Red Salsa Soup and Salsa Recipe
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Good Morning! (or whatever time it is, there!)
Yesterday was my birthday, and this was the sight that greeted me when I came down for my morning coffee!!
Isn’t my husband a doll? Wow – he really went all out!
One of his presents was a gorgeous, 8 quart stock pot by Chantal. It is absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been hauling out my 12 quart every time I made pasta for the two of us, but it was way too big and difficult to clean. This size is perfect and I’m pretty sure I’ll be using it nearly every day. http://amzn.to/2zVxCWT
My daughter bought me several of these beautiful sunflower bowls. I absolutely love them. If you’d like a few to call your own, here’s a link: http://amzn.to/2yaHtLd I can’t wait to use them for tonight’s soup!
I hobbled down to the garden this morning and finally harvested the last of my “Hot Portugal” and Poblano heirloom peppers. Knowing they were as ready as they’re going to be (it’s 4 days before Halloween, after all), I planned on making salsa, and then this yummy Red Salsa Mexican Soup.
You can do this soup the easy way, using canned and jarred ingredients or the hard way (making it from scratch). Usually I pick the easy way, but with my last harvest, I’m thought I’d go all in.
Unfortunately, this morning hasn’t gone very smoothly. The cilantro I had stored in the outside fridge was too far gone, even for the chickens. The limes that I kept out there (Bill was on a mojito kick this summer) were, of course, brown all over. I mean, what was I thinking?? It’s been months! Ugh.
Then I went to roast my harvest. You know, the harvest I started from seed last May? Yeah. Well, I turned the oven to 450° and lined two cookie sheets. Onto the upper rack went the pretty, squiggly red Hot Portugals. On the bottom cookie sheet, I laid out the Poblanos. Gave it about 12 minutes and came back to the computer. Oops! When I went to peek, the unmistakeable smell of “burnt-to-a-crisp” hit me. Quickly I grabbed the tongs and hurried to place the overdone peppers into a plastic zip-top storage bag, thinking I’d be able to peel and salvage some of them.
Unfortunately, the hot peppers started to melt the plastic bag, and then I made the mistake of draping said bag on top of the hot cookie sheet, which proceeded to burn a big hole in the plastic! It probably left a nasty residue on my cookie sheet, too. Aaaaargh! So I grabbed a brown paper lunch bag, instead, and piled them in and closed it up tight. Well, no luck! This was the pathetic result, and all because I let myself get distracted. Guess I’ll cry in my Mexican beer tonight at dinner. None of them were usable! Waaa!
Anyway, onto this very delicious soup. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love it. It takes only minutes to throw together and will freeze nicely in a freezer bag. The recipe for salsa follows, if you’re so inclined.
Red Salsa Soup
One medium, sweet onion, diced
I T chopped garlic (less if you’re not crazy about garlic)
1 tsp chili powder (or more if you like spicy)
1 tsp dried oregano
½ c long grain or brown rice, soaked in warm water and then strained (you can substitute quinoa, if you want to go the healthy route)
6-8 c chicken broth
2 c salsa (jar or fresh)
1 4 oz can mild green chilies (in the Mexican aisle of your grocery store) (or equivalent fresh, simmered or charred)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or shredded rotisserie chicken.
Frozen or canned corn
Sliced black olives
Heat oil to medium low (4 on a scale of 1-10) and immediately add chopped onions. Generously salt onions and stir, occasionally, making sure they don’t brown. When onions are translucent and soft, add garlic, chili powder and oregano. Cook a few minutes and add rice, 6 c. of the chicken broth, salsa and mild green chilies. You can add beans, corn or olives now, too.
Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer.
I like to cook this an hour or so on low, just to give the flavors a chance to marry. About 20 minutes before serving, cut up your chicken into tiny cubes and throw into the soup. They’ll cook in no time. (Alternatively, if you prefer shredded, you can cook the whole chicken breasts separately in water on medium for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through. Don’t overcook the chicken or it’ll taste like your kid’s jerky.) Drain, rinse off the gucky stuff (where does that stuff come from, anyway??) and shred, either with a fork or with the paddle attachment on your standing mixer. I like the “chopped” method because I don’t have to dirty another pan.
Don’t over-shred the chicken. Otherwise, you’ll never actually get a good bite of it.
You can add any of the following toppings:
Tortilla chips, or corn tortilla strips you’ve cut and baked or pan fried
Shredded Mexican blend cheese or Queso Fresca
Avocados, either sliced or chopped
That’s it! You can serve immediately or cool and store it for later in the week.
If you’re in the mood to try this quick, homemade salsa, here’s the recipe. As always, you can substitute fresh ingredients. I believe this originally is a Pioneer Woman recipe, but as usual, I felt compelled to alter it.
28 oz can diced tomatoes; drain but reserve juice
8 oz can diced green chilies
½ sweet onion, roughly chopped
1 T chopped garlic
2 oz chopped, canned jalapeno (to taste)
¼ tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cumin
1 bunch cilantro, cleaned (optional)
1 T lime juice (fresh is best, but squeeze bottle works fine)
Throw all of the above into your food processor. Pulse until it’s the consistency you prefer. If the salsa is too thick, add in some of the reserved juice from the canned tomatoes.
Now, get out those tortilla chips and taste (my favorite part!) Adjust amounts and seasonings as you prefer. Store in fridge for an hour or so to let the flavors meld.
I hope you’ll try this and love it like my family does! Enjoy! Vicky