When I first starting discussing the potential of working with Swanson® as a Brand Ambassador a few months ago, I knew without a doubt that the one recipe I would make would be my Chicken Soup with Dumplings; it is a 30 year work in progress and one I wanted to update and share. While we have been given lots of leeway as to what direction to take with recipes, they have made suggestions for different posts and this month it’s soup so I knew it would be perfect timing. So how on earth did I end up with Spicy Tex-Mex Chicken Soup with Jalapeno and Cilantro Dumplings? Things changed!
First and foremost I had just made my favorite chicken soup for a neighbor; it’s my magic potion and I’m certain it truly does have the power to fight the common cold so if you say, “Sniffles” I’ll say, “Be right over!” and I show up with a big pot of chicken soup. Making another pot of the same soup wasn’t quite what I coveted. Add to that my biggest source of inspiration for recipes and I changed course quickly. What is that source? Well, it’s always what’s in my fridge but this time it was a fridge full of foods when I decided it was time for an annual cleaning.
In my case it was a chicken I had purchased earlier in the week but had yet to touch, combined with both jalapeno peppers and cilantro that were sitting in the crisper without a particular purpose in mind and I could feel it; it was time to punt! Moving from my totally American version to this spicier and richer Mexican version would not change one component though; I have a pantry stocked high with Swanson® products and I knew that using their Chicken Broth instead of water was going to be a given. I made that change to my soups a couple of years ago and the difference is fantastic resulting in a much richer soup; so perfect when making something homemade.
I have to give a lot of kudos to the Homesick Texan too. I wanted to make cornmeal dumplings; they seemed more true to the spirit of a spicy Mexican dish and son of a gun, she had it all; a recipe for both soup and dumplings. I’ve taken HUGE liberties with the Chicken Soup with both ingredients and preparation so this recipe has my name all over it but these are her dumplings and no change was needed; the recipe sounded simply perfect for my use and they were. They are far denser than my standard billowy dumplings but hey, cornbread is also heavier than biscuits too, right? There was a moment when I really had to dig deep and find that leap of faith; these babies sunk out of sight and didn’t automatically appear and I was so worried they were just going to fall apart, but they held and finally floated to the surface and all was good. Served with a dollop of sour cream topped with some salsa and chopped cilantro and I’ll tell you this but you have to keep quiet OK? This I did not share…this soup was mine all mine (cue evil laughter). I squirreled it away to the far reaches of the fridge and I do think I had a bowl every day for a week…and looked forward to it too!
Feeling a bit punk and know I’ll bring you some soup? You might just find Spicy Tex-Mex Chicken Soup with Jalapeno and Cilantro Dumplings on the menu; this is so fantastic it’s my new favorite chicken soup. Try it, you’ll see!
Spicy Tex-Mex Chicken Soup with Jalapeno and Cilantro Dumplings
2 hrs 20 mins
For the chicken
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 4 celery stalks, sliced
- 3 jalapenos, diced
- 1 whole chicken, cut up, cleaned and rinsed
- 12 cups of Swanson® Unsalted Chicken Broth
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
- Juice of one lime
- 1/2 cup of cream
- Salt, black pepper, cayenne and cumin to taste
For the cornmeal dumplings
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 Tablespoon melted butter
- 1 jalapeno, finely diced
- 2 Tablespoons of minced cilantro
- Sour Cream
- Chopped Cilantro
- Put olive oil into a large stockpot and heat to medium. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and diced jalapeno and saute on medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add the chicken pieces and brown on both sides; do in multiple batches if necessary. Add the Swanson® Unsalted Chicken Broth, diced tomatoes, bay leaves, cumin, cayenne pepper and cilantro. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer for an hour and a half, occasionally skimming the foam off the surface. Taste broth and correct seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Remove chicken from pot and turn off the heat. After the chicken has cooled, remove fat and pick the meat off the bones and either shred or cut into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove fat from soup using a gravy separator or my preferred method; refrigerate the soup until it has chilled enough for the fat to start solidifying; then it's easy to spoon the fat off the surface.
- Add the shredded chicken, lime juice and cream to the pot; taste to correct seasonings, adding additional salt, black pepper, cayenne and/or cumin to taste. Bring to a boil.
To Make the Cornmeal Dumplings:
- Sift together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. Beat the eggs with the buttermilk and add to the dry ingredients. Stir in the melted butter, jalapenos and cilantro.
- When soup is boiling, turn heat down to low and gently drop the dumpling batter into the pot, one heaping tablespoon or so at a time. Do not stir. Place lid on top and steam dumplings for 20 minutes.
- Ladle the chicken and dumplings into bowls and garnish with sour cream, salsa and chopped cilantro.
In a hurry? Use a roasted chicken from your favorite store. Clean all the meat from the carcass and add to the veggies, stock and herbs. Cook for a half hour on low and then proceed with Step Four of the instructions.
This post is sponsored by Swanson® however all commentary is my own.