Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Paleo Chicken Soup...

My husband got hooked on this diet, or 'lifestyle', called Paleo (often called the caveman diet). I don't completely understand the how or the why of it, but I try my best to join him. In general, people have found numerous health benefits to a grain-free, gluten-free diet, similar to what our hunter/gatherer ancestors ate. I tend to cheat a little...  I don't exactly *like* sweet potatoes, so I eat white, even though sweet are healthier. Paleo people are mixed on dairy, but you can't take away my Cabot cheese or greek yogurts.  Most importantly, stop eating processed foods!  And yes, go organic, grass-fed, free-range whenever you can.

So, I decided I wanted soup, and wanted to experiment. I took stock of what was in my fridge and pantry and went from there.  The result is a somewhat-tortilla(less), somewhat-enchilada, somewhat chili  chicken soup!   (Yes, it's paleo, and there are a few still-paleo variations at the bottom that I have tried, but would taste great!)

Paleo Chicken Soup

(keep all spices handy, there are places where you'll add "a shake or two" beyond what's called for in this list)

1 pound chicken breasts                  Coconut Oil
2 1/2 tsp minced garlic                    1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt                                       1/4 tsp black pepper
1 (3/4 Cup) large onion                   1/4 Cup green pepper
2 Tbsp jalepeno                               1 tsp cumin
2 Cups chicken broth                       4 oz. tomato paste

Cut chicken breasts  into large pieces. Melt just enough coconut oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add 1 tsp minced garlic to the oil.  On medium low heat, add the chicken breasts, along with 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper.  Cook pieces through, but do not fry.   (note the color below is due primarily to the chili powder)

While the chicken is cooking, dice the green pepper, onion and jalepeno. (If you like spice, include the jalepeno seeds, otherwise, leave them out for a more mild soup). In a large pot, saute the pepper, onion and jalepeno in 1 Tbsp coconut oil along with 1/2 tsp minced garlic. Saute until the veggies are soft.

After the chicken is cooked, chop or shred it into small, bite-sized pieces or shreds. Add the chicken to the stock pot. At this point, add any additional spices. I used 1 tsp. cumin, a shake of taco seasoning, and an additional shake of chili powder, salt and black pepper. 

Add 2 Cups chicken broth, stir and heat through (do not boil).

At this point, you can take your soup a couple different directions...    this is the tortilla(less)/enchilada version.     Add 4 oz. tomato paste, 3/4 cup water, and 1/8 cup taco seasoning (or make your own using cumin, etc.)   Heat soup just until boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer for an hour.   Enjoy!

A few variations we can't wait to try:
 - instead of tomato paste, water and taco,  simply crumble in your desired amount of freshly cooked bacon. 
 - after adding tomato paste, water and taco seasoning, add diced zucchini and yellow squash.

(if you try this and come up with your own ideas, add them to the comments!)


  1. wow, great recipe!

    i made this tonight with a few tweaks. the main addition i made was adding paleo noodles that i made out of zucchini. i bought a mandolin slicer, and ran some zucchini through it. perfectly thin, even, paleo noodles...

    1. Thanks Greg! I'm glad to hear some feedback.. your paleo 'noodles' sound like a yummy tweak! Glad you enjoyed!