I feel like a broken record, but I’m afraid it’s still just as cold this week as it was last week…which means time for more soup! I wasn’t kidding when I told you I’ve been making soup on almost a weekly basis. I’m just getting started with all the soups I’ve been making! ;)
But first, since I have unofficially declared 2016 as my “year of fun,” I am determined to embrace these cold temperatures and take advantage of what Wisconsin has to offer in the winter months. And that meant finally getting to go cross country skiing this weekend! I have been wanting to go every winter since I moved here (this is the 3rd winter) and it never seemed to work out due to something or another, so I was not letting another winter slip by this year…especially during my year of fun! Philip and I had some free time on Saturday and were able to see how our legs worked with skis on. While it definitely wasn’t pretty at first, we had a great time and are excited to give it another try when there’s fresh snow on the trails!
It was fun to be outside, but I was ready for something to warm me up afterwards. While it is soup season, sometimes the comfort food gets a little too…well, comforting. I need something fresh and light, something not so stick-to-your-bones that weighs you down for the rest of the evening. (Even though, chances are high I will indeed be lounging on the couch after dinner continuing to go through all the seasons of Downton Abbey, I don’t always want to feel like I’m in a winter food coma.) In those times, I go to Chicken Cilantro and Lime Soup.
This soup is fresh! Seriously, this is a soup for all seasons. The broth-based soup is simple and uncomplicated and has all the fresh ingredients piled on top — no cooked-down tomato mush! The soup is filling with the hearty chicken, beans, and brown rice, but doesn’t weigh you down. I don’t blame you if you want to stay bundled up on the couch, but you wouldn’t have to after having this meal.
What I especially love about this soup is the opportunity to individualize it. Philip isn’t a big fan of tomatoes or avocados (I know, shocking, right?!), but since all the fresh ingredients are “add ons,” I can pile my soup with all the things Philip would rather leave out of his soup. Without the toppings, I admit, the soup is relatively boring, but squeeze on some lime juice and fresh cilantro? This soup is transformed into a bowl full of fresh flavor and varying textures that leaves you wanting more.
While the temperatures here in the Midwest don’t look too hopeful for this week, I know with just one slurp of this soup you’ll practically feel the warmth of the South. In case that doesn’t work, I’ll try to send some extra warmth from Orlando for you as we’ll be heading to Walt Disney World for a family vacation this week! :) Stay warm and I’ll see you on the flip side!
Chicken Cilantro and Lime Soup
Serves 5 – 6
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup uncooked brown rice
- 6 cups low sodium or no-salt-added chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 (16 ounce) can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups cooked chicken breasts, shredded (about 1 lb chicken breasts)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 avocado, chopped
- Juice of a fresh lime
- Add oil to a large saucepan and heat pan on medium-high heat. Once oil is heated, add the onion and garlic; sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add rice to the saucepan and stir 1-2 minutes.
- Add stock, cumin, and beans and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add chicken, cilantro and pepper and simmer for 5 more minutes or until chicken is heated through.
- Remove soup from heat and top individual bowls of soup with diced tomatoes, avocado, fresh lime juice, and more chopped cilantro, to taste.