Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

Southwest Style Chicken and Black Bean Soup (Prep. time about an hour after peppers have been seared and peeled. Serves 8-12.)

1 ½ lb. skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs

½ red bell pepper, blackened and peeled*

1 poblano pepper, blackened and peeled*

½ large yellow onion, diced

½ C. white wine

2 C. water

2 C. chicken broth

2 Tb. olive oil

1 tsp. oregano

4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

2 oz. jalapenos, finely diced

8.75 oz. can whole kernel corn

28 oz. can diced tomato (including the juice)

1 15.5oz. cans black beans, drained

salt, pepper

2 Tb. chili powder

2 Tb. chopped cilantro (optional)

1 C. shredded Mexican cheese blend.

tortilla chips (optional, or gluten free if that's a concern) 

(*To prepare the peppers, heat broiler if you don’t have a gas stove. Place poblano and red pepper under broiler, turning until skin is black and seared on all sides. On gas stove, take tongs and sear the peppers over the open flame, turning constantly until skin is blacked. Allow to cool (faster to loosen the skins if you let the peppers sit for about five minutes in a brown paper bag) and pull skin off the skins.  Dice the cooled peppers.) 

Brown the chicken, starting skin-side down in the olive oil on medium high heat in a large stock pot or Dutch oven.  When skin is dark brown, turn and brown the other side.  Add onion and garlic and sauté until onions are tender.  Deglaze the pan with the white wine, stirring the brown bits up from the bottom of the pot.  Add water and stock and bring to a boil for about 15 minutes until the chicken is done.  Remove the chicken and set aside to cool a little (about 10 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low.  Add the beans, corn, peppers, diced tomato and spices. Continue to simmer while the chicken cools.  Remove skin from chicken and set it aside for the dogs and cats (they will love you even more.) Pull the chicken meat off the bone and shred or dice, whatever your preference.  (Carefully dispose of the bones where the pets won’t be able to get to them.)

Return the chicken to the pot, stir in shredded cheese and warm up the tortilla chips in the toaster oven.  For added flavor, lightly spray the chips with cooking oil and toss them in a little chili powder.

Serve soup with a garnish of a little more cheese and the tortilla chips or strips. Additional garnish could include sour cream, avocado, cilantro leaves.