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Chicken Soup
Sopa De Pollo (Chicken Soup)

Founder’s Note:

There are some recipes that give you that feeling of nostalgia. They bring back fond, intimate memories. They offer a kind of comfort that makes you mindful of a time, a place, or a singular moment. Dishes that remind you of family, of home.

This is mine.  

In the countryside of Puerto Rico where my family resides and the weather never subsides to less than what feels like 90 degrees F., my grandmother, always enthusiastic about cooking, can be found conjuring up her Sopa de Pollo, her chicken soup.

With sweat on her brow, fresh vegetables from her garden, and the aromas that eventually envelop the room, this moment harmonizes tradition, history, and culture.  A moment where they all come together to tell a story. The story of my roots.

As I take the first heaping spoonful, on a table surrounded by my family, I too begin to sweat. I vividly feel the warm liquid making its way down quickly met with a feeling of pure comfort. Its rich flavors bursting and its simplicity serving as a reminder of our surroundings. A dish that makes me feel like I’ve arrived home. One that feeds my soul and deepens my connection with my family.

Here’s to home-cooked meals. Dishes that you make you grateful. Ones that gather those you love. So go ahead, cook this beautiful dish and bask in a moment of pure contentment.  

With Love,

Kathleen

Sopa de Pollo

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds of skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • ½ of a medium red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 2 handfuls of cilantro, equally divided
  • 1 handful of culantro (Different from cilantro. Considered its botanical cousin)
  • 2 tbsp. of water
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 tbsp. of organic adobo
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 medium corn husks, quartered
  • 2 tbsp. of tomato sauce
  • 32 oz. of chicken stock
  • 3 small dry bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs of fresh oregano
  • 5 small potatoes, diced
  • 5 oz. of fideo noodles, halved (Angel Hair pasta works as well)
  • 1 lime, juiced (optional for serving)
  • 1 avocado (optional for serving)

Recipe

Begin by adding onion, garlic, red pepper, cilantro (one handful only), culantro, and water into a food processor. Process until a smooth paste is formed. This is also known as sofrito. A purée used as a building base in most Puerto Rican dishes. Set aside.  

Next, heat olive oil in a stockpot over medium heat. While waiting for the oil to come to temperature pat chicken dry and season with adobo – a blend of different spices like paprika, salt, and garlic. Go ahead and add your chicken to the pot and sear until all sides are browned. Remove and set aside as well. 

In the same pot add the sofrito, celery, carrots, corn, and tomato sauce. Stir for about two minutes scrapping all the bits left over from searing. Then go ahead, add back the chicken, chicken stock, bay leaves, and oregano sprigs. Bring to a boil and cover. Let simmer for about 45 minutes stirring occasionally.  

At the 45-minute mark, add in potatoes and remaining cilantro. Cover and continue simmering for another 20 minutes or until potatoes are tendered. Lastly, add in the pasta and cook until al dente – about another 15-10 minutes. Remove sprigs of oregano and cilantro. Serve immediately alongside lime and avocado.

Integrate this dish and make it part of – Your Story of Home.

Photography by Alcides Aguasvivas {Instagram @alcides.nyc}

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