I feel as if I have failed a little bit.
You see, it was Burn’s Night on the 25th and I forgot. So I haven’t made anything Scottish. This feels like a failure considering that I am Scottish (albeit a re-located one). I didn’t even eat vegetarian Haggis (I can’t stomach the meat one. Pun intended).
I wouldn’t mind so much if I could put a Scottish spin on this recipe. But I can’t. It’s Mexican chicken soup. There is nothing Scottish I can link that to. Apart from the fact that Scots eat chicken . . .
Let’s move on shall we?
Soup. Technically this is not baked so what is it doing on a baking blog? Well, I have decided to branch out and try to include some more savoury recipes. Is that okay with you? I was going to make some cornbread waffles to go with it, but I didn’t have any masa harina. I tried to grind down some fine polenta to see if I could make my own. But, no. All I got was dizzy polenta from being whirled around the mini blender for a couple of minutes and then a messy work-top as I tried to tip it back into the pot having resigned myself to the fact that it wasn’t going to work and I would have to do without the cornbread waffles.
This soup is inspired by one I bought from a certain supermarket that begins with ‘W’. As nice as it was, I am a firm believer that homemade always tastes better than bought, so I thought I would make my own version. Although . . . apparently, over in the U. S. of A. the Superbowl is about to start? *shrugs shoulders and looks quizzically, asking for confirmation that this is the case?* which also, apparently, means an influx of Mexican influenced meals and snacks (I can’t quite see the connection myself, but . . . ) so I have, albeit inadvertently, made something along a ‘theme’.
Now, it irritates me slightly when people make recipes that use ingredients that aren’t widely available. I’m talking mainly about US products that we can’t get here in the UK. Unfortunately I may be guilty of a similar thing here, so I apologise in advance.
You see I flavoured this soup with a bought chipotle chilli sauce. It was easier as it already contained the cumin, smoked paprika, chipotle chilli, and a little bit of cocoa. I’m hoping that there will be something similar wherever in the world you may be.
Is using a ready-made sauce cheating? I hope not, because sometimes we need easy.
Speaking of easy, I cooked the chicken drum sticks in the soup but roasted the thighs separately while the soup was cooking. You could cook all the chicken in the soup if you wanted, but I find that it can be a bit bland if you do that, so roasting some of it on its own and then adding the meat later helps to keep the flavour. This may sound like a faff, but the chicken is left to its own devices in the oven while the soup does its thing so it doesn’t involve much extra work.
As I am a chilli wimp – seriously, the mere whiff of a chilli and my throat feels as if it is closing up – I only used 2 tablespoons of the sauce. I wanted a subtle smokey flavour rather than a full on oh-my-gosh-I-can’t-breathe-and-my-face-feels-like-it’s-on-fire-and-the-tears-rolling-down-my-cheeks-are-making-it-worse-and-do-I-still-have-lips-because-it-feels-as-it-they-have-been-incinerated-really-please-tell-me-that-I-still-have-lips-do-I-have-lips? burning effect. However, if you like that kind of masochistic thing, then go ahead and add more (you may also want to check out the posts on this blog over here, as she is a fan of setting your insides on fire).
Served with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of coriander leaves and a squeeze of fresh lime, this soup is the perfect antidote to a grey and rainy winter day. Especially when the weather makes you wonder if you should trade your car in for a boat and put your house on stilts.
PS – if you don’t add the sour cream, then this soup is dairy-free. Yay!
Mexican Chicken Soup
Serves 4 as a starter, or 2 very hungry people. Will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.
- 1 white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, de-seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 2 tbsp chipotle chilli sauce, plus extra for serving if desired
- Handful of coriander stalks
- 2 x chicken drumsticks
- 2 x chicken thighs
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes + tin of water
- 142g tin of tomato puree
- 1 tsp soft light brown sugar
- Freshly ground sea salt
- 400g tin black beans, drained and rinsed
- 200g tin sweetcorn, drained
- Sour cream, coriander leaves and fresh lime juice to serve –optional
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 celsius / 180 fan / 390 fahrenheit.
- Heat 2 tbsp rapeseed oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes, until slightly softened. Add the garlic, 1 tbsp of chipotle chilli sauce and the coriander stalks. Stir.
- Add the chicken drumsticks followed by the chopped tomatoes, water and tomato puree. Stir until all the tomato puree has dissolved and mixed in.
- Bring to the boil then cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile place the chicken thighs on a small roasting tin. Rub a little oil into the skin and roast for 30 minutes.
- Check the chicken in the oven and soup are cooked – there should be no pink meat and the juices should run clear – then remove the drumsticks from the soup and set to one side with the thighs.
- Remove the soup from the heat, and using a hand-held immersion blender, blitz the soup until smooth. Return to the heat and add a good helping of freshly ground sea salt, 1 teaspoon soft light brown sugar and the remaining tbsp of chipotle chilli sauce. Stir and taste. Adjust seasoning accordingly.
- Return the soup to a low heat. Remove the meat from the drumsticks and thighs and add to the pan. Add the drained and rinsed black beans and the drained sweetcorn. Stir. Heat until everything is warmed through.
- Serve with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of coriander leaves and a squeeze of fresh lime.