Hi all! It’s been a long while since we last posted. Both SA & I were on holiday, me in Italy and him in the USA. I guess I have gotten spoilt eating the delicious food we make and have mentioned before that I am a picky eater, so I sadly did not enjoy the food there as much (but the Gelato was brilliant) & SA was staying with family so he had his chance to carry on with his cooking adventures. Of course with everything that’s happened in Dhaka after the Holey Artisan Attacks on the 1st of July, no one really had much of an appetite. Horrible things happen everywhere in the world, and all these days we thought we would be spared from such atrocities because “we are different” from those other countries. That turned out to be not so true, but we have to move on and make the best of things. So here we are.
We also have some exciting new developments, as many of you who read/follow our blog had mentioned that you want to try our food and got the chance to do so as we cooked up our Copycat Chipotle Steak Burrito Bowl again. We will have more exciting offers every week, along with other home cooks so please keep an eye out for that in the future.
Moving on to the reason I am writing this post, well it’s monsoon in Dhaka again and the weather has been a bit grey and gloomy, much like the mood here. SA & I were discussing our favourite topic – what to eat for dinner and he said he felt as though he might be coming down with the sniffles so we settled on a soup that is hearty and filling, with a slight bit of a kick to open up all the clogged sinuses. And of course, everyone knows that chicken soup has magical healing properties and when you add that to cream cheese, you can’t possibly go wrong, right?
Let’s first gather everything we need – 5 anaheim chilies (the big red ones, you can find them at Lavender, I only had 4 so I used one green serrano chili), 8 cups of chicken stock, three chicken breasts (bone in, skin on), cream cheese (YES!), white vinegar, vegetable oil, one yellow onion, 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 can of corn, 1 jar of salsa, 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 can of black beans, grated Cheddar, fresh juice from 1 lime, chopped green chilies (good old kachamorich!), and some chopped cilantro. And of course, salt and pepper and some additional grated cheese, cilantro and scallions for garnish.
Our first step will be to roast the Anaheim chilies. Just put them peppers on the stove and burn ’em up a bit to give it that nice, smoky flavour. When you are sufficiently satisfied with the charring, scrape away the blackened bits, combine chicken stock along with the chicken breasts and the roasted chilies in a medium pot. You want to boil it, enough so that the chicken is cooked through and has a pink color that resembles a baby’s skin and the peppers are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Sorry for that strange analogy, but that’s the only thing that came to my mind!
Next, let’s remove the chicken breasts and put them aside on a plate to cool. Pop the chilies in the blender, along with 1 cup of stock. I was very excited about this part as I had just bought a new blender and was drying to try it out. Blend, starting with the lowest setting and work your way up. Add cream cheese, and the red of the chilies will get a bit mellow with the cream cheese but it will have a nice color. At this point, things started to get awry as my blender started to leak. I had accidentally moved the base and the liquids were leaking in every direction, but thankfully SA was there to save the day as he collected the liquids and put it on the pot while laughing at me. Add in more stock if the mixture is too thick and whisk in some vinegar to give it a bit of a tang.
The chicken should be cool enough to handle right now and you need to dig into it with your hands and tear them apart into bite sized pieces.
Set it aside and heat up some oil in a saucepan until it has a nice shimmer and then let’s add in our onions, frying them until they are softened. Season with salt and pepper and add in the garlic and cook until fragrant. Now we start bringing it all together – add in corn and cook. If it’s from the can it won’t take too long to be cooked through.
Add in the diced tomatoes, black beans, chopped green chilies, salsa and stock/chili/cream cheese mixture. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently.
Stir in the grated cheddar, shredded chicken and lime juice. Taste it and add more salt and pepper if required. Stir in cilantro. And that’s it! You’re done. Serve piping hot and use cilantro, onions and grated cheese for garnish – some sliced avocado would do so nicely as well. And there you have it – Chunky Chicken Soup for a Rainy Day! It absolutely started raining cats and dogs today and by the time I was back from my yoga class, I was famished and this really hit the spot. It is also great, almost better, as a leftover. Have it with some garlic bread maybe, and you have a great, healthy and hearty and SUPER EASY weeknight dinner. Try it out and let us know how it worked out for you in the comments. Until next time, see ya!
5 Anaheim chilis
6 cups of chicken stock
4 ounces (8 tbsp) cream cheese
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup of diced onions
3 cloves of garlic
1 can of corn
1 can of pureed or diced tomatoes
1/2 jar of salsa
2 tbsp chopped green chillis
1/2 lb grated cheddar
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup diced cilantro leaves
Grated cheese, diced cilantro and onions for garnish