I love homemade soups that are easy to vary, depending on my mood. This soup can be blended to creamy consistency with sour cream or it can be made cheesy with plenty of melted-in-the-bowl shredded cheese. You can increase the tang by adding red wine vinegar or make it as hot as you’d like by your choice of salsa and hot sauce. In fact, I serve this with a salsa and hot sauce bar for dipping tortilla chips or for each person to customize their kick. I have substituted carrots or pumpkins for the squash and the recipe stands up. I’ve used this as a watered-down base and poured over chicken, potatoes, and tomatoes for roasting. I’ve even separated the solids from the liquid for taco filling and marinades.
However you prefer your soup, this one is a winner.
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 12-16 ounces of fresh medium-hot salsa
- 1 chopped zucchini
- 1 chopped medium white onion
- 2-4 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 2 containers fresh organic vegetable or chicken stock
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- optional 1 cup cooked brown, white or Spanish rice
- optional cilantro, lime wedge, avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips, shredded Monterey Jack cheese for toppings
Add chicken, salsa, and stock to crockpot set to high.
Over medium heat, warm olive oil and once ready, lightly sauté zucchini, onion, garlic, and squash until soft. Add to crockpot.
Once all ingredients have been added to crockpot, add water or additional stock of desired. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 10 minutes before reducing heat to a simmer. Simmer for 3-6 hours or until chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken and, being careful of the heat, pull the chicken into shreds with two forks.
Add rice, corn and chicken to crockpot. Allow to simmer for at least 20 minutes before adding additional hot sauce or hot salsa to taste, if desired. I recommend salting individual bowls after serving so the soup doesn’t become too salty on reheating.
Garnish with cilantro, lime wedge, shredded cheese, avocado slices and a side of tortilla chips for cracking into the soup.
Vegan/vegetarian option: beans (black, pinto or garbanzo) can be used to beef up the soup or in place of chicken, if desired.
Post for NaBloPoMo
(Since I’m writing most of these late at night, in bed, while tandem nursing twins, I’m choosing to concentrate on writing rather than proof-reading or editing. Please forgive the extra typos and non-nonsensical grammar. Thank you.)