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white bowl filled with Southwestern Chicken Soup with Avocado-Cheese Garnish

Southwestern Chicken Soup

Southwestern Chicken Soup has a slightly spicy, uber-flavorful broth combined with tender chicken, onion, peppers, garlic, lots of spices (cumin, chili powder, coriander), corn and a surprise ingredient – hominy! It’s finished with an Avocado-Cheese garnish that both adds color and ensures this scrumptious soup will satisfy any appetite.

  • Yield: 4 to 5 servings 1x



(See gluten-free adaptations in the Notes section at the bottom of the recipe.)

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 (3 inch) jalapeno or serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, pressed or chopped
  • 5 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1 (25 ounce) can hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • Kosher salt, to taste


  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
  • Grated Cheddar cheese
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salsa or chopped fresh tomatoes
  • Lime wedges


  1. In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno pepper and garlic. Stir in the cumin, chili powder, coriander and oregano. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, around 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Stir in the chopped chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in 4 cups chicken broth and half of the drained hominy. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for around 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Place the remaining 1 cup chicken broth and hominy in a blender and purée. Stir into soup along with corn. Bring to a simmer and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let sit 5 minutes. Season to taste with kosher salt (shouldn’t need much).
  4. Ladle into bowls and serve with garnishes alongside. Warmed corn tortillas make a nice accompaniment, too.


Gluten free: use gluten-free broth.

Make ahead: Soup can be made up to 2 days in advance, covered and refrigerated. Add garnish just before serving. Can also be frozen. May need additional broth after freezing.

  • Author: Lee Clayton Roper
  • Category: soups, gluten free, dairy free