Making this soup the other day required deboning a rotisserie chicken in front of a rapt audience of four dogs. They sat two to my left and two to my right, about 150 total pounds of canines quivering with the effort of self-control, their silent yearning palpable: Oh, please, please, drop the bird. They behaved like spectators at Wimbledon, heads moving in unison to every move I made, eyes on the morsel in hand.
Patience hath no equal to a dog in this circumstance.
Because I’m a softie, everyone eventually got a piece of chicken tossed their way (except for Macy the Lhasa, who’s allergic and had to make do with a spoonful of canned salmon). I wanted to save the rest for this.
It’s a simple soup to make if there’s a can opener handy. I chose to top mine with slices of fresh avocado and chopped cilantro the first time around, but leftovers were accompanied by nothing more than tortilla chips out of a bag. All versions were delightful.
But you do what you want.
Chicken Frijole Soup, adapted from a recipe in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette dating back to at least December 2008, which was the first time I made this, according to my notes scrawled on the photocopy. Also scrawled: “Delicious.”
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1 (16-ounce) can refried beans
1 (16-ounce) can chili beans, undrained
1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
Shredded meat from most of 1 rotisserie chicken
6 ounces Velveeta cheese product, cubed
Toppings of choice: chopped fresh avocado, chopped cilantro, sour cream, salsa, shredded cheddar cheese
In a large saucepan or dutch oven, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the garlic, spices, corn, and refried beans, and whisk until smooth. Stir in chili beans, tomatoes, and shredded chicken. Reduce heat and bring soup to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally. Drop in the Velveeta cubes, cover the pan, and remove from heat. Let stand for 10 minutes while the Velveeta melts. Stir to combine, and serve hot with toppings. Tasty sides: tortilla chips or freshly made cornbread.
I can’t do much more here than tell you: Make this soup. It’s really good.