After the holidays, I’m ready for some new flavors after staying quite true to the traditional holiday themes for all the Paleo events I’ve hosted between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Add to that the fact that in the height of cold season, we could all benefit from a little “heat” in our food–via garlic, cayenne and ginger–to help ward off those bugs that are all too present this time of year, and we’ve got a perfect rationale for a little spice in our recipe today!
I like to incorporate a little flavor from South of the border in my chicken soup. Fresh garlic, some jalapenos, fresh lime juice, crushed tomato and, right before serving, some freshly chopped cilantro, avocado and a sprinkling of cabbage for “crunch” will all help give what would otherwise have been a boring old soup a brand new flavor profile.
Serve this soup along with a fresh green salad and, of course, some kale or your favorite leafy green to make a perfectly balanced Paleo meal.
1 (3-pound) free-range, air-chilled, organic chicken
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
4 cloves garlic (ore more, if desired), smashed
1” piece fresh ginger, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 cup organic tomato, crushed
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Tie together with kitchen twine:
5 sprigs fresh parsley
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 dried bay leaf
1 small lime, halved
½ cup fresh cilantro, minced
1 large avocado, sliced
½ cup white cabbage, chopped finely
1. Quarter chicken; rinse, dry thoroughly with paper towels
2. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium until melted. Sear chicken for 8 to 10 minutes, flipping halfway, until nicely browned. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
3. Add onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms and ginger. Sauté 5-8 minutes until browned.
4. Pour in wine and scrape bits off bottom of pan. Add garlic, chili and tomato.
5. Place chicken pieces back in pan and pour water in to almost cover. Add dried spices and bouquet garnish.
6. Let simmer over low, uncovered, for roughly 1-½ hours (chicken should be falling off the bones).
7. Serve in bowls with lime juice, cilantro, cabbage and avocado as garnish.
*The soup will be even tastier the next day!
Nell Stephenson, the original “Paleoista,” is the author of Paleoista, Gain Energy, Get Lean and Feel Fabulous with the Diet You Were Born to Eat (Touchstone, 2012) and co-author ofThe Paleo Diet Cookbook with Dr. Loren Cordain, PhD (Wiley & Sons, 2010). In addition to her work as nutrition consultant and trained chef, Stephenson is a personal trainer and competitive endurance athlete who credits the Paleo diet for her transformed health and athletic success. Visit her blog at www.paleoista.com.
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