprise” dinner on another night.