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Author Notes: Originally conceived as an effort to use up ingredients in a cold fall day, this stew is as colorful as the leaves falling, hearty, healthy, and satisfying with latin flavors and a rich, tomato-based spiced broth. —Michelle Escobar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
- 2 medium sized carrotes, peeled and chopped small
- 1 medium-sized onion, peeled and chopped small
- 2 large roma tomatoes, chopped (can sub with 12 oz can chopped tomatoes)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (12 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed with cold water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup corn kernals (frozen is fine)
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth
- fresh lime for garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper, add to pot, and brown on all sides on medium-high heat until a golden crust forms.
- Remove chicken with slotted spoon and set aside (don't worry if it's not fully cooked; it will finish cooking shortly).
- Add the carrots and onions, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook on medium-low heat until softened, stirring often, about 8 minutes.
- Add the chicken back to the pot along with the garlic, tomatoes, plantains, and beans and stir to combine. (If using fresh corn add the kernels now as well.)
- Add the spices and mix to combine.
- Add the vegetable broth and using your wooden spoon, scrape up any "brown bits" that have formed on the bottom or sides of the pan, using the liquid to help you. Mix well to incorporate ingredients, and bring soup to a boil on high heat.
- Once boiling reduce heat back down to low, cover with lid, and cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until plantains are softened (fork-tender).
- Taste and adjust soup with seasoning to your taste.
- Add the corn (frozen) and cilantro and mix well to combine.
- Serve piping hot with a squeeze of lime juice if desired.