snow, not enough snow. These days you never know what to expect.
Now that the temperatures are finally cooling down we are officially in "soup season". I think I would eat soup for dinner every night in the winter if given the chance. I love everything about soup, the smell of it simmering on the stove all afternoon, the fact that it is warm and filling after walking the dogs, and there is usually at least enough left for lunch the next day if not a second dinner. The perfect winter meal.
This original recipe called for pearl barley, but I couldn't find any in Fairbanks. I looked in three places where the bulk bins were empty and I couldn't find it anywhere else in the store. The brown rice was a perfect substitute, but I bet quinoa would be great too. Also, if you want to give this soup an extra kick, substitute Maple Chipotle Sauce for the tomato paste. Warm and Spicy, perfect!
adapted from In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite by Melissa Clark
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon corriander
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne (more if you like it really spicy)
1 tablespoon tomato paste (I have subbed Maple Chipotle Sauce if I have some in the fridge)
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup brown rice
1 medium sweet potato
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 ounces baby spinach
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
Lemon wedges, for serving
In a large dutch oven heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and salt and cook until onions become translucent in color, 2-3 minutes. Add all the spices and cook for 2 more minutes. Add tomato paste and garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Pour in the chicken broth plus two cups of water and turn the head to high. Add the rice, sweet potato, and chicken breasts; bring to a boil, turn down and let simmer for about 30-40 minutes. Remove chicken from the pot and shred the chicken, return to the pot. Check to see if the rice is done, if not let simmer for 15-20 minutes longer (depending on the rice you use). Once rice is done bring heat back to a simmer and add the spinach. Continue to simmer until spinach has wilted, about 5 more minutes. Right before serving add the lemon juice. Serve hot with a lemon wedge for squeezing at the table. Makes 6-8 servings.