The onset of fall brings beautiful colors, cool, crisp mornings, layers of warm clothes, and hearty, warm, comfort dishes. As I have said many times before, fall is my favorite time of year for food, decorating, festivities and clothing. The harvest decor is out, the summer wardrobe is packed away and soups, stews, and an assortment of squash dishes are readily available in my kitchen over the next few months; and I love it. Not to mention the list of baked goods….I better save that for later.
If you’ve been following me on social media you may have noticed my #thankful in each of my posts. I began this year with a word for the year that would be my focus in everything that I do. Of course, that is not without some struggle but this year I am trying to see all situations that come my way with a thankful heart. This fall, I made a wreath and attached a chalkboard sign I inscribed “thankful” on. I am always looking for little ways to get in a d.i.y. project in and what a better way than to including my word of the year.
Even though there are so many reasons to love fall, it doesn’t come without it’s own drawbacks. One word in particular comes to mind … leaves. Sure, they are fun to play in and their vibrant colors make beautiful photos; but once the leaves fall and the color fades they become more of a nuisance. Okay, so maybe I am not quite as “thankful” for the amount of leaves we have … I have to say that my hubby and I gathered 40 bags of leaves yesterday just before he reminded me that the tree’s are still full of leaves, so you could say it’s a sore subject, pun intended. Anyway, since fall brings additional yard work it is helpful to plan ahead and lighten my load in the kitchen. This fall I am turning to many of my make-ahead recipes that will only take a couple minutes to put together after a long day of working in the yard.
Speaking of leave’s in my yard, here’s a photo by my favorite fence, leaves piled below me. This picture was taken last week by my lovely and crazy talented friend, Diana Elizabeth. She has been my teacher, cheerleader, and guru of all things blog related since I began; as well as my photographer on occasion. If you haven’t visited her lifestyle blog or seen her photography you have got to check it out, she is so gifted at everything she puts her hands to.
Now, back to food, I have made this Mexican Chicken Soup on the stove top as well as in the crock pot and it always turns out delicious. The longer you allow the flavors to meld together the better it gets. There are several different sides I like to serve with this soup, most notably cracker crisps, tortillas, and cornbread. Tonight, I am going to save some time and pick up my favorite boxed cornbread mix from the local Trader Joe’s instead of making it from scratch. Whatever you pair with this soup, I know you won’t be disappointed.
mexican chicken soup
Prep time: 40 minutes / Cook time: 1 hour / Serves: 8-10
2 – 15oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 15oz can diced tomato, drained
8 ounces (2 cups) frozen sweet corn
32 ounces (4 cups) roasted red pepper and tomato soup
3 cups homemade chicken stock
4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1/2 cup roasted green chile, diced
1/2 medium size onion, chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Sharp cheddar and/or Monterey Jack cheese, grated
- In a large pot over medium heat, saute extra virgin olive oil, diced onion, crushed garlic, and diced green chile until onions become translucent.
- Meanwhile, in a medium size colander drain and rinse black beans, drain diced tomatoes and add frozen corn. Slowly add ingredients to the sauteed onion mixture in the pot.
- Next, add diced cooked chicken, oregano, cilantro, salt and pepper; stir to coat. You may need additional salt once you add the chicken stock.
- Add chicken stock, roasted red pepper and tomato soup, and the bay leaf, turn the heat to medium high until it begins to boil. Once the soup starts boiling, lower the heat to medium low, stirring occasionally. You can transfer the soup to a crock pot at this point if you prefer it slowly cooks for several hours.
- Allow soup to cook for at least 30 minutes on medium low, serve with your favorite garnishes. I listed my favorites in the ingredients list above.
- Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for three days or freeze for later use.