How much pumpkin have you consumed already? Tis the season. I made pumpkin smoothies all last week, and I was really underwhelmed. I don’t know if it’s because I might just be tired of smoothies
for once or the pumpkin just wasn’t doing anything for me. Pumpkin cookies from Cougar Mountain Baking Company and a Big Black Jack Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter from Oakshire Brewing were had last week, too. It could be that I still don’t feel adequately prepped for fall. I feel like I missed the transition while I was in Thailand. How’s that for rationale?
While it wasn’t pumpkin, I did have a heavenly parsnip squash puree at A Cena last week with three giant scallops, roasted delicata squash, and brussels sprouts. That was much more fall in my mouth than any pumpkin thing I’ll have in the next month or so.
More than pumpkin season, it’s soup season. I use season loosely because I’m game for a bowl of piping hot soup any time of the year. I’ve probably eaten at least six bowls of soup in the last few weeks [you try going to Southpaw Deli and not eating their soup]. This little number came from a little slow cooker action.
Okay, timeout. Am I the only one who bounces between the term slow cooker and crock pot because I can never settle on one? I swear it just depends on my mood.
Regardless, the result was a deliciously thick soup, especially after a day camping out in the fridge. Leftover soup is the best. Since fresh corn has disappeared from the markets, I switched over to frozen. I prefer the texture 100x more than canned. Instead of getting some sour cream for garnish, I opted on a high quality white cheddar cheese. I couldn’t bring myself to splurge on the avocado, but it would have been dang delicious. Try out the bone-in chicken thighs if you can. It’s cheaper and the bones will impart even more flavor. The chicken will be so tender when all is said and done that you really won’t be doing much more than fishing them out. It’s easy.
Inspiration: The Kitchn
- Canola oil, optional [or whatever neutral oil you have on hand]
- 1 medium sized onion, chopped [someday I’ll weigh these things]
- 1 large jalapeño, diced [keep the seeds if you want to spice things up]
- 3 garlic cloves, minced [I’ve been storing peeled cloves in the freezer]
- 2 tablespoons Mexican-style chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 can fire roasted tomatoes, liquids drained
- 15oz can tomato sauce
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 10oz bag frozen corn
- 15oz can black beans, drained
- 3lbs bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
- salt, pepper
If you want more flavor, sauté the onion and jalapeño in the canola oil until it’s soft. It should take 5-7 minutes depending on how crowded your pan is. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar. Stir until all the veggies are coated with the seasoning paste. Your house will smell delicious, and the flavor later will be leaps and bounds better. I did this the night before so I didn’t have to worry about it in the morning.
Pour the veggies into the bottom of your slow cooker and top with the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chicken stock. Add the corn, black beans, and healthy pinch of salt and pepper and thoroughly mix before nestling the chicken thighs into the tomato mixture. Cover and set on low for for 6 to 7 hours minimum. Mine cooked for nearly 10, and was so fall off the bone tender. Shred the chicken and remove the bones before serving.
Topping options: shredded cheese, avocado slices, cilantro, sour cream, yogurt, tortilla chips, etc.