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It doesn’t matter how long I’ve lived in a place with sunshine almost utterly year round, my body doesn’t seem to want or need to acknowledge that fact.
A case in food-point: I can happily eat soup year round, no matter how many salads I make in the summer because they’re “seasonal”; I’ll never, ever swap my stand-a-spoon-in-it strength hot tea brews, regardless of the sea of iced beverages that surrounds me now.
I usually eat this nightshade free take on chicken salsa verde soup for breakfast, actually, because I’m a weirdo like that and still love me a hot breakfast, calendar be damned.
And, yes, I said nightshade free! For realsies. This recipe is based on my classic Roasted Green Onion Salsa Verde, but I’ve tweaked it a little here to make it a bit punchier, to balance the flavors so that they don’t get too attenuated when they’re added to a broth base in this chicken salsa verde soup.
I’ve separated this recipe into two halves, first making the salsa verde itself and then using it as the flavor base of the chicken salsa verde soup. This way, it’s easy to split the recipe into two halves if you like.
You can whip up the salsa verde on its own at the weekend, then leave it in the fridge until you feel like a bowl of soup later on during the week. If you’ve got the salsa verde on hand at home and bring yourself home some rotisserie chicken, this makes for a simple meal that really feels good by the time Wednesday or Thursday comes around!
Bonus: it only takes 15 or 20 minutes, most of which are just waiting for everything to heat through.
I’ve added cauliflower rice to this for a bit of extra nutrition, texture and body. There’s something about a play on “chicken and rice” that makes me feel like this is real comfort food. You can use fresh or frozen cauliflower rice, but I’ll admit I’m partial to chucking a bag of Costco’s frozen cauli rice in there to make this even easier on a weeknight.
If you really wanna go all out, the extra toppings are where it’s at. I like to add sliced avocado, a smidge of coconut yogurt and a scattering of fresh cilantro, green onions or chives to the mix. (These grain free tortilla chips bring some crunch, but they’re not aip friendly because of the chia seeds.)
Since I do just fine with seed and berry spices, I added some cumin and black pepper for extra depth of flavor and to balance the hint of spice that comes from the ground ginger. That still keeps this version of chicken salsa verde soup nightshade free, but you’ll want to omit the cumin & black pepper for the elimination phase of the aip if that’s where you’re at.Print
Chicken Salsa Verde Soup with Cauliflower Rice
This nightshade free take on chicken salsa verde soup is packed with flavor and has that comfort food feel you crave from a bowl of chicken & rice style soup.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: Serves 4 1x
- Method: oven, stovetop
- Cuisine: american, mexican
For the nightshade free salsa verde:
- 2 tbsp / 30 ml avocado oil
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2 heads of garlic (yes, indeedy!)
- 9 oz / 255 g whole green onions / scallions / spring onions, about 3 grocery store bunches
- 1 1/4 cups / 300 ml chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 packed cup / 40 g fresh cilantro, using the stems as well as the leaves
- 2 tbsp / 30 ml fresh lime juice
- 2 tsp / 2 g dried oregano
- 1 tsp / 2 g ground ginger
- 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 3/4 tsp ground cumin, omit for aip
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, omit for aip
For the chicken salsa verde soup:
- 2 cups / 480 ml of nightshade free salsa verde, above, see notes.
- 4 cups / 960 ml chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin, omit for aip
- 1/4 tsp black pepper, omit for aip
- 1 lb / 454 g cooked, sliced or shredded chicken
- 3 packed cups / 340 g riced cauliflower, see notes
- fresh lime juice, to taste
- handful of chopped cilantro
- coconut cream or yogurt
- sliced avocado
- chopped green onions or chives
- tortilla chips or strips, I used these grain free chips, they’re an aip reintro because of the chia seeds
PREP: Preheat the oven to 450 F / 230 C. Pour the avocado oil onto a rimmed baking sheet. When the oven comes up to temperature, place the oiled baking sheet into the oven until the oil is shimmering hot (although not smoking), about 4 – 5 minutes.
LAYER: Cut the onion in half through the root, then peel and discard the skin. Use tongs to carefully place the onion halves onto the preheated, oiled baking sheet, cut sides down. Slice off and discard the tops of the garlic heads, then place them on the baking sheet. Spread the green onions out so they’re as close to a single layer as you can manage across the sheet, making sure none of the green onion ends overlap the edge of the baking sheet to avoid them burning.
ROAST: Roast the green onions, turning every five minutes or so, until they are tender and soft, with golden charred marks throughout. For larger, thicker, wild or farmer’s market green onions, this will take 15 – 20 minutes. For thinner, smaller or grocery store green onions, this will take much less time, so you’ll want to watch them at around the 10 – 12 minute mark. You’ll need to keep an eye on them, because you want lovely golden brown char marks, but you don’t want the green onions to burn or blacken as that will result in a bitter salsa. If the ends of the green onions start to crisp up early on, snip them off with scissors and finish the thicker roots of the green onions up in the oven without them. When the green onions are done, remove them from the baking sheet and continue to roast the onion and garlic until the onion halves are a deep golden brown, about 20 – 25 minutes total roasting time.
BLEND: Let the garlic cool enough to handle. Remove & discard the root ends of the onion and roughly chop it into pieces. Snip off and discard the green onion roots, too. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the roasted garlic from the cloves and add it to a blender, along with the roasted onion, green onions, chicken broth, cilantro, lime juice, oregano, ginger & salt, as well as the cumin & black pepper, if using. Puree on high until the salsa is evenly combined and smooth.
SIMMER: Add 2 cups / 480 ml of the nightshade free salsa verde to a large saucepan or dutch oven, reserving any leftover salsa verde for another meal. Stir through the chicken broth, oregano, ginger & salt, as well as the cumin & black pepper, if using. Bring the soup base to a simmer over medium heat, then add the cooked chicken. Simmer until the chicken is warmed through and the soup is hot, then add the cauliflower rice. Cook until the cauliflower rice has softened, but still has some bite, about 5 minutes or so. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed and serve with as many toppings as you like!
- Will make 2 – 3 cups of salsa verde, depending on the size of your onion & garlic, as well as whether or not you go by the weight measurements of the green onions or just wing it a little! You only need about 2 cups / 480 ml or so of the salsa verde to make the soup, so save any extra for jazzing up another meal, like my nightshade free Chicken Salsa Verde Tacos with Lime Pickled Onions!
- You can make the salsa verde several days ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you feel like making soup. It also freezes nicely.
- You can use fresh or frozen riced cauliflower – I like to throw in a 12 oz bag of Costco frozen cauliflower rice.