Like Louisiana's gumbo, this hearty Spanish Colonial soup is a meal in one bowl, a Gulf Coast tradition from Texas to Florida. Fresh corn makes all the difference, so try to use it whenever you can. Otherwise, frozen kernels (but not canned) are fine.
Per serving: 255 calories, 18.1g protein, 27.1g carbohydrate, 4.4g dietary fiber, 10g total fat (2.2g saturated fat), 49mg cholesterol, 178mg sodium; Carbohydrate choices: 1.8
- 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
- 4 chicken thighs, skin removed, trimmed of all fat
- 1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin, or more to taste
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- One 4-ounce can chopped mild green chiles (optional)
- One 14½-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 2 small zucchini, sliced crosswise into thin rounds
- 2 ears fresh corn (preferred) or 2 cups frozen corn kernels
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Chopped fresh parsley and/or cilantro sprigs for garnish
HEAT a large saucepan or soup pot on medium. Add the oil to the hot pot, swirling to coat the bottom evenly.
LIGHTLY BROWN the chicken; remove and set aside. Add the onion; sprinkle with the cumin; cook until the onion is tender and lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes.
RETURN the chicken to the pot, along with the garlic, chiles (if using), tomatoes (with juice), and water. Bring just to a boil; reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 10 minutes.
ADD the zucchini. Continue simmering until the chicken is cooked and the zucchini is tender, about 15 minutes.
STAND each ear of corn on end in a large shallow bowl; slice downward to remove the kernels. Scrape the cobs with the back of the knife to release the creamy juices. Add the corn to the pot; cook just until crisp-tender, 2 or 3 minutes.
SHRED the chicken meat and return it to the pot; discard the bones. Season the soup with black pepper. Sprinkle each serving with chopped parsley and/or cilantro sprigs.