If you live by me, you'll know what I'm talking about....SNOW! AGAIN!! It's snowing for the umpteenth time and so I'm a starting to feel like a hot mess, get it? Hot mess sounds like Hot Mex, which is the name of this soup we're about to make. Hot Mex Chicken Soup!
When is it going to stop snowing? I'm kind of tired with winter! Aren't you? I want spring!! Hello.....hello, spring, where are you?
I'm going to the kitchen to make something hot and FAST! Let's see what I can muster up....
Looks like there's ingredients to make chicken soup, but not just any ordinary chicken soup, something with more zing and will help warm me up on this very cold snowy day! Want to join me?
Yesterday, I made chicken stock from the carcass of rotisserie chicken bought from Mariano's, which if you ask me Mariano's makes the best rotisserie chicken, so we're off to a great start!
There's fresh cilantro and jalapeño from the homemade salsa I made the other day. Then of course, there's always tomatoes, onions, garlic and carrots in my kitchen. Those are staple items for me. How about you what ingredients do you consider your staple items in your kitchen?
ORGANIZING THE INGREDIENTS & MAKING MUSIC:
Do you ever notice when you watch cooking shows, they always have all the ingredients nicely organized and prepared and ready to go? That's how I like to cook as well. Getting all your ingredients organized will give you more of a relaxed sense in cooking. Have you ever heard of the terms "mindfulness" and "being in the moment" - well those will come naturally if you cook this way. Trust me! I've had years of experience in the kitchen. Cooking to me is very relaxing, which is why my kitchen is one of my most favorite places in my house.
Here's what I think of when I cook, it's like making music, much like an orchestra. One section starts giving it rhythm, joined in with another giving it tempo, then another giving it harmony, and so forth with the melody, you're getting the idea....voila! a beautiful music is made. The same holds true for cooking.
All the ingredients are gathered, chopped, shredded, peeled, whatever else needed to get done and placed in their own containers. Cooking instruments are gathered, then off we go to blend everything together to make that one final creation of yummy goodness, which has form and texture and color...I could go on and on...think of making music next time you cook...see how that makes you feel. 🙂
If you look below as to how I've listed my ingredients, that's basically the order in which I follow. Organized, yes? That's my middle name.
Start chopping the following ingredients: 2 cloves of garlic, 1 medium onion, 2 cups of carrots, 1 stalk of celery and 1 to 3 jalapeños. Then dice 2 cups of fresh tomatoes (if not using canned diced tomatoes).
Note with jalapeños, be very careful when chopping these as they can leave a burning sensation on your skin. So don't rub your eyes! Ouch!!
QUICK TIP! If you don't have kitchen gloves to use when handling jalapeño peppers, get a piece of Saran wrap and use them to keep your hands from touching the peppers. I like to remove the seeds, and just chop the peppers for the soup. You may opt to leave some of the seeds in if you'd like, for extra spice. Chop up as many jalapeños you want. The more peppers, the hotter the soup is, so that's all up to you. You're my hero if you can handle more than three!
After getting all the rest of your ingredients together, you're now ready to start cooking.
LET'S COOK THE SOUP!
I use my Dutch oven for making soups. Actually, I use my Dutch oven A LOT, not just for soups! I know Dutch ovens, are a bit on the pricey side, however, I use this everyday, and it always handles perfectly and I've had it for years so it's worth every penny. If you don't have a Dutch oven, any stock pot will do. But I'm telling you, Dutch ovens are worth the investment!
Now the fun part - On a medium high heat, put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in your Dutch oven/stock pot, add garlic and stir being careful not to burn the garlic. Burnt garlic makes it bitter, you'll see me remind you of this a lot. After about a minute, add onion, sauté this for about 3 minutes until onion is translucent and slightly caramelized. Then add, carrots and celery, sauté for an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Finally, add the jalapeños and sauté for another 2 minutes. NOTE: Cooking your vegetables this way for soup or any other dish for that matter, gives it that much added flavor of wholesomeness. Think orchestra! 😉
I don't know about you, but I love it when I eat something and I can taste every single ingredient in the dish. That to me speaks LOVE! I always tell my daughter, to always cook with love, it really does make a difference! Think of that making music I mentioned above.
Now that all the vegetables are nicely caramelized, add the 2 cups of diced tomatoes. For the tomatoes you can use canned or fresh tomatoes. There's less sodium in fresh tomatoes just so you know. The canned tomatoes, however, are quicker and saves you some prep time and also adds to the flavor of the soup, so consider that when seasoning your dish.
Next, add 4 cups of chicken stock. Here again, you can use a ready-made Organic Low-Sodium Free-Range Chicken Broth, but I always prefer making my own chicken stock.
The more fun part, I season the soup with spices which make this very flavorful and is now becoming our Hot Mex Chicken Soup...I add 1 teaspoon of the following spices: ground cumin, ground coriander, crushed red pepper flakes, ground chili powder, salt and pepper. You can add more or less of any of the spices depending on your own flavor profiles. That's what I love about making soups, some days you want it more robust and so you want more of any combination of spices, sometimes, you want it to be a little less assuming so you can adjust accordingly. Think Goldilocks!
Now add your 2 cups of shredded (rotisserie) chicken to the pot. This is where we let all the blending of flavors begin....lower the heat to simmer and simmer the soup for about 20 minutes, covered. Add more spices if needed, stir it one more time, then turn it off. We are done!
You can enjoy this soup by itself, or serve with tortilla chips or avocados, or top the soup with shredded cheese or sour cream (or I prefer Greek yogurt). Garnish with fresh cilantro.
And there you have it. Hot Mex Chicken Soup! Super tasty!
How are you staying warm these days? If you made this soup, post and comment below. I'd like to hear how you like it or if you've made some changes to it, love to hear from you! Post a picture of it on Instagram and tag #JozMahal!
I love to cook delicious and healthy meals for my family and friends, and I am happy that I get to share my passion with all of you. Every food I make is full of flavorful and healthy ingredients that are quick and simple to make with ingredients that you can find in your local grocery store or online. Let's be taste buds ~ and follow me along my culinary journey. My mantra, to always cook with love, and that is after all, why I call this blog the JOZmahal. Read more about me here...
PS: If you try any of my recipes please use the tag #JOZmahalrecipes and you may be featured in my upcoming posts! ~ cook with love my friend!