Spicy Chicken and Summer Vegetable Soup

from Back to the Cutting Board

Soup | Servings: 6-8
Prep time: 30 min | Cook time: 45 min | Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1 to 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4-6 oz. each)
  • 1 tsp. olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 to 5 small sweet peppers, ribs and seeds removed and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes or 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, roughly chopped (remove ribs and seeds for less heat)
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika (regular paprika is fine)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (omit for less heat)
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 medium yellow squash and/or zucchini, sliced very thin, 1/4″ or less (use a mandolin slicer if you have one)
  • 1/2 lb. fresh green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn (optional)
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 large lime, cut into wedges


  1. Tip: For faster shredding, cut chicken into large chunks and transfer to the bowl your mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low until the chicken is shredded. In a large skillet or pot with a tight-fitting lid, arrange chicken in a single layer and cover with about 1 inch of water. Sprinkle in a few pinches of salt. Place on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Transfer chicken to a large bowl or cutting board and shred with two forks. Set aside. (This can be done the day before and stored in the fridge.)
  2. In a large stock pot or dutch oven (at least 4-5 quarts), heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions, sweet peppers and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 5-8 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, add the tomatoes, carrots, green pepper and jalapeno to a blender or food processor and mix until well blended. Process longer for a smoother soup or shorter for a chunkier soup.
  4. Once the onions are done, add all the spices to the pot and cook for one minute.
  5. Add the shredded chicken, tomato mixture and chicken broth to the pot. Simmer, partly covered for about 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in the squash, green beans, corn (if using) and 1/2 cup cilantro. Add an additional cup (or more) of water if you find the soup too thick for your tastes. Simmer, partly covered for about 30 more minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Taste and add salt if necessary.
  7. Ladle the soup into a bowl and sprinkle with the remaining cilantro. Squeeze a wedge of lime into the bowl just before serving. This is also good with a few slices of avocado on top.

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