As soon as the temperature dipped below 75, I pulled out my Dutch oven. I know a lot of people are sad that we (in the Midwest) didn’t get much of a summer this year, but to me “not much of a summer” = the best summer ever. I don’t know why people complain about the lack of 90+ degree days full of icky humidity. Instead, we Midwesterners should be complaining about the lack of a fall we have every.single.year. A week of open windows in between running the air conditioner and running the heat is what a typical fall here seems to be.
Of course in the time since I made this soup, temps have gone right back up into the 80s. But, that’s fine with me. As long as my deodorant hasn’t worn off before I get to the train and I don’t walk into work with wet hair (that’s not from a shower), the weather works for me. But, I’m hoping that making things like soups and doing some fall baking will usher the fall into Chicago.
I wasn’t sure if I should call this a soup or a chili. It has beans, tomatoes and chili powder in it, so I went with chili (even though it’s got a brothy base and isn’t quite as thick as a traditional chili). Whatever you want to call it, it’s delicious. Something of a cross between a chili and a chicken tortilla soup, this soup is only a little bit spicy but full of delicious flavors. Aleppo chili powder is a tiny bit spicier than ancho but is also fruitier so it balances nicely. Of course, if you don’t have aleppo chili powder, feel free to use any chili powder you do have.
We topped this soup/chili with crushed tortilla chips and a little cheese and light sour cream before eating. The leftovers lacked the adornments (well, except the chips) but were possibly even better. I love that about soups and stews!
Chicken Chili with Black Beans and Corn
Makes 4 large servings or 6 smaller servings
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 large or 2 medium (about 12 oz. total) boneless/skinless chicken breast(s)
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 oz.) can fire-roasted diced or fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp. Aleppo chili powder
1 Tbsp. cumin
3.5 cups chicken broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup corn
1/4 cup sliced green onions
your favorite garnishes (we used light sour cream, cheese & tortilla chips)
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in the hot oil. Brown for about 2 minutes per side and then remove (it will probably not be cooked through). Add the onion and cook until tender, then stir in the garlic. After about a minute, add the tomatoes, chili powder and cumin. Reduce the heat slightly and cook the mixture together for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
(At this point, add a small amount of the broth and use an immersion blender to smooth out the soup if you don’t want chunks of tomato). Add the chicken broth to the pot, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Then and add the chicken and black beans. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken and cut into bite sized pieces.
Add the corn and chicken and simmer, uncovered, just a few minutes until the corn is tender. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Stir in the green onions and serve.