Every year during Lent my home church, Good Samaritan Lutheran Church in Las Vegas, hosts Wednesday evening simple soup suppers followed by a short service. For the past four years, my church’s global mission team, of which I am a part, has added a ‘global twist’ one Wednesday out of the year, featuring ethnically inspired soups and using the event as an opportunity to generate awareness of issues happening around the world.
This year’s line-up included Chilean Cazuela (a chicken & vegetable soup), Indian Lentil Soup, Split Pea Soup with exotic spices, and the familiar chicken noodle soup. My contribution, the Chilean Cazuela, was taken from the 2010 Global Mission Lenten Series website, coordinated annually by ELCA Global Mission, which lifts up a different country each week.
Week Four’s Chilean Cazuela recipe was simple, yet delicious, but a bit difficult to follow because there was some uncertainty as to the portions of each ingredient. Also, I didn’t have the patience to cut corn-on-the-cob into two-inch slices, nor cook the rice separately. Here’s my version of the recipe, which yields around 25 modest servings. You can adapt accordingly to fit any size crowd:
2 3/4 pounds sustainably farmed, free-range, grass fed chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
2 whole butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
6 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
7 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 11-oz. cans of corn
3 32-oz. boxes of low sodium free range chicken broth
1/2 cup uncooked rice
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot pepper sauce
Throw all of the ingredients, except for the cilantro and hot pepper sauce, into a large soup kettle, preferably at least 10 quarts in size. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 25 minutes. Add a pinch of the minced cilantro and apply the hot pepper sauce liberally before serving.
The original recipe on the ELCA Global Mission website was the contribution of Karen Anderson, who serves with ELCA Global Mission in Chile to support and improve the health and well-being of women and children. As at this year’s event, we raised funds for ELCA World Hunger Appeal, I found this quote from Karen especially important:
“We know now that the intolerable hunger in the world is not due to scarcity – it is a question of justice and sharing. For the first time in history, our generation has the tools, technology, and resources to end hunger and extreme poverty – yet we lack the political will. If people would share there would be enough to go around for the more than 1.4 billion people living on less than US$1.25 a day – the majority of whom are women.”
At the dinner we also sold fair trade coffee, tea and chocolate from Equal Exchange, which we buy in bulk through Lutheran World Relief. Buying fair trade is not much more expensive than buying conventional products, helps farmers in developing countries to earn an income for themselves that is not possible with the intervention of middle-men in the non-fair trade process, and promotes fair wages, children’s rights, women’s rights, the right to organize, environmental rights, and indigenous rights.