Southwest Chicken Chowder

2013 – Gluten Free Living

This is a very tasty and hearty chicken chowder with lots chick peas, black beans, corn, carrots, onions, leeks, potatoes and spinach. It’s seasoned with parsley, thyme, and sage instead of the usual cumin, chilies, jalapenos, or cilantro. I call it southwestern because I added black beans and corn along with the garbanzo beans.

Last week I tried out a delicious new soup recipe with chicken, chick peas, and potatoes, along with many other veggies. I made a few improvements but I wanted to make another batch with some significant differences–black beans and corn–yet, I didn’t want to add cumin, chili powder or a lot of hot spices because we were having small children for dinner who don’t like spicy food. Additionally, I’m not a huge cumin fan so I wanted a way to make a southwestern style soup or chowder without the typical seasonings that go into it. I also needed to make it dairy free due to food allergies from one of my guests. This soup gets it’s thick, chowder-like quality due to using an emulsion blender which purees some of the chicken and veggies. The rest are left whole to provide texture.

Tamara Leigh: The Kitchen Novelist is my inspiration for this recipe. It is her basic recipe with a few twists and turns along the way. Her blog has loads of fabulous entrees. Check it out sometime. If you’re looking for a wonderful healthy, low calorie, gluten free and dairy free chowder recipe consider giving this one a try. I really enjoyed this chowder and I believe you will too, especially if you’re a fan of black beans and garbanzo beans. If you have no aversion to cumin or chili powder by all means consider using that too, but consider tasting it this way first.

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Here’s a picture of this tasty soup. I didn’t puree it completely smooth. I wanted it to still have some of the texture of the potatoes, corn, chick peas, black beans, chicken and carrots.


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Here’s another picture that shows the creamy texture alongside whole veggies.


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This soup is hearty and delicious.


Here’s what I did.

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Salt and pepper chicken breasts and layer in baking dish or pan. I was making a double batch of this recipe and a double batch of Chicken-Chickpea-Potato Soup so there is a lot more chicken than for a single recipe.

Bake chicken breasts in 350 oven. It took about an hour to cook all these because some were not completely defrosted.


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Add a glug of olive oil into a large stock pot.


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Add diced onions.


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I love adding leeks to soups and chowders. Cut off the top green leafy portion and discard.


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Cut the top leafy green portion of leeks. You can see the dirt and sand in the layers of the leeks.


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Here’s another close up. You have to run water over the leeks and peel back some of the layers in order to clean out the sand.


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Here’s a picture of the edges of the leeks next to the top green leafy portion. I allow running water to help rinse away dirt as I peel away a little bit of the leek to get out all the sand.


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Once clean, slice the leeks. Add to the stock pot.


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Add diced celery.


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Peel potatoes and cube.


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Add a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic from a jar to the stock pot.


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Here’s the cubed potatoes. 


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Here the chicken is cooked. Allow to cool enough to handle. Remove all the fat. Reserve any broth from the chicken and add it to the stock pot when adding chicken stock.


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Add thyme.


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Add sage. I prefer rubbed sage rather than ground.


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Here’s a look at the stock pot.


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Add parsley.


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Here’s a look at all the spices added.


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Add salt.


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Add pepper. 


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Stir all the ingredients together.


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Add chicken broth.


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Here I’ve added the potatoes.


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Add carrots.


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Wash and rinse black beans.


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Add black beans to stock pot.


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Add corn. Mine was frozen.


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Rinse and drain garbanzo beans (chick peas).


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Here I’ve added the chick peas to the stock pot.


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Here I’m cutting down the meat.


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Add chicken to stock pot. Allow everything to cook about 30-45 minutes until veggies are tender.


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Slice and chop up fresh spinach.


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Here’s the chopped spinach.


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I used about 1 cup of chopped spinach for each batch.


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Here’s my emulsion blender. I’m not sure what I’ve done without one all these years. I bought it for myself for Christmas!


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I left about half the veggies whole and only pureed about half. It was enough to provide a creamy texture but yet, leave some of the veggies and meat whole.


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Here’s what the chowder looks like partially pureed.


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Add the spinach and stir into hot soup. Serve.


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Here’s the soup with the spinach added.


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Here’s one more view before I ladled it into bowls.


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Here the soup is served!


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This flavorful soup is so filling and nourishing. It’s packed with lots of vitamins from all the veggies added to it.


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This recipe provides 6 substantial portions.


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This view is just a little closer so you can see the great texture of this healthy and appetizing chowder.

Here’s the recipe.


(Recipe inspired from Tamara Leigh: The Kitchen Novelist, Chicken-Chickpea-Potato Soup)


1 glug olive oil

1 cup chopped onions

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

1 leek, green top removed, sliced

1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic from a jar

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. dried sage

1 tsp. ground black pepper

1 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. dried parsley

6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, baked and cubed

2-1/2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced

1-15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup matchstick carrots

1-15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained,

10-oz. frozen corn

3 cups de-stemmed fresh baby spinach, chopped


To large soup pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil; add onions, leeks, garlic, celery, thyme, sage, parsley, salt, and black pepper and cook 6-7 minutes, stirring often, until vegetables are tender. Add chicken broth, chicken, potatoes, chickpeas, carrots, black beans and corn and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook 30-45 minutes until all vegetables are tender. Using an immersion blender, puree soup lightly (you’ll want to retain the texture of some whole veggies and chicken); stir in spinach, immediately remove from heat, and serve. Servings: 6 dinner-sized portions.


NOTE: If you don’t have an immersion blender, puree half the soup in a regular blender (Careful! Soup is hot!), then stir pureed soup back into un-pureed soup.

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You will love this pleasing and mouthwatering soup.


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I’ve saved a bowl for you. Come and enjoy!


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Chicken-Chickpea-Potato Soup

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Vegan Roasted Tomato Basil Vegetable Soup

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Homemade Turkey and Dumplings

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Vegan Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup

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7 Responses to “Southwest Chicken Chowder”

  1. March 3, 2013 at 1:30 am #

    What a delicious creation! With all the yummy goodness in here, this truly is one satisfying chowder. Your picture illustrate is so clear and easy to follow. Thanks for sharing!

    • March 3, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

      We thought this was really tasty. Hope you try it sometime!

  2. January 29, 2013 at 4:42 am #

    Reblogged this on Living Too Large and commented:
    I ran this through Master Cook to get calories and such. This is higher on calories, but it is full of healthy stuff so it would be pretty filling! She says it makes 6 servings. If you do it as 6-servings, the calorie count is 444 per serving and 10g Fat (19.9% calories from fat); 34g Protein; 56g Carbohydrate; 11g Dietary Fiber; 48mg Cholesterol; 1629mg Sodium. Exchanges: 3 Grain(Starch); 3 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 1 Fat. If you made the portion size smaller and ate this in addition to something, you need to watch it! But this seems pretty hearty and delicious!

  3. January 28, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

    Looks gorgeous, Teresa!

    • January 29, 2013 at 11:50 am #

      My company really loved the flavors of this soup.


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