South meets East.

The second those Fall temperatures dip and I’m forced to turn on the heat in Casa de Fanatic (already, really? grrr) I turn into full-on soup mode

Is it me or is it me? :P

Last night, case in point.

I was craving the comfort of chili-like dinner, but since I just had chili ohhhh a week ago, decided it was time to get creative…

And where else to turn to for warm, comforting flavors in times like this? You got it —> Mexico!

After devouring a delicious chicken tortilla soup earlier in the day that Fanatic Mom had so nicely left for me in the fridge after her Saturday sleepover with Lucy Dog, I decided to come up with a spin on this steamy dish for dinner…

The final result ended up being what I like to think as South meets East.

Flavors of the south in a Mexican inspired soup meet a traditional Eastern European ingredient that I’m sure doesn’t normally have most folks jumping for joy: green cabbage!

Green cabbage is an ingredient I tend to associate with old school comfort classics, like my Nanny’s Pigs-In-A-Blanket.

And not one that I think of when it comes to spicy flavors. 

But it was time to change all that!

This soup gets a major flavor boost from Roasted Chipotle Salsa, which adds the most amazing smokiness!  Rich dark meat chicken makes the soup taste decadant and luxurious, and cuts the smokiness quite nicely.  With the addition of cabbage, corn, onions and peppers you’ll also get plenty of veggie servings all wrapped up in one steamy bowl :)

So step aside chili, there’s a new ?cabbage? in town!!

Roasted Chipotle Chicken & Cabbage Soup

Serves 6

  • 2 whole chicken legs (1 lb.) – yields 1 heaping cup cooked meat
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 sweet peppers, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 32 oz. chicken broth
  • 16 oz. jar roasted chipotle salsa
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 small head cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cups lentils (or any cooked/canned bean)
  • salt & pepper

1.  Cook chicken.  Place the chicken in enough water to cover in a medium sized pot and bring to boil.  The chicken should be done after 10 minutes start to finish.

Note that you could use chicken thighs here too.  Or chicken breasts if you prefer white meat.  But dark meat really does this soup justice, plus is easy on the wallet ;)

Shred chicken using the two-fork method, which should result in a large heaping cup full of meat.  Season with salt and pepper too.

2. Cook the veggies. In the same pot used for cooking the chicken (water & chicken removed), saute the chopped onion and peppers for 5 minutes in 1 tblsp olive oil, stirring occasionally.  Add the chopped garlic during the last minute.

3.  Assemble the soup.  Add the chicken broth, roasted chipotle salsa and H20 to the soup pot.  Give a good stir.

I got this salsa at Whole Foods, and I have to say that I don’t think this soup would turn out quite the same without the roasted chipotle flavors that a salsa like this has to offer. 

I’m sure it’s fairly easy to find elsewhere too, so keep your eyes peeled, this stuff rocks!

If you can’t find roasted chipotle salsa, a substitution of “regular” salsa plus some chipotle in adobo may do the trick?

Now the surprise —>  green cabbage?!?  Yea, probably not something you’d normally get excited about, right ;)

But what a great way to get in those greens and also bulk up the soup!  Add the cabbage to the soup pot and let the soup simmer (covered) for 30 minutes, or until the cabbage is soft.

4.  Finish the soup.  At the very end just throw in the frozen corn and beans.  Note that I used lentils this time around. 

This was because I thought I had canned black beans on hand, however I was wronggggg, ooops.  So these frozen, previously cooked lentils had to make a stand-in appearance! 

Any type of bean would work here though.  Black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, whatevs.

Simmer the soup, covered, for another 10 minutes or so and you are ready to serve!

A topping of tortilla chips added a fun crunch and saltiness to this smoky hearty soup too :D

I liked the flavor so much that I didn’t even add hot sauce *gasp* can you believe it?  I know, I’m still in shock too :P

This soup was definitely different than any I’ve ever had, and a great easy flavor-add to the normal soup rotation.  I really liked it!

Soups are just such a versatile, economical, and easy way to come out with fantastic flavor using minimal effort.  One day, I think, soup may just take over the worlddddd!

Haha kidding friends.  Well, kind of.

HAPPY MONDAY! :D

7 Responses to South meets East.

  1. I’m in soup mode too! I can’t get enough. That looks fabulous, as usual!

  2. I’m so in! Soup/stew/chili just rock! I love how you can adjust any recipe based on what you have on hand and it still turns out jammin. This looks so yummy. You know I love a little heat

  3. Mmm! I made soup this weekend with jalapeno chicken sausage, green bell peppers and diced tomatoes w/ green chilis. It was spicy!

    I’m such a fan of soup, and now that it’s fall, you can bet that we’ll be having it at least once a week!

    • That soup sounds so good!! You are lovin’ some chicken sausage these days aren’t you… can’t say I object :P

  4. I still have on the air conditioning! I’m totally jealous of your heater and soup.

  5. Wow, didn’t have to add hot sauce?? I recently was given a jar of Frontera Grill’s chipotle pumpkin salsa that is to die for – I need to recreate it at home – my idea is grilling pie pumpkins on my grill? I’ll let you know if it works out!

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