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Southwest Chicken-Chipotle Soup

(favorite of Josepha, wife of Kit Carson)

According to grandaughter Leona Wood, Josepha Carson was mad for this soup. And no wonder. It's smoky, piquant, filling, beautiful to look at--and an explosion of textures on the tongue. Serve hot to 2 as a meal--or to 4 as a first course.

Garnish: 1 cup grated Monteray Jack cheese and 1 chopped avocado

Heat the stock in a large saucepan, then stir in the chicken, rice, chickpeas, chipotle pepper, and oregano. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes, until all ingredients are heated through.

To serve, ladle into bowls and top with cheese and avocado.