Chipotle Chicken and Rice Soup

Sorry this wasn’t up yesterday.  I had a serious bout with allergies and a sinus infection.  I went from slightly uncomfortable to calling a substitute for my classes within an hour.  That hour was when I was going to write this entry.  I am passionate beyond belief about this little blog and I love sharing with all of you, but I just couldn’t do it.  Luckily, I think I’m on the mend.  I have absolutely NO voice (a special challenge for a teacher) but I don’t need one of those to cook, photograph, and write.

This soup was an attempt to kick the sinus infection out of me.  It didn’t work, but the soup was tasty.  The original recipe, called “Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup,” is quite involved.  I definitely wasn’t up for involved.  So I took the inspiration and greatly simplified it.  The soup didn’t have a typical tortilla soup flavor.  Rather, it was like a hearty chicken and rice soup with a southwestern flare, which is why I’ve changed the name.  With fall and winter coming up, readers, keep this one in your back pocket.  I hope you’ll make it in good health.

chipotle chicken soup

Chipotle Chicken and Rice Soup

inspired by Gourmet, December 2008


2 TBSP canola or vegetable oil

1 medium white onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1/2 tsp. allspice

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. salt, plus more to taste

1/2 tsp. black pepper, plus more to taste

2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1/2 c. chopped cilantro, divided

4 c. low-sodium chicken broth

3 c. water

1 dried bay leaf

3/4 c. medium-grain brown rice

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 (14.5-oz.) can black beans, rinsed

3 c. shredded chicken (from about half a chicken)

1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/2-in. cubes  

1/2 c. sour cream

2 limes, cut into wedges

tortilla chips


1.  Heat oil over medium heat in the bottom of a heavy soup pot.  Add onion and saute until softened, about five minutes.  Add garlic, allspice, cloves, cumin, salt, and pepper, and saute three minutes more, until very fragrant.

2.  Place onion mixture in a food processor.  Add chipotle peppers and 1/4 c. cilantro and process until fully pureed.

3.  Place pot back on burner and increase heat to medium-high.  Pour broth, water, pureed onion mixture, and bay leaf into the pot and bring to a boil.  

4.  Reduce heat to a simmer and add rice.  Let simmer 20 minutes, then add sweet potato and let simmer 15 minutes more.  Finally, add beans and chicken and simmer 10 minutes to heat through.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

5.  To serve, remove bay leaf and ladle soup into individual bowls.  Garnish with avocado and sour cream.  Serve with chips, remaining cilantro, and lime wedges alongside.  Serves six.

one year ago: chicken and zucchini pizza

two years ago: zucchini and goat cheese frittata and simple arugula salad

three years ago: Korean barbecued beef

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  1. Schmitty
    September 15, 2011 / 8:13 am

    This soup contains many of my favorite ingredients and looks delicious! It's definitely a great soup to add to the arsenal. Thanks!

  2. elly
    September 15, 2011 / 12:58 pm

    This soup looks great! Love the allspice in it, especially, and of course I am a sucker for chipotles. I'll have to make this sans-cilantro, of course. 🙂

  3. Pretend Chef
    September 15, 2011 / 1:43 pm

    The flavors of this soup sound amazing. Looks so delicious. I'd love to give this a try soon.

  4. Erin
    September 15, 2011 / 3:20 pm

    This is my kind of soup! Thick, comforting, and full of all sorts of yummy flavors! Great job!

  5. Bridget
    September 15, 2011 / 9:09 pm

    I'm so glad you're feeling better! Your simplified version of this soup looks spicy and comforting.

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