This is my all time favorite soup.
As a kid it was my favorite soup.
As an adult, it is still my favorite soup.
Earlier this week, I asked my husband what I should call this soup since we’ve referred to it as both “stew” and “soup.” Our conversation became a discussion of attempting to define stews, soups, and chili. We both agreed that stew implies some sort of thickish base and big hunks of potatoes, carrots, and steak. Soup has more of a thin, brothy, base, and can be chunk-free, like tomato soup. Chili is the thickest, loaded with beans, meat, and oftentimes corn.
So where does this soup fall?
It definitely has flavors consistent with chili.
It has the broth consistent with soup.
But it’s not completely thin, and when you add cheese and sour cream it becomes creamy and chunky, somewhat consistent with a stew. So really, call it whatever you want.
A couple things you should know about this soup:
-It takes one pot. That’s it, that’s all, folks. One big dish to dirty, and a measuring spoon or two.
-The whole meal comes together in about 30 minutes. Fast and easy. (unless you have a screaming baby and needy toddler, at the same time…)
-The Pace Picante Sauce is brand specific. I have had this soup more times than I can count, and I’ve tried it several times with various salsas. Not the same. Not as good. Stick with Pace, particularly the medium heat, and you’ll get the best flavor.
-Black beans or pinto beans both work for this recipe. I like them both and they each provide something different. With the pinto beans, you’ll get a richer, creamier texture. With the black beans, you’ll get more of a southwestern chili. Either is great!
-You can make this thicker or thinner by adding some of the canned corn juice, or more chicken broth.
-Green onions make a huge difference. Unless you don’t like them. I happen to love them, and I pile them on here. It will still taste delicious without them, but if you have them, go for it. You won’t be disappointed.
For me, this soup is my ultimate cold weather comfort food, taking me back to my childhood. I hope you find it to be as delicious as I do!
- 4, boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut in bite size pieces (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
- 2, 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2, 15.5 oz. cans pinto beans (or black beans), drained and rinsed
- 2, 15.25 oz. cans corn, drained
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ¾ c. medium Pace Picante sauce
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. salt
- Toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions, tortilla chips
- Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat.
- Sauté chicken, onions, and garlic in oil until chicken is cooked through. Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Add all other ingredients to the stock pot.
- Stir and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer together, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes.
- Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions, avocados and tortilla chips.