This soup is perfect for these in-between-y days – it can be warm and comforting, thanks to the spice-infused broth, or fresh and energising, thanks to the zingy topping.
I dusted off the ol’ blog archives before posting this. The very first time I blogged my Mexican soup recipe was in 2008. And then again in 2011. But like a fine wine, it has gotten better with time so I reckoned it was due an update.
The broth is now richer and smokier, thanks in no small part to a hefty dose of chiles en adobo. Sometimes it’s the handy tinned version – which you can pick up in My Mexican Shop – and sometimes we steep some dried ancho chilies (picked up from My Mexican Shop or Fallon & Byrne) in just boiled water, blitz and go from there. We also hit upon the genius idea of crushing a handful of corn tortilla chips on top right before serving and honestly, I don’t know what I’ve been doing with my life that I didn’t think of that sooner.
This is not a super authentic recipe; I’m not going to regale you with stories of my abuela making it for me when I was a little girl. Truth be told, I have no idea where I got it from back in 2008. But these days, it’s a regular staple and features our core weekly ingredients for Mexican dinners – coriander, lime, tomatoes, chilies.
I hope you’re tempted to give it a try!
- Rapeseed or olive oil
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
- a few stalks of celery, chopped
- 3-4 carrots, roughly chopped
- Dried ancho chilli, or a tin of chipotles en adobo
- 1 litre of chicken stock
- salt and pepper
- 1 lime
- For the rice
- 1/2 cup of wholegrain basmati rice
- 1/4 onion
- 1 chicken stock cube
- handful of cherry tomatoes
- 2-3 spring onions
- A handful of chopped coriander
- 1 red chilli, de-seeded if you want less heat, and chopped
- Small bowl of corn tortilla chips (plain salted)
- 1/2 lime + 1 lime for serving
- salt and pepper
- To make the chicken, you can simply season it with lime juice, salt and pepper and grill. Ben likes to make up a DIY rub of paprika, chilli powder, garlic powder and ground coriander and it's super tasty, definitely worth a shot too.
- For the broth, heat a little oil in a large pot. Add the onions and garlic and sweat for a bit.
- Add in the chopped carrots and celery. When they have softened, pour in the chicken stock.
- In a handblender, blitz a two tablespoons of the chipotles en adobo wth a little water and add to the broth. If using dried chillies, rehydrate according to pack instructions, blitz and add in.
- Season well and bring to a simmer.
- Once the chicken is cooked, add it to the soup and continue to gently simmer while you prep the rest of the meal.
- Now for the rice. In a separate pot, sweat the onion in a little oil before adding your rice. Top with the hot chicken stock and cook until the liquid is absorbed or the rice is cooked.
- For the topping, simply chop all the ingredients (excluding the corn chips), squeeze over some lime and pop in a small bowl.
- To serve, scoop a large tablespoon of rice into a bowl. Top with the broth, and serve with a wedge of lime, the topping and the bowl of corn chips. These are delicious when crushed onto the soup right before eating.