For better or worse, here I am—trapped in paradise. As long as I continue to live in this vital, inimitable spot on the globe,

I will continue to seek out the unique…the delicious…the innovative products, services and traditions of San Luis Obispo County.

Stay posted for a few of my favorite things.

About Me...

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A wanderlust at heart... captivated by the California Central Coast. Join me on my culinary and vino-infused adventures as I explore and discover the regional novelties of San Luis Obispo County that make living here...easy to stay...and hard to leave.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

SLO Spicy

There's no doubt about it: I'm a workaholic. Or, maybe simply an "Elizaholic" as a friend recently described me, which apparently doesn't convey a connotation quite as grim. Regardless, I tend to take on too much, ignore my own needs, and eventually my body screams for a break, allowing pesky airborne bugs to invade my normally tranquil immune system and bring me to a halt.

Over the last ten days I've worked my tail off to build someone else's business; attended the Cuesta College Writers' Conference; spent time editing and submitting a story by a fellow JET Alumni for Sushi and Sake Magazine; stressed about my up-and-coming close of escrow and unexpected expenses; spent time with family and friends; and repeatedly driven to the far reaches of San Luis Obispo County, bringing local wineries a glimpse of exciting wine and film events that will transpire in March as we prepare for the 16th Annual San Luis Obispo International Film Festival. Sometimes I have to remind myself to eat.

This afternoon, as my run-down body screamed for some TLC and the paranoia of catching the swine flu increased every time I turned on the news, I decided to brew up a batch of tasty, anti-oxidant rich, spicier-than-hell chicken soup...guaranteed to scare off any bug that dared to attack my cells. I vaguely remembered a Rachael Ray recipe for Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup that I used to enjoy and decided to throw a few key ingredients together to provide my weary body with a much-needed fiery elixir. Simple. Flavorsome. Beneficial. Be well!

SLO Spicy Fall Soup

Use organic ingredients whenever possible...

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large sweet onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 chopped chipotle peppers in adobe sauce
(buy a small can and freeze the remaining peppers)
28 oz. can crushed tomotoes
32 oz. vegetable or chicken broth
16 oz. mixed frozen vegetables of your choice
(I haven't had time to visit the farmer's market these past few weeks)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
Salt & pepper to taste

Sautée onion, garlic, oil, salt, pepper, and oregano over medium heat in a large pot until onion is translucent (10 - 15 minutes). Add chicken and stir often for 10 additional minutes. Add remaning ingredients, stir well, and cover pot. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 45 minutes - 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Ladel into bowl and cool slightly before imbibing. This recipe will feed 4 - 6 people and pairs nicely with a loaf of heated whole-grain bread drizzled with olive oil. Leftovers freeze well, or let the flavors meld in the fridge overnight for an even tastier (and spicier!) lunch or dinner the next day.

Spicy on the tongue. Hot on the finish. Prepare to feel better.

All Text and Photos Copyright © 2009 by Elizabeth in SLO. All Rights Reserved.


Fresh Local and Best said...


I hope you find a good balance. I remember a time in my life that was just as busy, forgetting lunch is symptomatic of it.

This recipe looks good! I'm sure all of that chipotle chili and garlic will help keep you healthy.

Devon said...

This is a great post. My New York apartment is already getting cold. This spicy soup could warm me up.

Anderburf said...

This looks really good and perfect for a cool fall evening! I just got some organic pepper and Himalayan sea salt from Sustainable Sourcing and I think I'll try them both out in this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

Jess said...

I just found your blog after reading one of your comments on Green Grapes Blog! It's lovely. I was in SLO once, and a great friend took me to Big Sky Cafe. As a foodie, this was a great culinary treat! Look forward to following your blog. I write about local foods in MA over at

Corinne said...

Elizabeth, I will try this soup!

It looks easy enough AND I ADORE the fact that you can freeze it and it is still good to go! This paired with some hearty whole grain goodness Ezekiel bread will be awesome:)

Perhaps ... I can throw some grapes in it! Ha! Just kidding:)

Keep in touch,

PS I love your photography! Your pictures make me anxious for my California return ... and Napa:)

Shawn said...

That soup looks pretty good.

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