Monday, November 11, 2013

Low-Carb Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup


Cookbooks! If anyone else out there is addicted to them, raise your hand! I love checking out cookbooks from the library and browsing them similarly to how most people browse magazines. The pictures, the ideas, the personality of someone's cooking style - I love it all. I usually come away with at least a few new ideas, but every so often I find a gem where it feels like it was a cookbook written just for me. Those are the ones where every single recipe jumps off the page, begging me to make it. Recently, I found one of those. It's called Latin D'Lite by Ingrid Hoffmann. Of Cuban descent, the author apparently was raised in the U.S. watching her mother cook in their family restaurant. As an adult, she wanted to recreate her favorite Latin dishes with a healthier twist - hence the concept of her Latin D'Lite cookbook. I found and adapted this recipe from there.

This is a beautifully colorful soup, packed full of vegetables and plenty of protein with the chicken. It has the comfortable feel of traditional chicken soup, but with a fresh, new Latin flavor twist. Most of the ingredients in this soup were familiar favorites to me, but I had fun with a new ingredient here. I had never eaten or cooked with yuca before (also called cassava - here's a picture if you're interested ... yes, I'm a food nerd!). It is a root vegetable, with a fairly thick, brown skin. Once peeled, the inside is whiter than a potato, and when cooked it turns a translucent color and maintains a thicker texture than most cooked potatoes. I'll be honest, I kind of fell in love with it, along with this fantastic soup.


Low-Carb Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup
8-10 SERVINGS 
PREP: 20-30 minutes           COOK: 90-120 minutes            READY IN: 2-3 hours


  SIMPLE         HEALTHY      YUM
pic name       pic name      pic name

INGREDIENTS


  • 1 rotisserie-style chicken (or 3-4 large chicken breasts)
  • 10-12 cups water (or broth)
  • 1 yellow onion - diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 large carrots - diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 celery stalks - diced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 medium red bell pepper - cored, seeded, and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium yuca, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced (or some hot sauce, to taste)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro 
  • lime wedges

DIRECTIONS


  1. If using a rotisserie chicken, remove the meat from the chicken and set aside (the refrigerator would be best). Place the remaining chicken parts (bones, skin) in a large pot and cover with water. Place covered pot on stovetop on medium heat, and lightly boil for 60-90 minutes. This will create a nice broth base for the rest of the soup. Once the broth has cooked, and you are ready to continue with the soup, remove the solid pieces from the pot and discard, leaving the prepared broth. (Alternatively, you can use prepared chicken broth. If so, cook and shred 3-4 chicken breasts in place of the rotisserie chicken.)
  2. Add in the prepared vegetables (onion, carrots, celery, red pepper, yuca, and sweet potato), along with the seasonings (cumin, jalapeño/hot sauce, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper) to the broth. Add more water if necessary to cover everything adequately (it's a thick, full soup with all the veggies, but the vegetables shouldn't "outnumber" the liquid - it's still a soup, after all!)
  3. Let the soup simmer over medium-low heat for about 30-35 minutes. Check the flavor to see if it needs additional salt. 
  4. Once the soup has cooked and the vegetables are soft, add back in the chicken meat (cutting any large pieces into bite-size pieces). Let the soup simmer another 10-15 minutes, until everything is hot.
  5. Serve the soup generously garnished with cilantro and lime wedges for squeezing. 

NUTRITION FACTS



    2 cup serving    315 calories   5.4 g fat   12.9 g carbs    50.8 g protein    3.7 g sugar
This recipe would also be a really good way to use up leftover turkey after Thanksgiving. You could make up the broth from the turkey bones, or just mix in the turkey meat to the soup.

Recipe adapted from Latin D'Lite by Ingrid Hoffmann.

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