Cabbage

Spicy Chicken Soup With Sweet Potatoes & Cabbage

December  3, 2021
5 Stars
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Alya Hameedi. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog.
Author Notes


This is the soup I make when I really need soup. When I’m sick or just sick of cooking. It skips fussy searing for soothing simmering instead. Tender sweet potatoes, silky cabbage, and powerhouse chipotles give me hard El Torito chicken tortilla soup vibes. And don’t skimp on the toppings. Thinly sliced white onion, crunchy crushed Fritos, and fatty sour cream and avocado are what transform this soup into a party. Also try: Amu’s Gingery Chicken Soup With Lentils & Potatoes.

Want to make it your own? Here are my tips for lazy, cozy soup: Make a broth with roughly chunked aromatics (use what you got—skin-on onions, flaccid carrots, wilty celery) and chicken legs, which are loaded with bones and connective tissue for deep flavor without searing or roasting. After a couple episodes of Crime Junkie, drain the broth and return it to the pot. If you’re done for the day, stick it in the fridge and reheat in a day or two. Or turn on another podcast and keep going. To the hot broth, add whatever you’re feeling. Yukon golds instead of sweet potatoes? Kale instead of cabbage? Let that simmer while you pick the meat off the bone. At this point you can portion it into deli containers and freeze for a rainy day. Before digging in, add sizzled spices, chopped tender herbs, or lemon juice or vinegar for some pep in your step. And have fun with toppings. Think creamy yogurt or sour cream, crunchy crackers or chips, and fresh chiles or herbs. You can make chicken soup with whatever you’ve got—no need to leave the house or even put on pants.

Sohla El-Waylly

Watch This Recipe
Spicy Chicken Soup With Sweet Potatoes & Cabbage
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 2 hours
  • Serves 3 to 4
Ingredients
  • Broth
  • 2 whole chicken legs
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into ½-inch chunks
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into ½-inch chunks
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf, dried or fresh
  • Soup
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces sweet potatoes (about 2 medium), peeled and diced into ½-inch cubes
  • 1/2 small green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3 chipotles in adobo, finely chopped, plus adobo to taste
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed parsley leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped
  • 2 limes
  • Sour cream or crema, for serving
  • Diced avocado, for serving
  • Sliced white onion, for serving
  • Crushed Fritos, for serving
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Make the broth: In a medium Dutch oven, combine all the ingredients. Slowly pour 6 cups of water on top. Bring to a boil over high heat. If foamy white scum floats to the top, skim it off with a ladle, spoon, or small sieve. (Don’t worry about getting all of it—just try to get as much as you can without losing too much broth.) Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and cook for 1½ hours, until the chicken is tender and the broth is flavorful.
  2. Strain the broth into a large heatproof vessel (I use a big metal bowl). Return the broth to the Dutch oven. Transfer the chicken to a plate and discard the aromatics.
  3. Make the soup: Bring the broth to a gentle simmer. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Add the sweet potato, cabbage, and chipotle, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, pick the chicken meat off the bone, trying to maintain large chunks. Reserve the meat and discard the bones and skin.
  5. Add the parsley and reserved chicken meat to the soup and stir until the chicken is warmed through. Taste and add lime juice, salt, pepper, and adobo as needed.
  6. Divide the soup into bowls and top with sour cream, avocado, onion, and Fritos. Serve immediately. Store ungarnished leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 3 months.

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Sohla El-Waylly is a Food52 Resident, sharing new riffable recipes every month that'll help you get creative in the kitchen. Watch her cook on YouTube in her new series, Off-Script With Sohla. Before she started developing fun recipes for home cooks, she worked as a chef in N.Y.C. and L.A., briefly owning a restaurant in Brooklyn with her husband and fellow chef, Ham El-Waylly. She lives in the East Village with Ham, their two dogs, and cat. Find out what else she's up to on Instagram @sohlae

1 Review

Stephanie R. December 18, 2021
Very simple and tasty. I used 5 thighs instead of the chicken legs to good result. Remember to season early in the potato cooking process—I forgot and the potatoes missed out on having more salt.