This soup is great for transitioning between Winter - Spring because it will keep you warm but the flavors are all bright and fresh. It comes together in a quick 45 minutes and is relatively low maintenance. It has some spice but is not spicy - if you really want to make sure it's not spicy, remove the jalapeño seeds! If you want it to be extra spicy, just add hot sauce.
Serves: 4 bowls
Time: 45 minutes
1 lb chicken breast
5 tomatillos, husked and cut into 1/4s
2 jalapeños, stem removed and cut into chunks
2 anaheim peppers, stem removed and cut into chunks
1/2 white onion, peeled and cut into wedges
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 can diced green chiles
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup avocado oil
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup diced cilantro
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Other: pinch of salt, pinch of sugar, freshly ground pepper
2-4 tortillas, corn or flour (optional)
For topping: fresh jalapeño slices, lime wedges, cotija cheese, Mexican crema, cilantro
Add the tomatillos, peppers, onion, garlic, chiles, cumin, and avocado oil to a heavy bottomed pot such as a dutch oven, give them a good stir and then cook over medium low heat, covered for 10-15 minutes until softened. Add salt + pepper to taste.
While the veggies are cooking down, cover the chicken breasts with plastic wrap and then use a meat hammer (tenderizer) to pound the chicken breasts down to about half of their original thickness. Cut each chicken breast into 3 or 4 big pieces.
Once the veggies have softened, add the chicken in, cover again and cook for another 15 minutes, flipping or stirring halfway. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off, remove the chicken, and use forks to shred it.
Transfer the veggies (everything left in the pot) to a blender and puree (you can also use an immersion blender!). Pour the pureed veggies back into your pot, turn the heat on to low, add in chicken broth and stir. Next add the shredded chicken, cilantro, and heavy cream, stir it all together and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes so it's evenly heated. While it's simmering, wrap the tortillas in a paper towel and microwave for 15 seconds so they're soft. You could also heat them on the stovetop.
Always taste test soups before serving - because of all the bright, zesty, acidic flavors in this soup, I ended up adding another pinch of salt + a pinch of sugar to counteract it.
Split the soup into bowls, top with a folded tortilla, fresh jalapeño slices, fresh cilantro, a sprinkle of cotija cheese, and a drizzle of Mexican crema. Enjoy!
Cotija cheese and Mexican crema can be found in the refrigerated cheese section at grocery stores. I always find them at Kroger - you'll probably have the best luck at a large chain like Kroger. The brand "Cacique" makes great versions of both.
If you cannot find anaheim peppers, replace with poblano peppers.
If you're feeling in the mood for something heavier, you could add black beans for some extra substance.
I used a 4 quart enameled cast iron pot for this soup and would highly recommend doing the same because they hold and transfer heat really well.