Lime Jalapeño Chicken Soup / by Chelsea Zwieg

This is a soup that you NEED in your life. It's one I've made a lot and for so long that I don't really remember where the recipe came from. All i know is that it is the fastest, easiest, most delicious soup to bring you straight into soup season. In WI soup season is pretty much all months except for June-August, which is so ok with me. Really, I still sneak in some summer soup too, if I'm not too sweaty. But this Lime Jalapeño Chicken Soup....let's just get right to it. 

It really does not get easier than this soup. If you can saute some onions, pour in some chicken stock and juice a lime, you've got it in the bag. My favorite thing to do is pick up a rotisserie chicken and then add the shredded meat to the soup, just like I do for pretty much all soups (or chili). Which means this is ready to eat in 20 minutes, tops. 

But before you run off to make this, let's just talk about hominy for second. As in what even is it? Well, it's one of the 7 ingredients in this soup and it's probably about to become your favorite soup add-ins. Short explanation: it's corn. Longer-ish explanation: it's dried corn kernels that have been soaked in an alkaline solution (usually lye or lime) that removes the hull and causes the kernels to puff up. What you end up with is a chewy, unique tasting ingredient that is welcome in any soup. It's usually seen in Mexican posoles (which literally means hominy), a classic stew filled with pork, chilis and....you guessed it...hominy! Unlike beans, which tend to lose their flavor in a soup and kind of just get in the way (in my opinion), hominy retains its flavor and texture, even in a boldly flavored dish. It also goes great with lime. Which is just great, because there is no shortage of lime happening in this soup. 

Lime Jalapeño Chicken Soup

Serves 4

Note: Adding a whole jalapeño, seeds and all, makes a very spicy soup. I love this so I add the whole thing but fair warning, it gets spicier as it sits so your leftovers turn into a bit of a fireball. If spice isn't your thing at all, you can seed it and add just a little or forget the jalepeño altogether and just have some chicken lime soup. 

| Ingredients

  • 1 sweet vidalia onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped (see note) 
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 can white hominy
  • 2 cups shredded chicken (I like to buy a rotisserie chicken and make this the fastest soup known to man but baking chicken breasts will work as well) 
  • juice of 1 lime
  • avocado, cilantro and feta cheese, for serving

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until it begins to soften, 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño and continue to cook until the onion just begins to brown, another 1-2 minutes.  Add the chicken broth and increase to medium-high heat. Cook until the stock begins to simmer. 

Reduce the heat to low and add the hominy, chicken and lime juice. Cook until the chicken is heated through. 

Serve with sliced avocado, crumbled feta cheese and cilantro.