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Cajun Chicken and Red Bean Soup

From Bon Appetit Executive Chef Mary Nolan

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely diced (1½ cups)
1 medium green bell pepper, finely diced (1¼ cups)
3 ribs celery, finely diced (1¼ cups)
1 small jalapeño pepper, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
2 Tbsp. The Spice Hunter Cajun Creole Seasoning Blend
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (15.5 oz.) can small red beans, drained and rinsed
1 (32 oz.) box chicken broth, low-sodium
½ cup white rice
1 bay leaf
4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. hot sauce
Freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, jalapeño, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and onion is translucent, about 20 minutes. Add chicken, the Cajun Creole seasoning, and salt and increase heat to medium-high. Stir and cook until chicken begins to look opaque, about 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce, red beans, chicken broth, rice, and bay leaf and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat. Stir frequently so that rice doesn't stick to the bottom and cook uncovered for 20 minutes, until rice is softened. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce and check seasoning, adding more salt if desired. Remove bay leaf, ladle into bowls, and top with black pepper (soup will continue to thicken as it sits).

Cajun Chicken and Red Bean Soup is everything that a good Cajun dish should be—full of color, depth and a melding of French, African and Caribbean flavors. An exceptionally warm and hearty recipe, this chicken stew combines warm Cajun spices like smoky paprika and spicy cayenne pepper, chunks of tender chicken, red beans and colorful vegetables. It’s the perfect way to wake up your senses during cooler months and The Spice Hunter Cajun Creole Seasoning Blend makes it easy to master the authentic flavors of Cajun and Creole cuisine. The magic starts with three vegetables known as the holy trinity of Creole and Cajun cooking: onion, bell pepper and celery, sautéed in butter, garlic and jalapeño to unlock their flavors and intoxicating aromas. The Spice Hunter Cajun Creole Seasoning, a masterful blend of red and black peppers, onion, pungent garlic, and warm herbs and spices, adds robust smoky flavor that is savory with a mild kick. As the soup simmers, the various tastes mingle and layer one over the other, creating a deep, complex and delicious flavor. The result is a rich and hearty Cajun chicken soup that’s perfect for a chilly winter weeknight or can be made ahead and doubled for a winter potluck or party. Serve in a wide soup bowl to showcase the array of color, texture and ingredients in the recipe. Don’t forget a crusty baguette to mop up every last delicious drop. This savory and delicious red bean soup brings a taste of New Orleans cuisine to your home in under an hour. Cue the parade!