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Green Chile & Roast Chicken Soup

It’s no secret that I have a serious chile addition. It runs in the family. We all adore that fleshy fruit – spelled with an e instead of  an – that comes in red or green and makes our heads spin.

(Remind me to stop at the NM border on my next trip and take a picture of the welcome sign. It features two chile peppers; one red, one green.)

According to All About New Mexico (http://www-psych.nmsu.edu/~linda/food.htm), “Green chile stew is to New Mexican mothers what chicken soup is to Jewish mothers: the great cure-all, and a family recipe passed down through the generations. There are as many variations on the recipe as there are people cooking it.” Visit the website for hard-to-find authentic New Mexican recipes!

I came up with a new version of the classic recipe that practically makes itself! It plays up yellow vegetables – a boon this time of year because they contain immune system-boosting Vitamin A.

In addition to green chile from my freezer, I used yellow squash, yams and carrots in a broth of chicken stock, onion and garlic, with plenty of seasoned roast chicken.

Why did I roast the chicken instead of stewing it? Easy. I like the way it tastes – tender and moist, never stringy. Plus, you have the savory vegetables that are cooked in the roasting pan to put into your soup.

Here’s how you can make this warm winter soup in your own kitchen.

Roast a whole natural chicken. (You will need to cool and bone chicken when done.)

I used a covered electric roasting pan that my mother-in-law gave me, but you can use the oven.  Cover the bottom of the roaster with 1 cup water and 1 cup natural chicken broth. Set temperature at 325 F. and roast (covered) for about two hours or until tender. In the last hour of roasting, add 3 carrots cut lengthwise and chopped in two-inch pieces; one onion, sliced; and two stalks of fresh celery, for flavor (baby carrots can be substituted for whole). I also stuffed the chicken with some celery and onions and seasoned the outside with rosemary, thyme, garlic and olive oil.

When ready to make the soup, take the stock from the roaster and pour into a heavy pot on your stove top. You will have less than two cups of broth. Add to it about three more cups of the boxed broth. (If you stew your chicken you may not have to as much additional broth.)

Then add your roasted onions and carrots. These will be delicious because they have absorbed the chicken flavor. And the yams, oh yes! I had lovely garnet yams that I simmered slowly in water. I only used about 3/4 cup (give or take) and blended them with about a cup of broth from the pot before adding to the soup.

The celery you can toss. If you blend it up, it may come out stringy.

Personally, I want my green chile chicken soup medium hot, spice-wise. I don’t want the hiccups. But I do like plenty of chile. The answer is to either add several medium-hot chile peppers or mix a hot chile pepper with several mild. These will have been roasted and frozen at summer’s end. If you must purchase canned, the flavor will be different, so try at least to find some Bueno green chile in the frozen food section of your grocery store.

Chop or dice chile peppers and add to the pot.

Last but not least, add one thinly sliced yellow squash. These look beautiful floating in the bowl. If desired, thicken soup by adding two corn tortillas. Just tear them apart before putting into the pot. Simmer for ten more minutes. (If you prefer a clearer broth, leave them out.)

Add salt to taste and serve with a handful of corn chips.

Serves four.

Try this and other recipes from the Hungry Mom Kitchen. Let me know how they turn out! FFG

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