Archive for Soups

White Bean Chicken Chili

Happy New Year!!! It’s hard to believe that 2016 is already upon us. We know that we were a bit off the grid in 2015, but one of our resolutions is to get back in the kitchen and bring you more fantastic recipes and cooking tips. It’s not that we haven’t been cooking, we have just too busy to blog about it!! Anyway, here is the first recipe of the New Year: White Bean Chicken Chili! I had a few people over on New Year’s Day and made three different types of chili…a) Traditional Chili b) White Bean Chicken Chili 3) Vegetarian Chili. They were all great, but the overall consensus was that this was the favorite because it was so different and not too spicy.  Don’t worry, the others will be posted in the days ahead!!! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 30min; Cook Time – 3-4 hours

Ingredients:

6 lbs. chicken, poached and shredded

4 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced

2 onions, finely chopped

2-4 oz. cans green chiles

6-15 oz. cans small white beans, rinsed, drained, & divided

12 cups chicken broth, divided

4 T. olive oil

1 T. dried oregano

1 T. cumin

Garnishes, if desired:

Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Cilantro

Sour Cream

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Large pot

Crock pot

Immersion Blender

Preparing White Bean Chicken Chili:

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté jalapeños and onions in oil for 3-4 minutes or until they start to soften. Add shredded chicken, oregano, cumin and chiles. Mix well. Set aside. In a medium bowl, add three cans of beans and 4 cups of broth. Using an immersion blender, mix well.  Add to chicken mixture and stir. Transfer to crock pot. Add remaining beans and broth. Put on low for 3-4 hours. Serve hot with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and cilantro, if desired. 

White Bean Chicken Chili

Important Tips:

You can easily make the entire dish the day before and then just pour it into a crock pot  about 4 hours before you want to serve it. If you do this, put the crock pot on high instead of low since you are starting out with the ingredients being cold instead of at room temperature or warm.  

Meal Ideas:

I had made a bunch of traditional cornbread to serve with all of the chili. I had so much that I decided to turn some of it into jalapeño cheddar cornbread to go with the white bean chicken chili. It was a pretty great pairing if I do say so myself. 

Got Leftovers?:

Any leftovers can easily be frozen into individual sized portions with resealable freezer safe bags. 

Black Bean Chili

Black Bean Chili

The soup I originally planned to make last week was black bean soup. However, once my taste tester tried it, she said I needed to call it black bean bean chili instead because it had the consistency of chili, not soup. If you want it more soupy, just don’t use the emersion blender. 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 10 min; Cook Time –  40 minutes

Ingredients:

1 package of sun dried tomatoes (not in oil)

1 c. boiling water

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 ancho chiles in adobe sauce, diced

2 T. olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 c. water

1 28 oz. crushed tomatoes (undrained)

3 15 oz. cans black beans (2 undrained, 1 drained)

Sour cream (for garnish, if desired)

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Emersion Blender

Preparing Black Bean Chili:

Place sun dried tomatoes in a small bowl. Add boiling water and cover. Set aside. 

Heat oil in large soup pot over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add ancho chiles and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add cumin, water and crushed tomatoes with the juice. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add black beans and continue simmering for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. 

Black Bean Chili

Drain and chop the sun dried tomatoes. Add to the soup and cook for 10 more minutes. Using your emersion blender, puree the soup to desired consistency. 

Serve in a bowl with a dollop of sour cream, if desired. 

Black Bean Chili

 

 

Roasted Tomato and Tarragon Soup

Martha Stewart's Roasted Tomato and Tarragon Soup

As you can tell from the last couple of weeks, I’m trying to make a new soup at least once a week. It’s cold and soup warms you quickly from inside out. As I was looking at recipes, I found Martha Stewart’s Roasted Tomato and Tarragon Soup and decided to give it a try. I’ve never been a huge fan of tomato soup because I’ve always thought it was too thin. This was actually the prefect consistency! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 min; Cook Time – 90 min.

Ingredients:

4 pounds plum tomatoes, halved
2 medium yellow onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more for thinning
2 tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Emersion Blender

Preparing Roasted Tomato and Tarragon Soup:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss together tomatoes, onions, garlic and oil; season with salt and pepper.

Arrange vegetables in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

Martha Stewart's Roasted Tomato and Tarragon Soup

Bake until tomatoes are deep brown in spots and onions are soft, 45 minutes.
Transfer vegetables and all juices to a large dutch oven or heavy pot. Add chicken broth and bring to a rapid simmer.

Martha Stewart's Roasted Tomato and Tarragon Soup

Cook until slightly reduced, about 25 minutes.
Using an emersion blender, puree until smooth. (If you don’t have an emersion blender, working in batches, puree in a blender and return to pot).

Martha Stewart's Roasted Tomato and Tarragon Soup

Stir in tarragon and season with salt and pepper. If necessary thin with additional chicken broth. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.

Martha Stewart's Roasted Tomato and Tarragon Soup

Meal Ideas:

This soup is delicious on it’s own, but I’m not going to lie…a nice toasty grilled cheese is a great compliment!

 

Lentil Soup with Fresh Herbs

Lentil Soup with Tarragon and Thyme

Lentil soup with fresh herbs is the kind of thing that you eat and you think to yourself “I am eating a bowl full of health.” There is no guilt in this soup whatsoever and it is absolutely amazing. Of course, you do need to like lentils otherwise this soup isn’t for you! If you’re not into kale or leafy greens, just don’t add that ingredient…the soup will still be delicious without it! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 min; Cook Time – 1 hour

Ingredients:

1 T. olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 T. fresh tarragon, chopped

1 T. fresh oregano, chopped

1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped

1 tsp. sweet paprika

5 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

7 c. vegetable broth

2 c. lentils

2 bay leaves

2 c. kale, torn into bite sized pieces (or other leafy green of your choice)

 1 1/2 tsp. salt

Fresh ground pepper

Preparing Lentil Soup with Fresh Herbs:

Preheat a large pot over medium heat and add oil.

Lentil Soup with Tarragon and Thyme

Sauté the onion and carrots for about 8-10 minutes or until onions have browned. Add the garlic, tarragon, thyme, oregano and paprika.  Sauté for 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the vegetable broth, lentils, bay leaves, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Discard bay leaves. Stir in kale until it wilts. 

Lentil Soup with Tarragon and Thyme

Important Tips:

Fresh herbs really are the key to this soup. It will be good, but not amazing with dried ones. 

White Bean and Tarragon Soup

My friend Kayla is one my guinea pigs when it comes to trying out new recipes. Since we have very similar taste in soup, she usually gets half of what I prepare due to the large quantity that a single soup recipe typically makes.  After last week’s Southern Italian Chicken Soup, we were trying to brainstorm what kind of soup I haven’t tackled yet…and still keep it healthy. We found this White Bean and Tarragon Soup from Serious Eats (February 5, 2009). It doesn’t look like there is much to it, but I will tell it is delicious and filling! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Prep Time – 10 min; Cook Time – 30 min.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

3 14 oz. cans white beans, drained and rinsed

3 bay leaves

2 T. butter

1 T. olive oil

5 scallions, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 cups vegetable broth

1/4 fresh tarragon, chopped and divided in half

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Potato Masher

Preparing White Bean and Tarragon Soup:

In a large heavy soup pot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat until the butter begins to foam. Add the scallions and stew for 2-3 minutes, then add the carrots and garlic. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the beans and stock and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaves and half the tarragon leaves, turn down to a simmer, and cook for 15-20 minutes until the beans are falling apart. Remove the bay leaves. Blend with potato masher until you have reached your desired consistency. If you like your soup smoother, use an emmersion blender.

Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve with the remaining chopped tarragon, a drizzle of olive oil, and fresh black pepper, if desired. 

White Bean and Tarragon Soup

Variations:

Next time I might throw in some fresh kale or spinach. How can that possibly be bad, unless you don’t like leafy greens??!!!

 

Southern Italian Chicken Soup

Southern Italian Chicken Soup

I think I have already established the fact that when it’s cold, I make soup! Now that my family eats homemade chicken noodle soup, I thought I’d go out on a limb and make this Southern Italian Chicken Soup that I found in Southern Living. I loved everything about this soup and it was my lunch for days. 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 50 minutes of hands on time

Ingredients:

1 large onion, diced 
1 celery rib, thinly sliced
2 carrots, chopped 
1 garlic clove, minced 
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 
6 cups chicken broth 
1 (15.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
4 (6- to 8-oz.) skinned and boned chicken breasts 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
2 cups sliced fresh okra
1 (15.5-oz.) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 (9-oz.) package refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini 
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Dutch Oven

Preparing Southern Italian Chicken Soup:

1. Sauté first 4 ingredients in 2 Tbsp. hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in broth and next 3 ingredients; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with salt and black pepper. Cook in remaining 1 Tbsp. hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Cool slightly (about 5 minutes); cut into 1-inch pieces. (NOTE: When I made the soup, I actually used poached and shredded chicken since I already had some on hand). 

3. Add okra, black-eyed peas, and chicken to Dutch oven.

Southern Italian Chicken Soup

Simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until okra is tender.

Southern Italian Chicken Soup

Add tortellini, and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until tortellini is done. Serve with Parmesan.

Southern Italian Chicken Soup

Variations:

I might throw in some fresh spinach or kale next time just for fun. 

Meal Ideas:

As with any chicken soup, it goes nicely with a hot grilled cheese sandwich!

 

Low Fat Potato Soup

I love soup, especially when the temperature dips into the 20s and teens like it is this week! I avoid creamy fattening soups because, well….I just don’t like to eat them. I found a recipe for a low fat potato soup in Cooking Light (January 2013) that I thought would be a big hit with my family. It takes some time to prepare, but well worth it. Part of the secret to making this healthier than traditional baked potato soup is the pureed roasted cauliflower. My son tried it and LOVED it. Of course, he had no idea that he was eating cauliflower, or a low fat soup. I just told him that if he liked baked potatoes he would like the soup!! Score one for Mom!!

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 35 min; Cook Time – 1 hour

Ingredients:

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 
1 cup chopped onion 
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
5 garlic cloves, chopped 
1 pound cubed peeled baking potato (about 2) 
1 pound cubed Yukon gold potato (about 4)
5 cups unsalted chicken stock (I actually used salted chicken broth)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 bay leaf
1 pound cauliflower, cut into florets (about 1/2 head)
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided 
Cooking spray 
1 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk (to cut the fat more, I used 1% milk)
3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
1/2 cup fat-free fromage blanc or sour cream (I used light sour cream)
2 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup)
4 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Blender

Preparing Low Fat Potato Soup:

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, thyme, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes, stock, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until potatoes are very tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf.

3. While potatoes simmer, combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, cauliflower, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray; toss to coat. Roast at 450° for 30 minutes or until browned, turning once.

4. Place cauliflower mixture and milk in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour cauliflower mixture into a large bowl. Add half of potato mixture to blender; pulse 5 to 6 times or until coarsely chopped. Pour into bowl with cauliflower mixture. Repeat with remaining potato mixture. Place cauliflower-potato mixture in Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 cup green onions, and fromage blanc; stir until fromage blanc melts. Ladle soup into 8 bowls. Top evenly with remaining green onions, cheese, and bacon.

Low Fat Potato Soup

Variations:

You can put any topping you want on the soup. Just think of what you would normally put on top of a baked potato. Clearly if want to cut the fat even more, don’t use bacon and use a minimal amount of cheese.

Got Leftovers?:

This soup heats up very well. It’s a good thing because this recipe makes a lot of soup!