A healthy "kicked up" chicken, black bean, and vegetable soup with southwest flavors... Hatch Green Chile Chicken Tortilla Soup is chock full of healthy ingredients, and the garnishes make it special! Ready in 30 minutes!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - About New Mexico and Hatch Green Chile
New Mexico, the "Land of Enchantment," may conjure up images of endless, brilliant blue skies, craggy desert "sky islands," or the historic plazas of Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Mesilla peacefully lit by luminarias or farolitos...
New Mexicans, natives and transplants alike, probably want to talk about "chile", not "chili," and will probably digress to a discussion of which is better - red or green. I've called New Mexico "home" for 20 years (this month 🙂 .) It truly is an enchanting place, and its unique culinary culture is certainly part of its charm.
For my readers unfamiliar with New Mexico and its chile culture, it's all about a pod. Chile, not chili, is a plant that produces edible pods. "Red" chile and "green" chile are produced by the same plants. The red chile pod remains on the plant until it is fully ripened. The green chile is picked earlier. New Mexico is the only state with an official state question: "Red or Green?" Now that we have that settled, we can move on to distinctions between the two 🙂
I've written previously about Chimayo red chile, the amazing chile found in the northern part of the state. Hatch, New Mexico - and surrounding farming villages - in the southern part of the state produces the fragrant, spicy pods that are roasted in giant chile roasters in late August and early September all over the state.
This is the aroma of fall in New Mexico. Sales of freezers increase as residents and visitors alike scramble for space to store tens if not hundreds of pounds of roasted green chile. It is a big deal!
I love green chile. However, as much as I love a plate of green chile and cheese stacked enchiladas with a runny egg over top, my commitment to cooking and eating healthy, low fat food means I rarely prepare them (or eat them.) I am constantly looking for new ways to get my "chile fix."
Last night I hit a home-run! Hatch Green Chile Chicken Tortilla Soup is full of lean chicken, black beans, butternut squash (carrots, sweet potatoes), corn (or hominy), and of course, green chile.
The cumin and Mexican oregano infused broth complements the chile, and the flavorful soup gets garnished with crispy tortilla strips, just a bit of grated cheddar or crumbled cotija (our preference), cilantro, scallions, and lime wedges.
You can get totally carried away and add avocado. Delicious! This soup is a perfect, healthy way to warm your tummy on a chilly winter's night.
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- vegetable or canola oil
- ground cumin powder, or 2 if you like cumin
- butternut squash
- chicken breast
- chicken broth or stock
- corn kernels, fresh, frozen, or canned
- green chile, preferably Hatch, chopped
- black beans
- Mexican oregano, dried leaves, not ground
- Sauté the aromatics - In a large pot over medium-high heat, add oil. Add garlic and onion; stir until onion begins to soften. Add cumin. Stir for another minute.
- Sauté the chicken and squash - Add the cubed butternut squash and chicken to the pan. Stir occasionally until chicken begins to brown.
- Cook the soup - Add chicken stock, corn, green chile, and black beans to the pot. Cover and turn heat to a low simmer. Simmer approximately 30 minutes (until butternut squash is tender)
- Prepare the toppings - While soup simmers, prepare the toppings. I prefer to bake my tortillas. I spray both sides of tortillas, then cut in strips or triangles. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet, place in 375°oven and bake until golden brown. You can shallow fry them in hot oil if you're so inclined. Chop the scallions and cilantro, crumble or grate the cheese, slice the lime.
Be flexible with the ingredients - I regularly make homemade stock, and almost always have a quart or two in the freezer. I also keep good quality stock in my well-stocked pantry. While I prefer to start with dried beans and
posole hominy, I keep canned black beans and hominy on the shelf as well. This recipe is one that you can throw together in half an hour if you're well-stocked!
Riffs - Substitute carrots or sweet potatoes for the butternut squash. You hate canned or frozen corn? (I do!) Try rinsing the starch from a can of hominy. If you don't have black beans, try pintos... Breaking free from a recipe makes cooking more accessible!
This southwest-inspired soup is a great way to use rotisserie chicken, leftover cooked chicken, or even Thanksgiving turkey. It's a great time saver as well!
What can I substitute for the butternut squash? Try carrots and/or sweet potatoes. Corn makes a great addition or substitution as well.
Can I use other kinds of beans? Pinto beans are an obvious choice, but kidney and chick peas work well too.
I can't get Hatch green chile. What else can I use? You can roast poblano or Anaheim chiles. Peel and see them before chopping like you would Hatch chile. You can get Hatch green chile in many markets now in the freezer section (I buy Bueno chile here in south Texas regularly). Hatch chile is also available canned.
🥑 Suggested Toppings
- corn tortillas, cut in strips and baked
- sharp cheddar or cotija, grated or crumbled
- cilantro, stems removed
- scallions, chopped
- lime, cut in wedges