This soup is a cold-sufferer’s dream.
In addition to being exceedingly satisfying, it is a snap to make—thanks, in part, to the wonder that is the slow cooker. Pile all the ingredients in, put the lid on, and walk away. In the time that it takes a kettle to boil you will have dinner in the works. (That kettle is to make yourself a steaming cup of Thera-Flu, by the way.)
Every culture, nay every house, has its own special chicken soup recipe, whether it be Campbell’s or curry. We do both, and don’t shy away from chicken noodle, chicken tortilla, or chicken chileatole either (you should definitely try that last one) but more often than not it’s caldo de pollo.
The beauty of the Mexican version of chicken soup lies in its high-impact broth flavored with chiles, cilantro, and fresh-squeezed lime juice. The vegetables may vary—corn and green beans in the summer, carrots and celery in the winter—sometimes I add potatoes, sometimes not. But you will always find chicken (of course), always onions, always dried mint and marjoram and always garnished with a squeeze of lime.
I post a lot of recipes here that I think are special, beautiful, full of life, color, and flavor but there are few that I actually make over and over and over again. This is one of them. It is as close as I come to home-brewed remedies, but if this doesn’t cure you, I don’t know what will.
- 7 cups water
- 5 carrots, cut in large pieces
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, leaves removed and cut in large pieces
- 1½ tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 jalapeño, stemmed and sliced
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro. stems removed and reserved
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 whole chicken (about 3 pounds), giblets removed
- 1 lime, quartered
- Combine water, carrots, garlic, celery, salt, bay leaves, jalapeño, onion, the stems of the cilantro, mint, and marjoram in the slow cooker. Stir to dissolve the salt.
- Add chicken, cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
- Remove chicken, let cool slightly and shred meat into large pieces, discarding all skin and bones. Taste broth and add more salt if necessary.
- Return chicken to slow cooker and ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with reserved cilantro leaves and pass lime wedges for squeezing over the soup.
One More Thing
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