If this soup gave an awards acceptance speech, its thank-you’s would have to include Trader Joe’s, mid-winter avocado cravings, and the sad and cloudy part of Portland winters that make us all want to crawl under a blanket, turn off the lights, and lose ourselves in a marathon of My So-Called Life. This soup, hearty and warm, bright and filling is — in my opinion — the best and easiest way to save yourself from serious Seasonal Affective Disorder and an angst-ridden, baby Claire Danes overdose.
And if there’s anyone who knows about overdosing on Claire Danes, it’s me. Have you guys seen Homeland? Holy addictive show, Batman. I’m obsessed. I think about the details of the show (and let’s be honest, the details of Jessica Brody), and I dissect them, reconsider them, question them, and then think of them all over again. I can’t wait until I can get my hands on season two.
I digress. You’re came here for the soup, and I shall give you the soup. Obviously, you can do all of your grocery shopping for this recipe wherever you’d like, though you probably have a lot of it on hand already. However, I shopped at Trader Joe’s, so I’ve included those products where applicable. I’ll let you know how/when to substitute, but I’m pretty sure you could figure it out, too. You’re smart like that. And pretty.
Ok, let’s make soup. I promise, this is so easy. So easy that you really just need the ingredient list and a reminder to cook the chicken first, and you could throw the rest of it in a stock pot (or slow cooker) and call it a day. Here’s how I did it.
Peel yourself off of that couch, wipe those “Is it raining because I’m sad, or am I sad because it’s raining?” tears off of your face, and go make this. Now.
- olive oil and/or butter
- Trader Joe's Mirepoix (or about a cup each of chopped carrots, onions, and celery, since that's all a mirepoix really is)
- Most of a 32 oz. carton of chicken broth (or about 3-4 cups)
- 4 medium tomatoes, chopped into large pieces
- 1 can of Trader Joe's Refried Black Beans with Jalapeño Poppers (obviously, any can of refried black beans would work here, as would a can of regular black beans, mashed to a pulp)
- 1 can of corn
- 2 chicken breasts
- salt, pepper, and some sort of red spice for seasoning (I used Adobo)
- Creamy Avocado Topping: ½ avocado + 2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt, mashed together
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- In a stock pot (or large stove pot), heat butter and/or olive oil (I used both) over medium heat. Add carrots, onions, and celery. Sauté until soft (about 4-5 minutes).
- Add about ½ cup of chicken broth and just let that simmer for a bit.
- While that simmers, place the chopped tomatoes in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Roast for about 15 minutes.
- To prep the chicken, toss in a bowl with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and Adobo seasoning.
- When the tomatoes are done, transfer them (and the juices) from the baking dish into either a blender (or in my case, a Magic Bullet). Add a little bit of chicken broth and blend until liquid. Add tomato juice to your simmering veggies, and get ready to jam.
- Add a little bit of chicken broth to the baking dish the tomatoes were in (because you're about to add the chicken here, and we don't want it to burn), place the chicken breasts in the dish, and bake these for 20 minutes.
- Add the black beans to the simmering vegetables, and the rest of your chicken broth. Stir.
- Add corn.
- When the chicken is cooked, use two forks to pull it apart (or just chop it up), and add to the soup.
- Top with creamy avocado topping, and serve.
- To be totally honest, if you can just make sure that the tomatoes are roasted and blended, the chicken is cooked and chopped into bite-sized pieces, and the mirepoix is softened, you can honestly just throw everything together in a big pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes.