A Light Soup with Shredded Chicken, Avocado, Lime and Cilantro.
I feel sorry for the people in the world that have that awful genetic trait that makes cilantro taste like dish soap. (It's true! I read about it!) Even Julia Child had called cilantro's taste "offensive" and if she came across it she would "pick it out and throw it on the floor". I also learned through my reading that the Oxford Companion to Food says that word coriander is said to derive from the Greek word for bedbug and that may have come about because some likened the smell of the herb to bedbug-infested sheets. GROSS!
Now I don't know about all that soap and crushed bug nonsense... I love me some cilantro! I love its bright, fresh scent and I keep a bunch on hand at all times in my kitchen. I can't imagine this Chicken Avocado Soup without it.
To all of those cilantrophobes out there, I don't blame you, it's not your fault! Let's all blame it on the OR6A2 gene and be done with it! But don't fret, there may be hope for you... if you want to join in on the cilantro party wagon, try crushing it up! By crushing the leaves it allows the enzymes to gradually change the soapy-scented aldehyde into other substances without any aroma. And what's more crushed than a pesto? Many cilantro haters have found that they can tolerate a cilantro pesto and that has eased them into enjoying cilantro at least a little bit more.
The addition to cilantro in this soup adds an herby freshness that accompanies the lime and avocado perfectly. The recipe is simple and it's a great way to use leftover chicken or even one of those awesomely cheap roasted chickens you get from the grocery store. I wouldn't skimp on the cotija cheese either (and not because it is one of my new favorite things), but because it adds the perfect salty bite to balance out the acid of the lime, but if you must, try adding a touch more salt to the broth.
Chicken Avocado Soup
Adapted from Skinny Taste
2 tbsp olive oil
5 cups chicken broth (I always use low-sodium)
2 cups shredded chicken (about 2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded)
1 tomato, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups scallions, chopped
2 avocados, cut into bite-sized chunks
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp chile powder or cayenne if you want to spice it up.
salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
limes, a couple wedges per person (I like a lot of lime)
sprinkle of cotija cheese
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup of the scallions and garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add tomato and cook for another minute. Add chicken broth, cumin, chile powder, salt and pepper. Stir and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes.
In individual bowls, layer each with 1/2 cup shredded chicken (with a squeeze of lime), 1/2 an avocado, the remaining scallion and cilantro. Ladle in about 1 cup of the broth and top with a sprinkle of cotija cheese. Serve with lime wedges.