World Health Day ~ Jerk Chicken Soup

Jerk Chicken Soup

Happy World Health Day!

For dinner tonight, I decided we should have something hearty and healthy in honor of World Health Day. Something warming too, as a bit of cold weather has returned. Soup was the answer, jerk chicken soup!

Actually, I intended to call this jerk chicken chili, but my husband was insistent that even though it is spicy, it is not thick like a chili should be. I halfheartedly agreed…but he may just find himself having oatmeal chili for breakfast!

Regardless of the name, this is a flavorful nutritious dish sure to warm your heart and soul on a chilly night. I served it simply with a chiffonade of fresh basil and some freshly baked bread.

Jerk Chicken Soup

Pour 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil in a medium saucepan.

Add 1/2 cup each of minced onion, celery, sweet red bell pepper, 1 clove minced garlic and 1 bay leaf and saute over low heat until veggies are soft and translucent (3 minutes).

Add 1 cup beer and bring to boil, simmer for just a few minutes.

Add 1 pound ground chicken and continue simmering until chicken is cooked.

Add:

½ teaspoon each ground coriander, ginger, cayenne pepper, black pepper, cinnamon, allspice and cloves

2 teaspoons ground thyme

1-2 teaspoons salt as needed

1 cup roasted red peppers, pureed

4 cups low or no salt chicken or vegetable broth

Stir and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat at least 30 minutes.

Add 1 cup cooked, drained chickpeas and 1 cup diced sweet potatoes and simmer 20 minutes more.

Serve garnished with one tablespoon of fresh chopped basil or cilantro in each bowl. Makes 6 servings.

Pepper Note: I listed the cayenne and black pepper measurements with a conservative heat level, adjust it according to your personal taste. Traditionally, scotch bonnet peppers are used in jerk sauce. I used dragon cayenne pepper flakes made from my garden peppers from last summer.

Vegan Option: Simply use vegetable broth and substitute one or two more bean varieties for the ground chicken. Or increase the chick pea content and add some rice, pasta or quinoa. 

GF Sandwich Bread

I made a loaf of  King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Sandwich Bread to serve with the soup tonight. It came out deliciously! I used my own flour blend of 1 & 1/3 cups brown rice flour, 1/3 cup oat flour, 1/3 cup buckwheat flour and 1 cup potato starch.

My bread was bubbly on the top instead of smooth, maybe I didn’t press the dough down enough before baking. Or, my yeast was over active. Either way I liked it, when I rubbed a piece of butter over the crust after removing it from the oven, the butter found it’s way down into the little bubbles.  Use salted butter for this step, or if using unsalted butter, sprinkle a little fine sea salt over the top of the loaf after you butter it.