I adore going out to eat Mexican food. My husband, on the other hand, does not. For the majority of our relationship he would flat out refuse. His excuse is that I make good enough knock-off Latin food at home. Drives me up a wall!
The Spanish teacher where I teach high school turned me onto Sopa de Pollo at a local Mexican restaurant. This girl has traveled all over the world to many Spanish-speaking countries so if she endorses the meal I know it is good.
Finally, with my insistence, I was able to get my husband to try this soup. And he became obsessed. He started asking to go to the Mexican restaurant on his own initiative. He began ordered other things on the menu (but always ordering a to-go container of this soup as well). He began to LOVE Mexican food.
And then I ruined it. I ruined it by making a delicious version of Sopa de Pollo here at home. It is so delicious and so fresh and now he has no desire to go out to eat Mexican anymore. This soup is the best thing on a cool fall evening or warm summer night. It is hearty and fresh. Filling and light. PERFECT.
For the broth:
- 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves;
- 2 carrots;
- 2 bay leaves;
- 1 tomato, cut in half;
- 1 Tablespoon salt;
- 1 T dried herbs (I used herbs de provence);
- 1 garlic clove;
- 1 onion, cut in half;
- handful cilantro.
For the soup:
- 4-5 cups chicken broth (see above);
- 4-5 cups of water;
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes;
- 2 tsp ground cumin;
- shredded chicken from two breast halves;
- 1 tomato, chopped;
- 1/2 cup rice;
- 1 red small onion, thinly sliced;
- 1 carrot, thinly slice;
- 1 red bell pepper, diced;
- 1 package Goya Sazon con Cilantro Y Tomate;
- diced avocado;
- lime wedges;
- Prepare the broth first. Place all ingredients in a large stock pot.
- Fill with enough water to cover all ingredients by about 2 inches.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce a simmer. Cook for 2-3 hours.
- Remove chicken from stockpot and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove meat from bones and shred finely. Discard skin and bones.
- Pour stock through a sieve to remove solids. Discard solids.
- Skim fat off the top of stock. You may do this with a shallow spoon or by preparing stock in advance, chilling it, and removing the solidified fat from the top.
- You should have 4-5 cups of stock.
For the soup
- Combine water and stock in a large stock pot and add rice, red pepper flakes, and ground cumin.
- Bring to a boil and cook 20 minutes.
- Add chicken shreds and cook an addition 20 minutes at a low boil. Add goya sazon packet.
- Taste for salt and season as needed.
- Add diced carrot, diced bell pepper, and most of the sliced onion, reserving a small amount for garnish.
- Cook 20 minutes or so until vegetables are tender and rice is fully cooked.
- Ladle into bowls and top with sliced onion, diced avocado, fresh cilantro, and squeeze of lime juice.