Last night I made a Chili-Lime Chicken Vegetable Soup as my entry in a soup-making contest to help raise awareness of SoupBee. Soup Bee is a social enterprise run out of the West Broadway Community Organization. I was excited about the competition for a few reasons. I think social enterprises are a great concept. I’ve connected on an off with some of the programs out of the West Broadway Community Organization. The event was held at a place I’ve had a chance to visit, the Knox Community Kitchen. Finally, I got a chance to actually cook together, in a fashion, with some of my food blogger pals.
The main organizer of the event was Shel Zolkewich, who can’t be thanked enough for all the hard work she put in. One interesting aspect of the evening was making soup while being videoed. Fortunately, our videographer, Ian McCausland made that all go smoothly. Soup making is hungry work. Happily, that was tastily taken care of with snacks from Ben Kramer of Diversity Foods.
My inspiration for my recipe was the fact that in the days leading up to the competition it had been incredibly cold. I figured that something that heated people up from the inside would be a great idea. I knew that chili and lime make a good combination. Monday morning, I headed up to the FoodFare on Portage Avenue to pick up my groceries. FoodFare had graciously provided each contestant with a $50 gift certificate to purchase ingredients.
When the contestants had arrived at the church, we were instructed to claim a station, which featured a stock pot and a ladle from London Drugs in St. Vital, along with three soup bowls courtesy of Avon.
One of the things that made the evening so great, was getting to meet the friends and family members of my fellow bloggers. Having no friends to speak of and no family that I’m willing to admit to (just kidding), I attended on my own. There was probably a couple of dozen or more people in the kitchen at anyone time, but the atmosphere was full of laughter, and everyone did all they could to help each other out when necessary.
My recipe is below. The first two parts were done at home, but there was still plenty to add to the soup when I got to Knox.
Chili-Lime Chicken Marinade:
2 lbs – boneless, skinless chicken. I used a mixture of breast and thigh meat.
Juice of two large limes
2 small yellow onions
1 medium sized piece of ginger
2 cloves garlic
1-3 tbs of chili flakes depending on your preference.
1/4 cup Canola Harvest Canola oil
1 cup of water
2 lbs carrot
1 med yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 small piece of ginger cut in two or three
Put in a pot, bring to boil and let simmer for two or three hours
Creating the Final Product:
I turned on the gas burner underneath my stock pot. I added about an 1/8 cup of Canola oil to the bottom of the stock pot. I had the heat up quite high. When I went to add the marinated chicken it made a bit of a splash. No one was hurt. So, while I was giving the chicken a little bit of a sear, I started chopping.
4- leaves bok choy, green and stem
1 – red onion chopped
3 – sticks celery
100 g – snap peas
1 – large portabello mushroom
1 – yellow pepper for colour
2 – tbs chilies, most of what was in the marinade remained behind.
1 – juice and zest from one lime (the limes were large so I didn’t zest the entire thing).
I let these ingredients boil and simmer away. One thing I would have done a little differently was start a little later. We had 90 minutes, and 60 minutes would have been an ideal cooking time. Just before the 90 minutes were up, I tossed in a package of brown rice vermicelli. Then in the last couple of minutes I added:
2 – tbs of Sriracha sauce
4- Piri Piri peppers chopped fine
With that my Chili-Lime Chicken Vegetable Soup was complete. Well, I did add a spring of mint and one of basil as garnish.
My creation didn’t turn out to be either first or second. Those honours went to Getty Stewart and Rebecca Hadfield. However, I was pleased with the soup I made. Especially since I had only decided that morning what I was going to make. I look forward to the opportunity to participate in more of these events. It was nice to take hope the stock pot, soup bowls, and ladle, but the best part was getting to share time in the kitchen with some wonderful people, and to enjoy their creations.