It’s been one sorry, sorry, SORRY winter for snow. Usually by this time of year I’ve had my snow shovel out at least 8 times and have created at least 4 snowmen. But this year I haven’t even dusted off my snow boots. And that bums me out because they’re cute. And warm. And I love ’em.
So just when I’ve finished all my kvetching about no snow and finally weaned myself from the longing for a big old fashioned winter dump, what happens? It snows this morning. Really? Really you swarmy groundhog Punxsutawney Phil? I was finally dreaming of blossoming cherry trees, swimming pools and lemonade and here we go, more winter. I wonder if the Leap Year had anything to do with it. Hmmm, a metaphysical diabolical scheme.
Luckily, I had a quick and easy winter soup recipe at the ready.
I had already made plans today to skip on over into my soupness thanks to Cheryl at TidyMom and Kristen at Dine & Dish‘s 2nd Annual SoupaPalooza event, so I had all the ingredients ready to roll for din-din tonight. You really need to check out their SoupaPalooza entries, there’s enough soup recipes posted to make the Soup Nazi a little nervous.
If you haven’t already, create a soup and come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine & Dish sponsored by KitchenAid, Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset. You don’t even need to have a blog to enter, just a tasty recipe.
The recipe I’m rockin’ at Soupapalooza is from the famed Golden Door Spa, with an outpost right here at the Waldorf Astoria in Park City, Utah. It delivers all the goodness one needs for a flavor-packed, healthy meal—sadly, it doesn’t include ingredients for a handsome masseuse and aromatherapy spa treatment. It’s got a kick from the smokey chipotle pepper and even with a longer list of ingredients, comes together and is ready for the table in about 3o minutes. Perfect for a weeknight soup supper.
Choose to top the soup with the toasted tortillas—or not. The soup is so flavor packed you won’t miss them. This go-around I skipped the tortilla topper, but they do add a toasty missing crunch to the soupy soup.
Spicy Chicken and Hominy Soup
slightly adapted from Golden Door, Cooks at Home by Dean Rucker
1 tablespoon olive oil spray
2 medium carrots, diced (1 cup)
1 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
2 celery ribs, diced (1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 cups chicken stock
8 ounces boneless chicken breast
2 5-inch thin corn tortillas, cut into ¼ inch wide strips
2 cans 15.5 ounce cans yellow or white hominy
1 cup crushed or chopped tomatoes
1 chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped
1 medium avocado, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 limes, one quartered and sliced then reserved for garnish
¼ cup crumbled queso fresco, for serving
¼ cup Mexican crema or sour cream, for serving
1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Add olive oil to dutch oven or large saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add carrots, onion, celery and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until vegetables are softened, stirring occasionally. Add chile powder, cumin, oregano and salt, stir to combine and cook for one minute. Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Add whole chicken breasts, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 12 minutes or until chicken is cooked through but still tender.
3. Bring soup to a very low simmer and remove chicken chicken breasts and let cool slightly for about 5 minutes. Cut the meat into bite size pieces or pull into strands. Return meat to soup.
4. Stir in hominy, tomatoes and chipotle and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Lay the tortillas in single layers on a baking sheet, spray lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt if desired. Bake untiil the strips are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from sheet and let cool.
6. Remove soup from heat. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice and ladle into serving bowls. Top with avocado, Mexican crema, queso fresco and more cilantro if desired. Squeeze with a bit of fresh lime and serve.