As I was saying in my last post, ‘I miss Mexican.’ Though, I am not entirely sure this soup is actually Mexican or if it in fact has roots in Mexico City. Who knows? I don’t. This soup used to be served on Sunday nights at Houston’s restaurant in Chicago many many moons ago. And, though this is a popular and one of the better steakhouse chains, the one in Chicago closed.
I have been making this for years but have recently reworked my recipe. I adapted the chicken stock recipe from Smitten Kitchen’s Chicken Noodle Soup recipe. I liked her minimalist approach. So, the preparation of the chicken stock for this soup is basically her genius.
If you don’ have the time or the inclination to make homemade stock, your next best option is to ask Spar to make it for you. I find I can never make enough stock. So, I often ask Spar to do it. I typically go to the Broadacres Spar in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. They are all too happy to make anything you want, really. I usually ask for sodium free, spice/seasoning free and thickener free. This way I get a nice consistent neutral base for whatever I am preparing. I typically get 5 liters at a time. They need about 48 hours notice and maybe a bit more as we are getting closer to the festive season. I would say if you go through the trouble of making soup at home, don’t use canned or boxed stock or bouillon cubes or bouillon powder. I find these tend to impart a very unnatural to unpleasant flavor and are typically way too salty.
Mexico City Chicken Soup Recipe
500 mls (2 cups) cooked rice (about 250 mls (1 cup) dry)
1 liter (4 cups) chicken stock (or veg stock)
250 mls (1 cup) water
250 – 500 mls (1 – 2 cups) cooked chicken torn or shredded into bite size pieces (or 1 -2 cup cooked beans) depending on how meaty or beany you want it. I used 2 chicken breasts for the meat.
120 mls (½ cup) carrots, chopped
120 mls (½ cup) Red onion
20 mls (½ cup) baby marrow (zucchini), chopped
120 mls (½ cup) tomatoes, chopped
120 mls (½ cup) corn
1 Avo chopped
1 tablespoon very finely chopped coriander (cilantro)
½ teaspoon oregano, ground
¼ teaspoon cumin, ground
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
Prepare rice according to packaged directions. Set aside.
Chopped vegetables and put in separate small serving dishes. Set aside.
Add homemade chicken stock and water to a stock pot and bring up to simmer over medium heat.
Add the coriander (cilantro), oregano, cumin, garlic, tomato paste, garlic and carrots. Cook until carrots are just about tender. Then add the chicken cook for about 5 minutes to warm the chicken through. Take care not to overcook chicken or it will toughen.
Add salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.
Mound rice in center of a bowl then allow diners to add the onions, marrow (zucchini), tomatoes, corn and avo to their individual bowls, then ladle on soup around the rice mound. Enjoy with salsa, guacamole, chips and a frosty Margarita.