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, or water and bring to boil, simmer for just a few minutes.
Add 1 pound ground chicken and continue simmering until chicken is cooked.
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.