But when Fall finally arrived, it came in full force in all it's beauty. Cool, crisp days with a light breeze made it perfect pumpkin latte weather and perfect trips for apple picking and farmers markets.
On Friday night, I picked up Gurgle from the metro and on Saturday we took Bear to Buckland farm market to snag some produce and warm pumpkin cake donuts. We followed it up with a trip to the cheesecake atm (yes you heard correctly) and went home to enjoy our snacks. It was a gloriously sunny day although summer still seemed to be holding on as the temperatures were much warmer than your typical October weather.
A couple days later of course the cold northern winds started blowing and the dreary saturating rain came down making it feel much more like Autumn was cut short and winter reared it's blustery head. Finally it was chicken noodle soup, fireplace snuggling weather. For this occasion I decided to make a twist on my traditional chicken noodle and spiced it up with a Mexican Chicken Soup recipe. Recipe follows.
A successful day indeed.
Muy Facil Mexican Chicken Soup
Makes...like a bazillion (8-10) servings
rotisserie chicken (they're $5 a Wegmans!)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb bag of carrots
4-6 cloves minced garlic ( I LOVE garlic)
1 can of corn
small bag of long grain rice
1 poblano pepper
2-3 32oz containers chicken broth
block of Queso Fresca cheese
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
This recipe is super easy and fun to make. I used to create the most elaborate, Food Network inspired dinners and be totally bummed when I had been working for 2 hours to create a bland tasting, strange looking meal that wasn't memorable other than the fact that I spent $50 to ruin dinner.
I learned how to just trust my taste buds and tweak things based on what I did and didn't like and what seemed like it may be appealing to me but not too far out of reach. What I like about this recipe (and almost any stick in in a pot or the oven chicken recipe) is that I can substitute a rotisserie chicken. Which is 1. already cooked 2. about the same price as a package of chicken and 3. Delicious to snack on while I'm cooking (is that weird?) So with that said, here is the fun and simple recipe to warm you up and put you in the mood to go somewhere tropical...like Mexico.
Uno: Shred your chicken. This involves washing your hands very very thoroughly (I'm a clean freak) and just pulling the chicken apart in any miss mash way you desire. Place all the chicken bits in a medium sized bowl..
Dos: cut up those onions and carrots into soup sized bites. You know, dice em. Then throw those babies into a pot heated up to med-high with olive oil. This will cook them down a little bit, I love the smell and taste of some roasting onions so take your time and enjoy this moment, but don't let them burn.
Tres: Throw in that garlic, chicken, chicken broth, corn and rice. Add your chili powder, oregano and salt and pepper. Let that simmer
Cuatro: This is my favorite part (you can do this or choose not to roast your poblanos, it's totally your choice) I love the smokey, spicy flavor the poblanos add to this soup so I opted for IN!
CUIDADO/CAUTION: ONLY do this if you are super careful and comfortable dealing with an open flame!! If you were that person that evacuated the high school due to a bunsen burner mishap, maybe consult an adult for this part? Grab some kitchen tongs (grill tongs also work amazing for this) and set your burner on medium. You can rest your poblano directly on the grate and let it start to blacken. Check every 15-20 seconds after it starts to get dark that it is charred and blackened nicely but not catching on fire. If you're paranoid you can also hold the poblano with the tongs and move it in a slow circle around the top of the flame. Flip the poblano over when it is charred nicely on once side and continue on the other side. Turn your burner off and stick this poblano in a small bowl (I used the one my chicken was in) Then put plastic wrap over it and let it sit for a few minutes. After the plastic wrap has condensation on the inside you can remove the poblano (be careful not to burn yourself it will still be fairly warm) and run it under water to easily remove the charred skin. I know some people leave it on since it tastes smoky, but I don't like a too smoky flavor in this soup. If you're worried about what it should look like and/or if you're about to burn your house down, you can see a video here. Just so you know, that video is not me. In case you were wondering.
Cinco: Once you've removed the skin, remove the stem and seeds. Dice the pepper into small bits and add to the soup. Let the soup simmer on medium.
Seis: chop your cilantro and add to your soup, squeeze your lime juice over the soup and stir.
Siete: Cut up your avocado into large chunks and place at the bottom of the bowls. Ladle your soup over the avocados. Grate the queso fresca over the top of the soup. Be liberal, this cheese is amazing.