Spicy Mexican chicken soup

In what feels like a constant “attempt” to eat healthier (using attempt lightly here because my efforts are limited, at best, most days), the one kind of lighter meal that never makes me feel like I’m skimping is soup. I love soup, and I love nearly every variety. But a spicy Mexican chicken soup with a la carte toppings? I’m in, every time.

This soup is perfect for winter time, as well as I’m-going-to-have-to-wear-a-bikini-in-one-month time (more on that later!!). It’s great Sunday food. It’s great football food. In fact it’s great Super Bowl food, and a DIY toppings bar allows it to be doctored up to each individual’s liking. It’s a great make-ahead lunch. It’s great frozen and defrosted some day in the future when you’re cold and hungry and just not feeling an English muffin or pickles as dinner (i.e. the only things my kitchen is never without). 

Spicy Mexican chicken soup

Yields 6-8 servings
2 T olive oil
1 Spanish onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 T plus 1 tsp salt (divided)
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ancho chili powder
½ tsp chipotle chili powder
About 3-4 oz dry red wine (a dry white would work too)
28 oz can diced tomatoes
8-9 cups chicken stock
2 bone-in chicken breasts
2 bone-in chicken thighs
14 oz can black beans

Cilantro, chopped
Avocado, sliced
Tortilla chips
Sour cream
Limes, sliced
Jalapeños, sliced

Heat Dutch oven or stock pot and olive oil over medium heat. Throw in onion and peppers and cook until soft, about 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Season with 1 T salt, plus pepper and spices. Stir mixture around for a couple of minutes. Carefully pour in wine to deglaze. Let cook for about 5 minutes while alcohol burns off, stirring occasionally. Add in tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Place chicken breasts and thighs in the pot and make sure they’re completely submerged in the liquid. Cover pot with lid and set a timer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, check the temperature of the chicken pieces and remove any that have reached 165 degrees. Set the timer for 5 minutes, and then another 5 minutes if necessary, until all chicken parts are cooked. Reduce heat to a low simmer and add black beans and 1 tsp salt to the soup. Remove skin from chicken, and shred it from the bones (discard bones). Add shredded chicken back into the pot. It’s now ready to serve, or may continue simmering on very low with the lid on until you are ready to eat. Serve alongside all the fixin's in the form of a DIY toppings bar.