This chicken soup features the flavors of New Mexico - roasted Hatch green chiles blended with savory chicken and white beans. Not too spicy and ready in no time!
If you've ever been to New Mexico, then you understand the popularity (and almost snobbery) of The Hatch Chile Pepper. You'll find it on every restaurant menu in some form--hatch chile stew (often with pork), hatch chile sauce and hatch chile dips and dressings.
You'll love this recipe!
- Quick and Easy - bake the chicken and the soup is ready in 30-minutes!
- Flavorful - but not too spicy
- Affordable - chicken thighs, canned beans, broth are all pretty inexpensive and this goes a long way
- Healthy - beans contain a ton of soluble fiber and the peppers provide antioxidants!
Green Chile Chicken Ingredients
- Chicken (white or dark), canned white beans, ground cumin, ground coriander, smoky paprika, minced garlic, onion, lime, chicken broth
- Two key ingredients to this roasted chile soup: Roasted Hatch Peppers and Roasted Salsa Verde
- Garnish - chopped cilantro and Cotija cheese (a white Mexican crumbling cheese) and a slice of avocado
I like the Santa Fe Ole brand of roasted green chiles. You can buy them online or at The Fresh Market and Whole Foods Markets in just about every state.
As for the Roasted Salsa Verde (also known as tomatillo sauce), I like the Herdez brand. You can find this salsa brand at most retailers like Walmart and Target; however, some stores may not carry the "roasted salsa verde" which you can order online.
How to make it:
This recipe uses 2 seasoned baked chicken breasts, (you can use a combination of breasts and thighs if you prefer), and yields about 6 cups of soup. Once the chicken is done, the soup itself is ready in 30 minutes.
- Pulse roasted green chiles and chopped onion in food processor
- In a large stockpot, add oil and the onion/ pepper puree and cumin seeds; cook on medium high heat until onions are soft (about 5 minutes)
- Add garlic, salsa verde, chicken broth, seasonings and shredded chicken
- Add white beans with their juice to stockpot
- Add bay leaves and turn heat to simmer; allow to simmer for an additional 15 minutes; remove bay leaves, add a squeeze of fresh lime juice to the soup; garnish with cilantro, Cotija cheese and/or avocado/chopped jalapeno/sour cream and serve
Lightly season the chicken with; salt, pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander and smoky paprika, then cover and bake at 350ºF until the internal temperature of the chicken in 165ºF. Meanwhile, prepare the soup.
What is a Hatch Chile Pepper?
A Hatch pepper is an elongated green pepper that is native to New Mexico. It resembles an Anaheim pepper and is grown in the southernmost region called Hatch Valley, which is just north of Las Cruces and way south of Albuquerque.
Authentic Hatch peppers are relatively mild on the Scoville Index, but once in awhile, you might get one that's hotter than the others.
How to buy authentic Hatch peppers
Authentic Hatch peppers are trademarked and certified by The Hatch Chile Association. The ivy-league of peppers got tired of "copycat" peppers claiming to be "Hatch" and sought legal trademark protection.
As a result, no manufacturer of "hatch-style" chile peppers can legally include on their label "Hatch chile peppers" as an ingredient.
Even the yellow and green "Hatch brand" of green chiles cannot claim its peppers are "Hatch." That's how serious the New Mexican Hatch growers are about their precious peppers, and rightfully so.
Substitutions for Roasted Hatch Chiles and Roasted Salsa Verde
If you cannot find either of these key ingredients, substitute the roasted chile peppers with diced green chiles and use the regular salsa verde. The chicken soup flavor will not taste as "roasty" but it will still be delicious!
If you find the roasted chile peppers a bit too spicy for you, add a dollop of sour cream to the soup. Dairy always reduces the heat in spicy dishes.
This Southwestern chicken soup can easily be formulated for vegans and vegetarians.
- Substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth
- Instead of chicken, add corn, black beans or a cup of prepared rice to the broth.
New Mexico Green Chile Chicken Soup
- Food Processor
- 2 lbs. chicken , (use white or dark meat)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ½ cup chopped sweet yellow onion
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1½ cups Roasted Green Chiles (I like Santa Fe Ole brand of roasted Hatch chiles)
- 1 cup Roasted Salsa Verde (Herdez brand or other)
- 2 15.8 oz. canned white beans with juice (Great White Northern, White Kidney or Cannellini beans)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- juice from one small lime
- salt and pepper to taste
- garnish Cotija cheese, cilantro, avocado, sour cream (optional)
Seasoning Blend for Chicken
- 1 tablespoon of each: ground cumin, ground coriander, smoky paprika, salt
- Divide seasoning blend (½ tablespoon per breast)
- Sprinke ½ tablespoon of seasoning over both sides of breast (¼ tablespoon per each side of breast)
Prepare the Chicken
- Lightly oil baking dish; preheat oven to 350ºF
- Combine seasoning blend for the chicken in a small bowl and sprinkle over chicken breasts
- Place chicken in a lightly oiled baking dish; cover with foil and bake until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165º F (this usually takes about 45 minutes--depending upon your oven)
- Once chicken is done; shred and set aside
Prepare the Soup Broth
- Chop onions
- Add chopped onions and roasted Hatch peppers to food processor; pulse and set aside
- Heat stockpot with oil; add onions, hatch peppers, cumin seed and cook on medium high heat for about 5 minutes
- Reduce heat to medium and add garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, chicken broth and salsa verde; cook for 5 minutes
- Add shredded chicken and bay leaves to broth; reduce heat to low and allow to cook for 15 minutes
- After 15 minutes, add canned white beans and their juice; cook additional 15 minutes; remove bay leaves; add salt and pepper for taste
- Garnish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, cilantro and Cotija cheese
- Place chicken and all ingredients into slow cooker. Make sure there is enough water or broth to cover the chicken completely.
- If you cannot find either of these key ingredients, substitute the roasted chile peppers with diced green chiles and use the regular salsa verde. The chicken soup flavor will not taste as "roasty" but it will still be delicious!
- If you find the roasted chile peppers a bit too spicy for you, add a dollop of sour cream to the soup. Dairy always reduces the heat in spicy dishes.