Mary Anne here. A hybrid soup and stew (a stoup?), this fragrant, flavorful dish is a bowl-full of fall. It’s also a a seasonal update to our Corn and Crab Chowder, if you’re ever looking for a summer rendition. I’ll get right down to brass tacks so you can get started on what’s become a staple in my kitchen.
Harvest Chicken Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Corn
Makes 10 entree-sized servings
Note: The chicken breasts can be prepared the day before you actually make the soup. For this recipe, I place the breasts in unseasoned water, just enough to cover. Bring to a boil and then cover the pan and turn off heat. A foam forms in the hot water – don’t worry about it. Allow to sit in the hot water until cool enough to handle (this usually takes a couple of hours, so it’s good to do when you’re preparing to run some errands or go the gym). Once the breasts are done, simply shred them with either your hands or a sharp pair of chicken shears. Place in a zip-lock bag and refrigerate until you’re ready to prepare the soup.
4 whole chicken breasts, poached and shredded – $7.21
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks – $2.67
6 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled (reserve drippings) – $3.00
1 large Vidalia onion, diced – $0.99
2 teaspoon minced garlic – stock
3 15 oz. cans sweet corn, drained – $2.25
1 can chopped green chilies – $1.50
8 oz. grated cheddar cheese – $2.50
4 oz. grated Monterey Jack cheese – $3.19
4 oz. cubed Monterey Jack cheese
32 oz. low-salt chicken stock/broth – stock
32 oz. low-salt beef stock/broth – stock
12 oz. bottle of beer (preferably not dark beer) – $0.84
1 bay leaf – stock
2 teaspoons cumin – stock
2 teaspoons lemon pepper – $3.49
Generous hits of Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce – from stock
2 teaspoons chili powder – stock
½ cup to ¾ cup chopped, fresh cilantro. OR 3 TB of dried cilantro – $1.59 fresh
4 tablespoons sweet butter – stock
4 tablespoons flour – stock
1 cup milk – stock
½ pint heavy cream – $1.39
Grand Total Assuming Well-Stocked Pantry: $25.54
Cost per Serving: $2.55
1. Poach the chicken breasts as described above in the note.
2. In a large pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil with the sweet potatoes, bay leaf, cumin, lemon pepper, and beer.
3. Simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are just becoming tender, but still somewhat firm, about 10 minutes. Test with fork. Transfer stock and sweet potatoes to a large bowl and set aside to cool.
4. In the same stock pot that you’ve rinsed and dried, fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from the pot and drain on paper towels. Reserve the bacon fat. Crumble the bacon and set aside.
5. Sauté the onion and garlic in the reserved bacon fat until soft and golden, about 10 minutes.
6. Transfer sweet potatoes and chicken stock to pot with onion and garlic. Over medium heat, add beef stock, incorporating well with a large wooden spoon.
7. Add sweet corn, green chilies, chili powder, and shredded chicken breasts.
8. Season with Worcestershire and Tabasco, salt and pepper to taste. Toss in crumbled bacon.
NOTE: The soup can made to this point up to four days before and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can freeze a portion of it and store just what you think you will need for the week ahead. Just remember to do the math if you’re only finishing a portion of the soup and have frozen the rest for another week. The recipe is written for the full boat.
9. To finish the soup, in a stock/saucepot, melt 4 TBS of butter over low-medium heat. Whisk in 4 TBS flour, and cook, stirring constantly for a minute or so.
10. Gradually add the milk and then the cream, stirring constantly. Increase flame to medium and continue stirring until thickened, about 10 minutes. (It won’t get super thick, it will become creamy and have some body. Don’t allow it to boil.)
11.Turn flame to low heat under the large stock pot, and add the cream blend, cheddar cheese and 4 oz. of grated Monterey Jack, stirring well. Toss in fresh cilantro.
12. Ladle hot soup into bowls lined with a few chunks of cubed Monterey Jack cheese. Serve hot.