For my Greeley Hill Fans!
When you live in a very small town in a mountainous rural area access to fresh winter vegetables can be a challenge, so this soup was created with my Greeley Hill, California fans in mind and can bring a little spice and warmth to the kitchen. Far from me to pretend to know Mexican cuisine in any depth but I sure enjoy eating it. So this is my modest attempt at what is a wonderful exotic cuisine to me.
In a large pot, about 2 gallons capacity, pour 2x32oz. chicken stock cartons or vegetable for a vegetarian or vegan palate, 2×15 oz.cans tomato sauce or diced tomatoes, 1 can chili lime black beans and 1 can corn with juice. Home made stock is thrifty for the wallet and the planet, and adds good depth of flavor, just make sure to roast the chicken bones for 25 minutes at 400 degrees before adding them to the pot if you go that route.
Add 2 pounds sliced unpealed carrots , 2 bay leaves, 1 Tablespoon taco spices or to taste, 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. Bring the pot to a boil then simmer on low.
Butterfly a 1 pound chichen breast or 2 smaller ones and sprinkle with taco spices. Heat a skillet on medium with a little canola oil in it and cook the chicken spiced side down for about 10 minutes on each side covered. Make sure to add more taco spices before you turn it over. Add a little water if things look dry. As soon as the chicken is done tear it with 2 forks and chop a little if you want smaller pieces. Add the whole thing to the soup pot. For a vegetarian or vegan version sautee 2 large chopped onions in canola oil and taco spices instead.
Add a laddle’s worth of soup to the skillet and heat gently until everything as loosened from the skillet, a few minutes. Add it all to the soup pot scraping with a spatula.
Cover the soup pot and simmer very low for a couple of hours to give the flavors a chance to blend well. Taste and adjust the seasoning any way you like. Delicious with corn tortilla chips and/or any toppings that appeal such green onions, a shred of cabbage, sour cream, cheddar or jack cheese, etc…