The New Year brings with it resolutions for self-improvement, hope and dreams, and a fresh start. But it is also that time of year where colds are being spread amongst family and friends. (That must be why January is National Soup Month.)
If you find your body rebelling against returning to work and post-vacation responsibilities, this slow cooker soup might be just what you need! Curl up on the couch with some warm tea, a good book, and a bowl of chicken noodle soup.
Chicken Noodle Soup
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 4 C water
- 4 C chicken broth
- 2 stalk celery, sliced
- 1-2 carrots, sliced
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/8 C dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 6 oz dried noodles, any kind you like
- Combine all ingredients, except noodles, in a slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 5 hours.
- Remove chicken and cut meat (away from the bones if you used bone-in chicken) into bite sized cubes. Return the chicken to the soup and add the noodles. Note: Traditionally, egg noodles are used in Chicken Noodle Soup but if you don’t have any use your favorite shaped pasta. Cook on LOW another hour, or until noodles are cooked.
*This recipe is adapted from Diana at http://southernfood.about.com/od/crockpotsoup/r/bl43c14.htm*
Now that the weather is getting cooler I thought it’s time for another soup recipe. And this Chicken Tortilla Soup fits in nicely with Mexican Monday!
I made the chicken stock on Sunday so that my weeknight prep time would be shorter. If you want to shred your chicken instead of cubing it, it’s best to do while it’s hot out of the poaching liquid. Because I cooked the chicken/stock the night before I simply cubed it before adding it to the soup Monday evening. Even though my prep time was much shorter, the soup cook time was longer than the original recipe declared, I left the soup on the stove for about an hour and a half. But with soup, the longer it stews the better!
I also left the heat factor out of the soup because I was making this for childhood taste buds. I provided hot sauce on the table for the adults to flavor our soups.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Ingredients for stock:
- 3 large chicken breasts
- 8 C water
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 onion, left whole
- 1 jalapeno, left whole
- 1 tsp pepper
Ingredients for soup:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can corn, drained
- 1 can diced roasted tomatoes
- 1/4 C cilantro (I used 2 ice cubes)
- Make stock by combining all ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken and shred/cube. Strain and reserve the broth.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat saute onion and bell pepper in olive oil. When translucent add in garlic until fragrant. Stir in spices. Pour in the chicken broth. Bring to a gentle simmer and add in the cooked chicken, beans, corn, tomatoes, and cilantro. Allow soup to cook for at least 20 minutes for the flavors to combine and chicken to be warmed through.
- Serve with shredded cheese and tortilla chips for garnish.
*This recipe is modified from Patricia at http://www.patriciaspatticakes.com/2013/10/spicy-chicken-tortilla-soup.html*
While in Hawaii Stuart had the idea for me to recreate the foods we ate for my blog. Our favorite meal of the trip was at a little French restaurant in downtown Hilo. I haven’t attempted making crepes yet, but I do know how to make French Onion Soup.
I made this recipe back in 2011 after finding it on Kelsey’s Essentials on Cooking Channel. I altered the recipe slightly this go-around to utilize Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions, adjusted the liquid amounts for a desired consistency, and added more cheese.
French Onion Soup
- 3 lb onions, sliced and caramelized – less 1 C
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 C white wine
- 1 tbsp flour
- 4 C beef broth
- 2 1/2 C chicken broth
- 4 rolls bakery bread, cubed
- 1/2 lb swiss cheese, shredded
- Melt 1 tbsp butter in a large pot. Add the caramelized onions, season with thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for five minutes.
- Stir in the flour, mixing well. Pour in white wine and bring to a boil for five minutes. Season again with S+P.
- Add in both broths and bring to a simmer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the broiler. Ladle soup into individual ramekins. Top each ramekin with cubed bread and cover with shredded cheese. Broil for about 4 minutes until cheese begins to brown.
My first truly culinary post is in honor of the woman who introduced me to the kitchen, my Busia. (Busia, pronounced boo-sha, is the Americanized Polish word for grandmother.) Busia didn’t teach me how to cook in the ways you might traditionally think of a grandmother teaching her granddaughter, but she did welcome me into her kitchen and let me be her sous chef – peeling carrots and potatoes and chopping veggies. And even still, my favorite part of making dinner is all the prep work! It might be the engineer in me though too – I love trying to keep everything the same size while I’m chopping.
If I had to choose just one recipe that makes me think of my grandmother, it’s her cheese soup. There are potatoes and carrots that need to be peeled and chopped along with celery. I don’t recall ever chopping the onion when I was younger, but it’s one of my favorite foods to dice now that I’ve learned the proper technique from watching countless hours of Food Network.
To me, the most comforting smell in the kitchen is the smell of onions sautéing in butter! And I think this recipe is the reason why.
While I was preparing the soup yesterday afternoon, the smells of Busia’s kitchen came into mine and I knew she was looking down on me, making sure the milk wouldn’t curdle when I added it to the roux and didn’t burn on the bottom of the pot.
I think it’s true when they say the secret ingredient is love, because it turned out perfectly.
Busia’s Cheese Soup
- 6 tbsp butter
- 1/2 onion
- 6 tbsp flour
- 4 C warmed milk (I heated it in a glass bowl in microwave for ~4:30)
- 4 C boiling chicken stock (I did this on the stove)
- 4 carrots, peeled and diced
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed (The potatoes will break down a little bit during cooking time)
- 1 lb Velveeta, cubed
- In a large pot, melt butter. Add onion, season with salt, and cook until translucent. Add the flour and whisk until combined and a roux is formed, be careful not to let it burn.
- Add the warmed milk and whisk until combined. Add in the boiling chicken stock and the vegetables. Let simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Melt in the Velveeta – it’s best to do it in batches, making sure the cheese melts completely before your next addition. After all the cheese is incorporated, let warm back through completely and serve.