Friday, March 11, 2011

Tex-Mex Chicken Sausage, Black Bean, and Hominy Soup

Spring may be on the way, but we’re still experiencing crazy temperature swings here in Nashville – 70 degrees one day, 40 degrees the next. I’m sure many of you can relate.  That being said, I’m still in full-on soup mode.  The other day it was gray and drizzling, and I was in the mood for a warm and cozy lunch. Cue the soup – my go-to cold weather lunch.

Today’s recipe was put together from things I already had in my fridge and pantry. Stan and I really like Tex-Mex flavors so things like canned black beans, hominy, taco seasoning mix, and peppers are staples.  Thrown together with some chicken sausage for protein and some lime juice and cilantro to brighten things up, this soup packs a lot of flavor.  It’s also healthy, quick and easy to make, and cheap to boot – all good things in my book.

Another great thing about this recipe is that it’s flexible. Don’t have a poblano pepper on hand? Use a red or green bell pepper.  Out of black beans?  Try pinto or kidney beans.  Can’t find hominy at your store?  Look in the Mexican food section – or just use a can of corn instead.  You can also adjust the spice level up or down to match your preference – just use more or less taco seasoning.  However you make it, this soup is sure to be a warm, hearty way to beat back the chill while you wait for spring.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies – one of our absolute favorite cookie recipes!

Tex-Mex Chicken Sausage, Black Bean, and Hominy Soup

1 T. olive oil
12 oz. cooked chicken sausage, sliced into half-circles *
1 onion, chopped
1 poblano pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. taco seasoning mix
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
15 oz. diced tomatoes
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz. can hominy or corn, rinsed and drained
Juice of 1 small lime
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sour cream, shredded cheese, and/or tortilla chips for serving

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the sausage and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and poblano pepper to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and taco seasoning. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, black beans, hominy, and reserved sausage and any accumulated juices. Increase the heat and bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the lime juice and cilantro (if using). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve garnished with sour cream, shredded cheese, and/or tortilla chips.

Serves 4.

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