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Chicken Soup For The Soul

Sweet Potato and Chicken Soup, Andrew Meade

Photo by Andrew Meade

When January rolls around every year, I'm done over-indulging in party food and drink—and usually left exhausted from all the entertaining, work, family and friend activities of the previous several months. What I truly need is a sleep cure and detox, but what I want is to hide under the covers, wish away the winter blues and have my sweet potato, lime and chicken soup.

My Chicken Soup For the Soul is not your grandma's chicken soup, I promise! This one is robust and bold—in flavor and comfort—and the ingredients are truly good for you. I've always loved chicken soup, but somehow in my head I equated it to being sick. So one day I set out to create a chicken soup that would be so savory it could almost wake the dead. Its an all-in-one meal, with super nutritious sweet potato and yucca in place of starchy regular potatoes, plus lots of veggies, herbs and lime—and some jalapeno to spice it up a notch. Buen provecho!


Makes 6 to 8 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
4-pound chicken, preferably organic, quartered
1 large yellow onion, cut into ½-inch dice
2 large carrots, cut into ½-inch dice
4 medium celery stalks, cut into ½-inch dice
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, ribbed and cut into ½-inch dice
1 medium yuca, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes, or use frozen yuca
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1∕8 teaspoon ground cumin
1∕8 teaspoon ground achiote
8 cups water or low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced, or a few shakes of Tabasco (optional)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Lime halves, for serving

 Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until hot but not smoking. In batches, add the chicken, skin side down, and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

2. Add the remaining oil to the Dutch oven and heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, red pepper, yuca, sweet potato, cumin, and achiote. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes.

3. Return the chicken to the Dutch oven. Add the water, half of the cilantro, the jalapeño, garlic, and oregano. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat to low and simmer until the chicken is tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a chopping board. Let cool slightly; then discard the skin and bones and shred the meat. Stir the chicken back into the soup.

5. For each serving, squeeze a lime half into a soup bowl. Ladle in the soup, sprinkle with some of the remaining cilantro, and serve hot.

Spill It: Tell Us What You Think!

This chicken soup recipe is outstanding! Making it for the second time in 10 days!
1/29/2016 2:39:57 PM

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