Curried Chicken and Rice Soup

I found the basics of this recipe on Pinterest, but based on my day and budget and what was in my fridge I had to make a lot of modifications. The result was a total keeper. The only thing I might do differently next time is double it because we snarfed it down.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (I used red onion, but white is fine too)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or chopped into bite-sized pieces*
  • 4 cups chicken broth (it would not hurt to use more–the soup was really thick; use more if you like it brothy)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt (this was more than the recipe called for; you do you)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 2 packages steam-in-bag wild rice and long grain with vegetables, cooked**
  • 1 lime cut into wedges***
  • optional garnishes: fresh cilantro, crushed red pepper flakes, shredded coconut

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook for 6-7 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add the chicken, chicken broth, bay leaf, curry powder, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.
  4. Stir in the coconut milk until fully incorporated and bring the soup barely to a boil.
  5. As soon as it boils, turn it down to simmer, partially covered for 20 minutes or so.
  6. When the rice is cooked, add it to the soup and continue simmering until rice is warmed through.
  7. Remove the bay leaf, and taste the soup and adjust with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve warm with a squeeze of lime juice and top with optional garnishes.

* I happened to use leftover pork since I had just the right amount, but a rotisserie chicken would be perfect as well

** This is where the budget came in. The original recipe called for 1 cup of wild rice (and then gave directions on how to cook it separately from the soup), but wild rice is  expensive, so I opted for the frozen bags of rice that had a bit of wild rice but also some regular long-grain rice. An even less expensive option would be to use white or brown rice–leftover would be just fine. I think it’s all good: the point is you’ll need about 4 cups cooked rice and you cook it separately from the soup and add it at the end.

*** You could also add a tablespoon or two of lime juice to the whole soup before serving.

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Slow Cooker Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

This soup is like a hug. Comforting, warming, cozy. A brief note on my alterations is below the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup wild rice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 cup half and half*
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

DIRECTIONS:

Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Place chicken into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in chicken stock, wild rice, garlic, onion, carrots, celery, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours. Add mushrooms during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.

Remove chicken from the slow cooker and shred, using two forks.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Whisk in milk and half and half, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir chicken and milk mixture into the slow cooker. If the soup is too thick, add more half and half as needed until desired consistency is reached.

Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Notes: My family doesn’t enjoy mushrooms whatsoever, so I omitted them. Some commenters noted a lack of flavor, and after a bit of research I figured the mushrooms add umami—and I needed to replace it. Beef broth, fish sauce, and soy sauce were all options, and as it turned out I only had soy sauce in the fridge. It worked wonderfully! I added enough to suit my tastebuds and the flavor was just right. As a final point, the soup does get mushier by the next day but that hasn’t bothered my family.

Lime-Garlic-Coconut Soup

IMG_3226

This is a variation on “Boiled Water” in Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. It was super easy and a great start. I have a couple of ideas for upping the game in the future. Of course, this wasn’t as quite as good as Issara’s Tom Ka soup, but it gave enough of the idea that if I don’t compare side by side, this was a pretty good stand-in until next time I have the real deal.

Ingredients:

  • 6-10 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper,
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3 cups water
  • zest and juice of 2 limes
  • cilantro to garnish

Directions:

  1. Combine garlic, bay leaf, salt and pepper, coconut milk, water, and lime zest in a saucepan or stockpot. Bring to a boil, cover partially, and turn the heat to very low. Let the liquid bubble gently for 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in the lime juice, and strain the soup into bowls. Garnish with cilantro.

**Notes: Bittman recommends ladling this soup over plain white rice, which I didn’t do but sounds good too. I did add some halved grape tomatoes (just raw at the end). I wonder if they would be good cooked in while the soup boils–and mushrooms too? Next time I will add a stalk of lemongrass in with the garlic and see how that goes. I also wonder if a bit of fish sauce would make the flavor more complex (I see fish sauce as an ingredient in many Thai soups).

Slow Cooker Tomato Soup

This recipe, from Damn Delicious (a wonderful resource), makes a great soup that, I think, is incredibly flexible. I’m posting the recipe as is–which is how I made it, uh, mostly–and will post my own recipe notes down below. If I make it again I absolutely will tweak it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes with basil
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

FOR THE PARMESAN CHEDDAR CROUTONS

  • 4 cups (1-inch) French bread cubes
  • 1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. To make the parmesan cheddar croutons, spread bread cubes in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet; sprinkle with cheeses. Place into oven and bake until crisp and golden, about 10-12 minutes, stirring halfway; set aside and let cool.
  3. Place tomatoes into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in tomato sauce, vegetable broth, garlic, onion, bell pepper, tomato paste, oregano, sugar, salt and pepper until well combined. Crush the tomatoes into chunks using the back of a spoon.
  4. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.
  5. Puree with an immersion blender until desired consistency is reached. Stir in heavy cream and basil; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Serve immediately with parmesan cheddar croutons.
**Notes: I added a full pint of heavy cream to the recipe and appreciated that level of creaminess. Next time I will omit the red bell pepper as I think pepper overpowers tomato soups. You can monkey around with the spices just as you would with a canned tomato soup. It can handle more basil, oregano, maybe some onion powder and Italian spices. I also like adding parmesan cheese to my soup before serving. Final note: I didn’t think the croutons were worth the effort. I did use a wheat French bread, but overall the taste was pretty bland. If I were to make them again I’d look up crouton recipes and mess with something to make them more flavorful. However, my favorite thing to eat with tomato soup is grilled cheese. Always. Great soup, with a really lovely texture. If you’re going for flavor alone though, this doesn’t taste that different from canned soups.

Creamy Tortellini Tomato Soup

I found this recipe online and changed the title to represent it more clearly. Pretty sure I added more broth and cream than it called for, but I followed the rest exactly. Loved the addition of spinach! This soup is delicious, though as I wrote on my blog, next time I probably won’t add tortellini or perhaps I’ll try another creamy tomato soup per personal preference.

koselig_tortellini_tomato

INGREDIENTS
1 tbsp. butter
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. flour
3 c. chicken broth
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
3 tbsp. tomato paste
4 c. cheese tortellini
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
3 c. spinach, packed
1/3 c. cream
2 tbsp. basil, thinly sliced for garnish

DIRECTIONS
In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and flour and whisk to combine. Cook 1 more minute.

Add broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, and tortellini. Bring to a boil, and then simmer until tortellini is cooked, about 10 minutes.

Add the cream and parmesan and stir to combine. Add spinach and let wilt. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with basil and serve.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Very flavorful soup adapted slightly from this recipe. Better than what you will buy at most restaurants.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 – 10oz can red enchilada sauce
1 – 10oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
1 – 15oz can chili beans in mild sauce
1 – 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 15 oz can fire-roasted corn, drained
3 & 1/4 cups Swanson Chicken Stock
1/2 t ground cumin
3/4 t paprika
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 & 1/2 t chili powder
4 ounces full fat cream cheese, softened
1 package (8 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
2 cups pre-shredded rotisserie chicken
Toppings: sour cream, avocado, fresh lime, and fresh cilantro

Instructions:

Place a large dutch oven or pot over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Once oil once it is hot and shimmering, add diced onion. Saute, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic and stir for another 30 seconds.

Pour in enchilada sauce, the undrained fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained chili beans, drained and rinsed black beans, drained corn, and chicken stock or broth. Stir to combine and increase the heat to high. While it’s heating through to a boil, add in the cumin, paprika, seasoned salt, pepper, and chili powder. Stir again.

Meanwhile, cube the cream cheese into small cubes (it should be very softened — melt in microwave). Once the soup is boiling, stir in the cream cheese. Briskly whisk the soup until the cream cheese completely melts into the soup. Stir in the grated cheddar cheese and stir until melted.

Stir in the rotisserie chicken.
Serve with your favorite toppings such as sour cream (we use fat free), a chopped avocado, fresh lime juice, tortilla strips, fresh chopped cilantro, pico de gallo, guac, etc. — whatever you like best!

Roasted Cauliflower Soup w/ Turmeric

After accidentally buying a second head of cauliflower, I looked for ways to use up and was intrigued by a roasted cauliflower soup. I combined two recipes, and it resulted in a really delicious soup for a chilly spring night. Total win here. My whole family enjoyed it.

INGREDIENTS:

1 head garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
1 onion, diced
5 cups vegetable stock
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 t turmeric
1 t curry
1/2 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.

Cut head of garlic, about 1/4-inch, to expose tops of garlic cloves. Place garlic head, cut side up, in a sheet of foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Fold up all 4 sides of the foil and cover tightly.

Place cauliflower florets in a bowl and sprinkle with salt, pepper, turmeric, and curry. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil; gently toss to combine. Spread cauliflower out onto baking sheet. Place garlic onto the baking sheet. Place into oven and roast until cauliflower and garlic is tender and golden brown, about 30-35 minutes. Let cool before squeezing cloves from skin.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in vegetable stock, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.

Stir in cauliflower and garlic. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until cauliflower is tender and falling apart, an additional 10 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender until desired consistency is reached.
Stir in heavy cream; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the soup is too thick, add more vegetable stock as needed until desired consistency is reached.
Serve immediately.