Nothing can be more comforting than a bowl of warm soup on a chilly and windy day. Today is one such day and I am craving for my Mexican styled Chicken and Red Bean Soup. I first made this soup for few friends on an equally cold Friday, when we had a Tex-Mex themed dinner party at our place. The soup was a big hit and I had only a small bowl of leftovers. I had it the next day for lunch and it was even better.
The best thing about this soup is that its mostly out of cans and hence can be prepared in a jiffy even on weeknights and hearty enough to satisfy both your tummy and soul. The first time I made it I used store bought Rotisserie Chicken and the entire soup came together in 20 minutes. I have used Red Beans here but you can used Black Beans or Pinto Beans or even Garbanzo Beans (chickpea). This soup can even turn vegetarian if you omit the chicken and use vegetable broth. Its equally delicious. Here is how I did it:
Season two chicken breasts or 4 thigh pieces with salt, pepper, paprika and cumin. Bake in an 400 F oven for 30 minutes and then let it rest for 5 minutes. Shred using two forks. OR if use 2 cups of shredded store bought Rotisserie Chicken.
In a soup pot, heat 1 tbsp of oil. I used Canola Oil. Add the minced Garlic. Fry it for 10-15 seconds, till the aroma released. Be careful, the garlic should not burn. In case it does, start all over again. Burnt garlic will ruin the soup completely. Add the Onions, Celery and Green Peppers and saute until soft.
Next add the Stewed Tomatoes, Diced Tomatoes, Chicken Broth, drained and rinsed Corn Kernels, drained and rinsed Red Beans, Chili powder, Paprika and Cumin Powder. Mix everything well and bring to a boil. Then simmer for 10 minutes.
Now add the Shredded Chicken and simmer for additional 15- 20 minutes. Check for seasoning and adjust the salt accordingly.
This is a very chunky soup. If you like yours thinner, dilute with water or more chicken broth, till it reaches your desired consistency.
This soup is a complete meal in itself. Loaded with vegetables, lean protein, antioxidants, dietary fibers, and healthy Carbohydrates. A great Lunch or Dinner option.