Friday, October 2, 2009

Fall Comfort Food

One of the things I love about fall (and winter for that matter) is making soup. I'm going to share one of my favorites.

First, the background of the soup recipe -

A couple of years ago one of my co-workers told me about a little place in our town that serves a different soup Monday thru Friday. She particularly liked the soup they serve on Thursday. Needless to say the next Thursday she and I and another co-worker were there for the soup. It was out of this world good!

We discussed the soup and what all we thought was in it. I wrote all of the ingredients down that we could easily tell were in the soup and then some ideas for what made up the rest.

It took me a couple of tries before I was satisfied enough with my "knock off" soup to take it to work for a taste test. Everyone who tried it thought it was pretty close to the one that's served at the little cafe. Some even said it was better which is pretty high praise as far as I'm concerned.

And that's not to say we quit going to the cafe on Thursdays. In fact, while I was working, you could pretty much find me there every Thursday.

One thing about it is that you have to get their early on Thursdays. Otherwise you might not get any. Some people (me included) have been known to call ahead and reserve a bowl. There's pretty much a line everyday but especially on Thursdays. I had lunch with one of my friends a week ago yesterday and we planned to meet there for lunch. By the time I arrived the line was out the door and it wasn't moving. So in the interest of time we went to a nearby hamburger place to eat.

I was a little disappointed but not to worry. I knew I'd be making my version soon. Last night was the night.

I call my soup Awesome Southwest Chicken Soup. (Note: I entered the recipe in an area contest the year I concocted it and while it didn't win the grand prize it was a finalist.)

The line up of ingredients:

See the chili powder bottle on the left with the words "Taco Seasoning" written on it? I make my own taco seasoning and keep it in that bottle. I'll include that recipe at the bottom of this post.

Oops! And I left the green chilies out of the picture above. Sorry!

Cut the chicken breast up into bite-sized pieces and coat it with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons taco seasoning.

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a skillet and add 1 teaspoon of dried minced onion and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. (You could opt to saute some onion and garlic in the butter. It's up to you.)

Meanwhile in a large pot add 1 can chicken broth, 2 cups of half-and-half and 2 cups of Velvetta cheese that has been cut up into small cubes. Heat the mixture on low to medium low in order to melt the cheese slowly. Be sure to stir it occasionally so it doesn't scorch.

While the cheese is melting, brown the chicken in the butter mixture until the chicken pieces are no longer pink.

Drain the chicken on a paper towel.

Stir the chicken into the pot with the half-and-half, chicken broth and melted cheese.

Drain and rinse 1 can of pinto beans and 1 can black beans. Add the beans, Rotel tomatoes, green chilies and frozen corn to the soup.

Heat through.

Serve with corn chips if desired.


Awesome Southwest Chicken Soup

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons taco seasoning (mine or packaged will work too)
1 can chicken broth
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups Velvetta cheese, cut into small cubes (I've used Velvetta lite too and it works just fine.)
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced green chilies
1 can Rotel tomatoes

Melt butter and add dried minced onion and garlic powder. Coat chicken pieces with taco seasoning and brown in the butter until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Drain on paper towels.

While chicken is cooking, put chicken broth, half-and-half and Velvetta cubes into a large pot and cook on low to medium low until cheese is melted. Be sure to stir occasionally.

Once the cheese has melted and the chicken has been drained, stir the chicken into the soup base.

Add corn, black beans, pinto beans, green chilies and Rotel tomatoes.

Heat through and serve with tortilla chips if desired.

Taco Seasoning

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon corn starch
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon beef bouillon granules

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and store in an airtight container.

Note: I usually quadruple the recipe because I use this taco seasoning in lots of dishes.

Oh, and you might noticed the evidence in the pictures - I am left-handed.


  1. OMG! That looks so darn delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  2. This sounds delicious. I have a similar Mexican recipe that's more like a hot dip. Can't wait to try this.

  3. That does look delicious. I'll be trying that soon!

  4. OMGosh!! Thank you!! That looks delicious! I am going to the store on my lunch hour today and get the ingredients for Sunday..when its raining..WONDERFUL!
    Hey Lady..I was going to post about soup today too but postponed it! LOL..We are twins I think!! Dont you?

  5. this sounds awesome.... and I love that it's low-cal! lol