Soup Supper Idea

Vegetable Soup for a Crowd
Image by grand grrl via Flickr

Do you need a quick meal that is filling, nutritious, and doesn’t take long to make? I want to share a soup I made for a large group at my house recently. We had a mix of older folks and younger ones. They all wanted recipes so that is always a good sign. I hope you will enjoy it, too.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
1 tablespoons minced garlic
3 cups chicken broth
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup mild picante sauce
1 (15-ounce) can ranch-style beans, undrained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
½ teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon paprika
2 cups chopped cooked skinless chicken breast
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Tortilla chips, optional
Shredded Cheddar cheese, optional
Sour cream, optional

Heat olive oil in large pan like a soup kettle or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrots, and garlic. Cook until onion is tender, about 7 minutes.

Add broth, tomatoes, picante sauce, beans and spices. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes.

Add chicken and cilantro and heat thoroughly.

Ladle into soup bowls. Top with tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream if desired. Serves 8.

We served crackers, Dilly bread, and cornmeal muffins with it, as well as a relish assortment.

Tomorrow I’ll post the other soup we served – totally different and totally good!

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Summertime Flavors

White hot chocolate.
Image via Wikipedia

What tastes best to you at this time of year: hot soup or cold salad? hot cocoa or cold lemonade? hot chili or ice cream?

Our tastes change with the seasons. The weather makes a big impact on what we think tastes good. When the weather turns warm or hot, we are more apt to reach for cold drinks and cold foods. Likewise, when it gets cooler in the fall, our thoughts turn to soups and hot meals.

Children and adults are often more thirsty than hungrey in the summertime. It is at times like these that vegetables served with a dip and cheese cubes, some chilled fruit in season, and a cold drink taste extra good.

Here is a refreshing cold drink for these warmer days. Plus, it uses strawberries which are now in season.

Strawberry Slush

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)

Children can rinse and hull strawberries. Cut large ones in half and place in a container. Cover and freeze until firm.

Place all ingredients in blender. Blend for about 10 seconds. Pour into a glass and drink.

Makes 2-4 servings

This recipe is taken from Amy Houts’ cookbook, Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids: Hoiday and Seasonal Food and Fun. You can buy your own copy of this cookbook at Amazon. Check it out!

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How to Make Hot Soup on a Cold Day

New England clam chowder. Source: http://pdpho...Image via Wikipedia

This late January weather is reminding us we are still in the winter season. Many places have lots of snow and ice. Staying warm can be a problem. What better way to warm up than with a bowl of hot soup?

Today I want to share a thick, veggie-filled soup recipe that will have you chopping and enjoying its rich aroma. So get out your chopping boards, a large soup pot, and lets get to it.

Veggie Chowder (“chowder” means it’s a soup with fish, clams, or vegetables, with potatoes, onions, and other ingredients and seasonings).

1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
5 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
2 cloves chopped garlic
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
16 oz. frozen corn
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, saute carrots, celery, and onion in butter over medium heat. Onions should be transparent, or clear, and soft. This will take about five minutes.

Add the canned vegetable stock, spices, and garlic. Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, you can peel and dice the potatoes and add them to the pot. Add the frozen corn and bring mixture back to a boil.

Reduce heat. Stir in the cream and half-and-half and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Do not let this mixture boil, but only let it simmer.

In small bowl, add cornstarch. Slowly add 1/2 cup of water while stirring, keeping it free of lumps until it is very smooth. Then pour this mixture slowly into the hot soup, gently stirring until the soup thickens slightly. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls. Add a little chopped parsley for garnish, or chop green onions (with some of the green stem) and sprinkle over top. Mmmm, very tasty.

Now you have soup that took just a little longer than opening a can of commercial soup but just look at the wonderful ingredients you have added! You know what is in your soup. You made it yourself and it tastes great.

For other soup recipes, check out Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids by Amy Houts. In it she provides a wonderful Easy Chicken Noodle Soup recipe. Check it out!

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