The first time I ever had Caldo de Pollo, it was so delicious, I was instantly hooked! It was at a restaurant called El Sol y La Luna in Austin, TX. This recipe is, more or less, just me throwing together what I remember seeing in my bowl, then modifying it to my taste. This is my “feel good” soup when the mercury starts to drop or if I’m feeling a bit under the weather. Caldo de Pollo is delicious and undoubtedly MORE nutritious than your average canned chicken noodle soup! Instead of using zucchini, I opted for calabaza squash.
- 5-6 tbs grapeseed oil (use more if necessary)
- 1 bulb garlic ~ peeled and smashed flat
- 2 small shallots ~ thinly sliced
- 3-4 large skinned chicken breasts ~ washed and cut into chunks
- 1-2 ears of corn ~ washed and cut into chunks
- 3 medium organic carrots ~ washed and cut into chunks
- 5-6 large organic celery stalks ~ washed and cut into chunks
- 5-6 medium calabaza squash ~ washed, cut into chunks (See the “chunking” pattern? Good!)
- 1 1/2 cups whole cremini mushrooms ~ washed and cut into halve if they are large
- 8-10 cups filtered water
- organic cane sugar ~ enough to season to taste
- sea salt ~ enough to season to taste
- freshly ground black pepper ~ enough to season to taste
- fresh avocado slices
- 1 small-medium lime (I have learned that the smoother and thinner the rind, the juicier the fruit) ~ cut into wedges
- finely-chopped purple onions ~ for garnish
- chopped cilantro ~ for garnish
*In a large stainless steel stockpot, heat the oil on medium-high and sauté the shallots for about 30 seconds. *Add the garlic and sauté until the pieces become aromatic and golden-brown. *Add the chunks of chicken and sauté until they are lightly brown around the edges and are half cooked. *Add the corn, carrots, and celery and sauté for about 4 minutes. *Add the water and bring to a boil, skimming off any scum along the way and discard. *Turn the heat down to achieve a soft rolling boil for about 5 mintues. *Turn off the burner and add sugar, salt, and black pepper to taste. *Leave the pot on the burner and add the mushrooms and calabaza squash. *Place the lid on top and walk away for about 20 minutes. The trapped heat will cook the squash just right. *Serve the soup with finely chopped purple onion, chopped cilantro, sliced avocados and a wedge of fresh lime.
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