It's time to banish the chill from this wintry air and warm the bones. The temperatures have been dropping in our area, down into single digits in the evening, and it's hard to shake that chill from your innards once it settles in. Cranking up the heat helps, but there is nothing like that blooming warmth that starts from within, from a hot homemade meal.
Let us present --- da Da DAA! -- Chicken and Black Bean Soup. We're both big black bean fans. They're so good for you and the flavor is unlike other beans. It is richer and earthier, and so nicely paired with chicken. I always enjoy cooking Mexican style. If you let this recipe simmer in the pot with all those seasonings and peppers and chicken stock, the flavors build and mingle and they're just so satisfying. I wish we had a fireplace some nights when it's freezing outside, just so we can enjoy meals like this, curled up on the couch in a blanket with soup and the sounds of the crackling fire.
Alas, we have no fireplace, but we do have each other! And some wine. Get those bones warmed up!
Chicken and Black Bean Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 chicken breasts, about 10 ounces
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 Serrano chili peppers, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 12 ounce can black beans, undrained
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup chicken stock + ¼ cup
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- Fresh chopped cilantro for topping
- Start with the chicken. Heat a large pan to medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Season the chicken with 1 tablespoon chili powder and salt/pepper to taste.
- Set the chicken in the pan and cook about 3 minutes, then flip and cook another 3 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add a ¼ cup of chicken stock. Let simmer about 10 minutes to cook through.
- Remove the chicken and chop or shred as desired. Set aside until ready to use.
- To a large pot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat. Add onion and peppers. Cook about 5 minutes to soften.
- Add garlic and stir. Cook 1 minute.
- Add black beans, reserved chicken, cumin and remaining chili powder. Stir.
- Add chicken stock and lime juice. Stir and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes to allow flavors to mingle and beans to soften.
- Serve into bowls and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.