One of my absolute things about moving to a loft is the relationships that I have with all of my neighbors.
I have to admit that — after owning and living in a house for much of my twenties — I was a little worried that moving into a building would feel like regressing to college and dorm life. But I have discovered quite the opposite. I love living in a building with so many interesting, smart, thoughtful, generous and fun people!
From quick catch-ups when walking up and down the stairs each day, to fun “neighbor” dinners, to helping care for each other’s dogs, to impromptu late-night chats in the hallway, to borrowing ingredients constantly when I forget to grab something at the store (I repay in food and cookies!!), and everything in between — I have just completely enjoyed getting to know these new friends. Really makes this place feel like a home.
But one other perk of living in such a great place is that I love recruiting old friends to come live here. One of my newest neighbors is my friend, Amanda, who runs the orphanage in Africa that I went to visit last year. She recently moved in, and surprised me two nights ago by welcoming me home from a l-o-n-g day at work with a piping hot (and spicy hot!) bowl of Mexican soup and sangria. She lived in Mexico for a few years in college, and loves cooking up authentic food.
So although I already have a few tortilla soup-ish recipes on here, I figured one more couldn’t hurt. This one we decided to call Chipotle Chicken Soup with Rice. Amanda’s version was suuuuper spicy — the kind that will clear out your sinuses in a heartbeat! So we decided to tone it down just a bit in this recipe, but I have included a few suggestions for those of you who would like to kick up the heat factor. Basically it is a chicken and rice soup with a tomato, chipotle and salsa verde flavored broth. It’s light, flavorful, and really simple to throw together.
Big thanks to Amanda for a great recipe! And cheers to great neighbors everywhere!
Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion, jalapenos and chayote, and saute for 5 minutes until the onion is translucent and tender. Add garlic and saute for an additional minute until fragrant.
Add chicken broth, tomatoes, corn, chipotles, adobo sauce, and stir to combine. Heat until nearly boiling, then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for at least 10 minutes. Stir in the chicken, rice, salsa verde and lime juice, and then season with salt and pepper.
Serve warm garnished with lots of fresh avocado, cilantro, tortilla chips and queso fresco.
(*See note below for options with more or less heat/spiciness.*)
*For more heat, you can leave in the seeds of the jalapenos and/or double the amount of salsa verde. Or Amanda prefers to use serranos or habaneros in place of the jalapenos.
*For less heat, reduce to a single jalapeno and chipotle pepper, and add the salsa verde 1/4 cup at a time to taste.