Fall is upon us, in full force. And this calls for my favorite comfort food – SOUP. Warming to the soul and pleasing to the pallet, soups of all kind are the absolute best go-to meals in the fall / winter time.
This one is a random inspiration – a “kitchen sink” creation based off of what I had in the fridge after work on Thursday. But hey, some of my favorite meals come from those nights where I don’t know what to make! This chicken + black bean soup is simply magnificent – hardy, flavorful and satisfying in every way.
2 skinless chicken breasts
2 small white onions
3 ears of corn on the cob
5 sticks of celery
4 cans of black beans
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 Tbsp minced garlic
3 Bay Leaves
1 Tbsp olive oil
Red Pepper Flakes
Fresh Lemon to top
Start with your chicken. Place both chicken breasts, whole, in a large pot with the bay leaves, a dash of salt and pepper. Cover the chicken breasts fully with water, and place the pot on the stove. Bring the water to a boil, and then steadily keep the water simmering for about one hour, gently turning the chicken over in the water as it cooks. If needed, add more water to ensure that your chicken is fully covered throughout the cooking process.
When chicken starts to shred, remove from heat and pour into a strainer. Make sure the strainer is placed in a bowl so that you can save the broth you just made! Pull out the strainer with the chicken in it, and shred the chicken into fine pieces. Set aside.
Place the pot back on the stove on medium heat and add olive oil and minced garlic. Let the garlic brown slightly, then add in your chopped onions, celery and corn. Cook slowly until the onion becomes nearly translucent, then add in the chicken and black beans. Pour the broth you saved back into the pot, and stir. Add in your cilantro, and season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and a dash of smoked paprika. Season to taste.
Once finished, you can either leave the soup chunky or use a hand emulsifier or blender to make the soup creamy and smooth.
Serve with added cilantro or green onion and fresh lemon to top.