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Mexican soup for Irish weather

Every autumn, as the temperature drops and the rain kicks in, I have a similar-ish routine – dig out every old scarf I’ve ever owned, ever, buy a very bright umbrella, hunt for that adorable pair of mittens from last winter (and fail, leading to a mitten spree in Accessorize) and dust off this old recipe for Mexican broth. It’s nourishing, warming, and tasty – the perfect thing to tuck into as rain rattles against the window. Plus, the addition of fresh red chilli is great for clearing fuzzy, under-the-weather heads.

I posted it before on an old blog from a couple of years ago, but thought I’d update and re-post. Find it after the jump, and hope you enjoy it if you give it a try!


You’ll need (for 2 people, plus a bit left over for lunch the next day):

  • For the soup

3 tbsp olive oil

1 onion

1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped or grated

a few stalks of celery, chopped

2 chicken breasts

1 red chilli, de-seeded and chopped

1 small carrot, cut into slices

1/2 litre of chicken stock (I use 1 Knorr cube)

salt and pepper

1 lime

  • For the rice

1/2 cup of rice

1/4 onion

1 chicken stock cube

  • For the topping

3-4 cherry tomatoes

2-3 spring onions

A handful of hopped (or a pinch of dried) coriander

1/2 lime + 1 lime for serving

salt and pepper

To make the rice:

Add a bit of olive oil to a hot saucepan. Then, add in the onion and fry until softened and lightly golden. Add the rice and fry it just a tiny bit – let it get coated in the oil. Then break up the stock cube and add that in, making sure no clumps are left (a little water helps here). Once the stock cube is well blended in, add in the requisite amount of boiling water, as per your pack’s instructions. Let it cook while you do the soup, then drain and set aside (covered). This is rice the way my mum cooks it and it also goes really well with fajitas.

To make the soup:

Season the chicken (I usually go for salt, pepper, and cayenne with a bit of lime juice), grill and chop into bite-size pieces.

For the broth, heat a glug of olive oil in a medium-sized pan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion, cook until softened, then add in the chilli, carrots, and garlic. After a few minutes, add in the 1/2 litre of stock. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Here, I normally add in about a tablespoon of Chipotles en Adobo, a salsa which can be found at the Sabores de Mexico stand in Temple Bar’s Meeting House Square on Saturdays. It’s not necessary, but it does gives it a nice kick.

Add the cooked chicken and leave on the heat while you mix up the topping.

To make the topping:

Roughly chop and mix the tomatoes and spring onions, then add a pinch of salt, pepper, coriander and the juice of half a lime. For a bonus kick, add some finely chopped red chilli.

Serve it up: Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the rice into a deep bowl. Ladle in the soup, add a tablespoon of topping, serve with the juice of a quarter of a lime. Enjoy!


(PS – Taco, Taco, the Mexican stall in the Epicurean Food Hall, on Abbey Street, do something similar (but much better) – it’s called Caldo Talpeño and costs around €3.50. Total bargain.


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