This post was originally published here February 23, 2015. I’ve since updated the text and photographs.
Just when you thought soup season was over, here I am. With soup!
Don’t be mad. I know we’re all aching for Spring (and if we could throw in some uplifting news while we’re at it, that would be much appreciated). But this isn’t like the heavy, cold-weather soups we’ve been enjoying all Winter. This Southwest Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup is much lighter and brighter. And it’s perfect for these weird transition weeks when it feels like we’re stuck between two different seasons.
The ingredient list may seem long, but I promise you this recipe is easy to make. Much of what you see listed below are pantry staples. And you can easily prepare the base of the soup during the time the chicken is baking in the oven. It can all be done in about 40-45 minutes. And it still packs a punch in the flavor department.
The best part about this Southwest Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup is the toppings. Sometimes I say silly things in my recipe instructions like “toppings are optional”. But nope. Not this time. You need them. All of them. The cheese. The fresh cilantro. And the tortilla chips. Especially the tortilla chips. Crumbled on top of the soup, they provide the perfect amount of crunch and salt. I should seriously consider renaming this recipe “how to eat an entire bag of tortilla chips in one sitting”. Because that may have happened to me. Or it may not have. I’ll never tell.
Southwest Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup
For the Chicken:
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- About 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 lb total)
For the Soup:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and diced
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 3 limes, juiced
- 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and cubed
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- Queso fresco or cotija cheese, crumbled
- Fresh cilantro, chopped
- Tortilla chips
- Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the all the spices for the chicken. Add the olive oil and stir until a paste forms. Then rub this paste mixture all over the chicken breasts. Place the coated chicken breasts on a wire rack that’s set into a baking pan. Then transfer the pan to your pre-heated oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottom pot set over medium-high heat. Add the onions, sweet potato, salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Then stir in the chopped tomatoes, black beans, quinoa and chicken broth. Bring the soup to a boil. Then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 20-25 minutes.
- Chop the cooked chicken into 1-inch cubes. Add the chicken, lime juice, avocado and cilantro to the soup and cook until everything is warmed through, about 3-5 minutes.
- To serve, ladle the hot soup into bowls. Top with crumbled cheese and additional cilantro, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips.
You absolutely can’t go wrong with a big pot of soup to get through the winter. This looks delicious!!
Thanks, Jennifer. I need a swimming pool of soup right now!
This such a hearty winter soup, I love it!
Soup is perfect for this brutal winter. It looks so delicious!
Thank you, Jen. Brutal = you said it!!
Naked soup = booooooring. There’s gotta be a lil sumthin sumthin up top for.the.win. Seriously, girl, I’m amazed at all the snow you all are getting! Snow or no snow, I’d love to eat this soup every freaking day. With all the toppings!
Yeah for toppings! Glad you are against naked soups too!
This looks great! Love the sweet potatoes. I hope the light at the end of the tunnel keeps getting brighter!
Thanks, Kathy! Glad you are sending me good thoughts!
I’m so sorry about winter this year. It’s the worst! But keep eating soup and spring will be here before we know it 🙂
Thanks for the pep talk, Christina!
Worst winter ever for you, right?! I’m definitely sending warm spring thoughts your way! But this soup definitely looks like the perfect dish to warm you up (and me too since it’s 4 degrees here right now). Love the spicy flavors and sweet potatoes!
Yikes. 4 degrees is BAD! Let’s hug it out, Gayle!!
Mmmmm girl you have been killing it lately! Jeeze, from the photography to the recipes!? Go Floating Kitchen!
Awww…thanks, Sarah! That’s a great compliment coming from you! XO
I still don’t know how you are coping with all that cold weather! I wouldn’t even want to go out to buy groceries!!
Lots of chocolate and drinking…
I’m with you – soup is always a win!!
It never gets old!
Spicy, pipping hot and full of goodies, just the way I like my soups! This looks fantastic!
Thank you so much, Nicole! Let me know if you try it out!
I would love feeding off of a pot of this delicious soup during the week — it looks so satisfying and hearty! Sorry about the snow. 🙁
I love soup that’s sweet and spicy especially when it’s topped with all that yumminess: cheese, cilantro, lime. Yum! Hang in there…hopefully spring will, well, spring soon. 🙂
If you are sick of winter, you should probablllly move to California. It was 70 degrees and sunny all weekend. Felt like spring is here! Please don’t hate me, *wink*. This soup sounds delicious! Love all the mexican flavors in here : )
I know. I actually lived in California for 5 years and complained that it was too hot! So yeah, I guess I should have just kept my mouth shut!
I don’t like naked soup either and I did get a laugh out of that — thanks! You really do need this soup to keep you warm with all that snow! I love that you used avocado. It’s like a little glimmer of hope and sun from California. Hang in there!
Oh glad you got a laugh, Rachelle!
Love the ingredient list here. I bet this is equally as good without the chicken since there are so many other hearty ingredients. Thanks for sharing
Yeah, it would still be great! You could throw in some extra beans/chickpeas for more protein if you wanted. Thanks, Sam!
I thought we may get lucky and not have any snow this year, but I was wrong! I feel so bad for you all with the snow you keep getting. This soup looks like a great way to warm up though. I love all of the ingredients in this and yes to all the toppings! They look so perfect with this soup!
Thanks, Danielle! Definitely not very lucky in the snow department. Only in the soup department!
Uh, if I had a ridiculous amount of snow, I’d be making soup over and over, too! This one looks so delicious… I love the big chunks for everything! Looks so hearty!
Thanks, Jess. I think I need a swimming pool full of soup right now!
I love soup too, Liz and I have been craving a new recipe. Now I’ve found it! I love the flavor combos in this one and that is has quinoa for some added protein. This winter stinks!
You said is girlfriend – this winter stinks! I hope you try out the soup!
Liz, don’t apologize for talking about the weather!! when you’ve gotten and experienced such crazy weather like you guys have, it totally makes sense! I mean, you know, the weather affects us all . . and LOVE this southwest chicken and sweet potato soup!!! this looks crazy good!!! can’t wait to hear about your exciting things!! stay warm, yo!
Thanks, Alice! Glad I’m not boring you too much with all this weather business! XO
Let’s not discuss the “S” word anymore, shall we…it’s too depressing! I think I need a big bowl of this to lift my cold weather blues spirits.
Good plan! No more “s” word talk! 🙂
First time commenting here! I wish we had snow where I live in Spain.. last year it snowed in the mountains and everyone made their way up there just to feel some snow in their hands lol ps. This soup looks really amazing!
Well thanks for stopping by and commenting! I would be happy to send you some of my snow! 🙂
Mm I bet this soup is extra delicious when you’re dealing with piles of snow outside your door! This looks so warming and yummy, especially with the sweet potatoes. Love it!
This looks like a fantastic bowl of soup! Yum!
Thank you, Amanda!
I am glad for every soup recipe you post because with the continuous snowstorms, they all come in handy. Thank you and Happy Wednesday, Liz 🙂
I feel you there! Snowstorms = more soup! 🙂
Well, this looks just plain perfect for a Wintermageddon 2015 supper – it will transport me to warmer weather right here in my kitchen. Let’s all make soup and think about spring. 🙂
Yes! That sounds like the perfect plan, Kate!
LOL Occupational hazard! Indeed! Love this soup, Liz and I say, bring on the long list of ingredients! So many flavors going on I can see how this would become addictive, in a good way.
You know, you gotta get back out to the Pacific NW… it’s been freezing at night but the days have been stunningly beautiful and jacket warm! I can’t imagine all that snow Liz.
Oh Traci, how I long for the PNW. I dreaming of a bicoastal existence…
Snow, snow, snow for days!! But it’s so purdy – and perfect for this soup!! Let’s go back to DV and cook for each other and you can totally make this soup. DEAL?!
In a heartbeat!
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Happy Sunday! Just found this recipe online and hope to make it this afternoon. I don’t have fresh tomatoes but have whole tinned tomatoes. Could I take two whole tomatoes and chop them? Would this work for the recipe? Thank you.
Yes, Jennifer. That would work great! You can definitely use canned tomatoes here.