MY FAVORITE COLD WEATHER SOUP
As I put on my Uniqlo ultra light down winter jacket for yet another day I ask myself how many more days until spring. We are (still) in the thick of winter, so naturally comfort foods go hand in hand. As soon as I feel a chill in the air, I break out my soup pot and make my favorite winter comfort food. A few years back I decided to try and recreate a soup I enjoy often from my favorite neighborhood spanish takeout restaurant. Whenever I have that particular soup or another Latin favorite of mine sancocho, my heart just grows 3 times its size, I just love it so much.
Although I failed miserably at trying to recreate those soups, this recipe did however turn into one of my favorite things to make. I live in The Bronx so access to fresh produce is right at my fingertips. Plantains, yucca, pumpkin and squash varietals are all at my disposal so naturally I added them into this soup. Also, a double chicken stock is made in this recipe so its super flavorful, and what meal is complete without rice, avocado and a hint of lime?!? It's February and I've made this soup 3 times so far, and I'm heading towards my fourth. Its not heavy so it won't weigh you down, but it's hearty enough to be eaten as a full meal and also, bonus points for this entire pot of soup being less than $22 to make!
My Favorite Cold Weather Soup
1 whole onion, peeled and chopped
1 head of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 packs of cut up chicken pieces, legs and thighs preferable
2 white yams (Japanese yams ), peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 calabaza or kabucha squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
1 yellow plantain, cut in thick slices
1 stick of salted butter
Place 1 pack of raw chicken pieces, the crushed garlic, and the chopped onion into a large soup pot. Add water to the pot to cover the chicken and simmer over medium high heat for about an hour and a half.
After an hour of simmering, add the second pack of raw chicken pieces along with the chopped white yams and squash. Continue to simmer over medium high heat for 2 - 3 hours or untill chicken is tender. Your broth should be a yellow color due to some of the squash melting into the soup. After the two hour mark, lower the heat and add sliced plantains, butter and season with salt and pepper to your liking. In a soup bowl place cooked rice in the center of the bowl and laddle the chicken soup over it. Top with avocado and a squeeze of fresh lime.