Thursday, May 21, 2015

Chicken Avocado Soup

Now that summer is around the corner it obviously means it is soup season, right?  Kidding, but seriously, even if it is 100 degrees outside, I would still crave this soup.  It is so delicious and healthy and can be completely low-carb or paleo, if that is your diet.  When I saw my good friend and fellow blogger Kelly over at post this recipe I new immediately I had to try it out.  A lot of actual chefs (not me) will tell you that making a good soup is quite difficult.  It is hard to get enough flavor out of the ingredients when using that much liquid, so when I made this recipe I was pleasantly surprised how delicious it really was.  The key is using actual salsa in the soup as an ingredient and not just a topping.  This is a fast way to infuse all of the flavors needed to make this soup so good while creating amazing spice and texture.  The star of this show is the avocado because there is something just so delightful about warm, creamy avocado in a spicy soup.  And being able to pile on all the fantastic Mexican style topping make for a filling and satisfying meal.  This recipe has become a family favorite in our house in such a short time, I had to share it with you.

This is what you need:

1-1 1/2 lbs of chicken thighs
4 cups Chicken Broth
2 cups water
1 container of Salsa (Pico de Gallo is my favorite to use in this)
1 can of Diced Tomatoes
3 Avocados - diced
1 Onion - chopped
1 Jalapeno - diced (optional)
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
1-2 Limes - juice
1 tbsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/2-1 tsp Salt
1/2-1 tsp Pepper
1 bunch of Cilantro

Optional Toppings
Sour Cream
More avocado
More Cilantro
Tortilla Chips (sooooo good if you are not going low-carb)
Hot Sauce

This is what you do:
Pour the chicken broth and water to a large pot or dutch oven.  Chop the onion, garlic and jalapeno and add to the pot.  Heat over high heat and once boiling, add the chicken thighs, can of tomatoes, salsa, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.  Poach the chicken right in the soup for about 15 minutes, remove and shred with forks or a Kitchen Aid mixer.  Lower the heat to low and put the shredded chicken right back to the pot and add the juice of 1-2 limes.  Simmer for at least 20 minutes but up to an hour.  Taste and add any additional seasonings.  Chop the avocados up into bite size pieces and set aside.  Right before serving, add a handful of roughly chopped cilantro to the pot.  Ladle the soup into big bowls and add 1/4-1/2 avocado into each bowl.  Top with cheese and crushed tortilla chips and whatever else you like if desired.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: about an hour
Total Time: 75-90 minutes
Serves: 6-8

First thing to do is pour a box (4 cups) of chicken stock and 2 cups of water into a large pot or dutch oven.  This is the one I use.  Chop the onion, 3 cloves of garlic and 1 jalapeno if you are using it, (remove the seeds though) and add right to the pot.  Bring it up to a boil.

Add the chicken thighs (or breasts if you prefer), can of tomatoes, salsa, 1 tbsp Cumin, 1/2 tsp Chili Powder and a 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper right into the liquid.  Poach for about 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees.  Remove the chicken and shred with forks or if you have a Kitchen Aid Mixer, put them in the mixing bowl and use the paddle attachment on low to shred the chicken.  So much easier!
 Just drop them right into the pot.
 A lot is happening in this pot.
 This is poached chicken thighs mid-shred.  Seriously, if you have not tried this trick, you must.  So much easier and no more burned fingers.
A few minutes later chicken is shredded and ready to go back into the pot.  

Add the shredded chicken right back into the pot, lower the heat to low and juice the limes into the pot.  Let simmer for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour.  The longer it simmers, the better it tastes.  
 Start with one lime, taste and add more juice if you like.
I always keep tasting it while it simmers and adjusting the seasonings as needed.  If it is not as spicy as I would like, I add hot sauce or cayenne pepper and usually add a bit more salt.  

While it is simmering, get your choice of toppings ready. 
There cannot ever be too many avocados and I always add a few crushed tortilla chips because it is just so good.  Totally worth the carbs. 

When you are happy with the flavor, add a big handful of roughly chopped cilantro right to the pot.  Ladle into a big bowl and top with your favorites.  
My favorites.  Depending on the size of the avocado, I do a quarter or half per bowl, a few more sprigs of cilantro, squeeze of a lime wedge and a couple crushed tortilla chips. 

This soup is literally just as good as one you would find in a restaurant.  My husband and I crave it all the time and I love healthy yet filling it is.  I am so happy I found the inspiration on  Be sure to check out the site for other health and fitness tips!  Let me know what toppings you prefer when you make this soup!