When you have a bad day, sometimes the only cure for it is good, comforting food. This Spicy Chicken Soup with cannellini beans, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms will help get you through even the worst days. Plus, you'll have forty minutes while the chicken is cooking to get some good moping in.
Skill Level: Easy
Time to Make: 1 hour 30 minutes (30 minutes active)
1 whole, small chicken (3-4 pounds)
3 large cloves garlic
2 small onions
2 stalks celery
1 red Fresno chili (optional)
10 ounces cremini mushrooms
1 tablespoon chili paste (harissa or sambal oolek or even srircha)
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 14.5-ounce can of cannellini beans
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup torn bread (no crusts)
1/3 cup parsley
2 tablespoons butter
Prep Ingredients: Lightly mash the garlic cloves and set aside. Finely dice the onion and celery. Quarter the mushrooms. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into medium sized cubes. Mince the parsley. Drain and rinse the beans.
In a large French oven, heat a slick of canola oil over medium high. Add the whole chicken into the pot and cook until well browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Pour in about 7 cups of water (enough to cover the bird) and the three cloves of garlic. Cook for about 40 minutes or until the thickest part of the bird registers 160ºF. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside in a large dish.
Bring the broth to a boil and cook until reduced slightly, about 15 minutes. Drain the broth through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Discard the garlic. Allow the broth to cool in front of a window. Wipe out the pot.
In the same pot, heat another slick of canola oil over medium high. Once hot, add the onion, celery, and Fresno chili (if using). Cook, stirring regularly, until beginning to brown and soften, 7-8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until browned, an additional 7-8 minutes. Add the chili paste and fish sauce and continue stirring.
Remove and discard as much of the fat from the chicken as you can. Dump the broth into the pot with the vegetables and bring to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes and 1 teaspoon chili powder and cook for 25 minutes, or until softened.
Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat with two forks, discarding the skin.
As the sweet potatoes cook, heat the butter in a skillet over medium high until hot. Add the torn bread and cook, stirring regularly, until toasted and crusty, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and toss with half the minced parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
Once the potatoes are fork tender, add the beans and shredded chicken and the remaining parsley. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
To serve: Divide soup between bowls. Top with toasted bread and parsley. Enjoy!
Designer and photographer living in NYC. I work as a design manager in ed tech and I make tasty recipes in my spare time!