Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup

I am currently recovering from carpal tunnel surgery and cannot use my hand at the moment. However, my mom made my family some super tasty homemade Chicken Noodle Soup from a combination of her recipe and mine. It was so good...I want to share it with you. 

In a large stockpot, combine: 4 chicken thighs (with skin and bone), 3 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless), 2 boxes of chicken broth, 4 boxes of water (fill the broth boxes with water), 3 ribs of celery, 1 onion (quartered), a sprig or 2 of parsley, and 2 tbsps chicken base. Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour and a half to 2 hours. 

In the meantime, you can chop  into bite-sized cubesabout 3 or 4 potatoes and about a cup of baby cut carrots. 

After the soup has simmered for the hour and a half to 2 hours, using a mesh strainer, strain the broth into another stockpot. Then, strain it again into the original stockpot you cooked the broth in. Taste the broth. It should be pretty flavorful. However, if it isn't to your liking, add more chicken base.

Add the potatoes and carrots to the broth. Cut up the chicken. Be sure to use the yummy thigh meat. (Removing the thigh meat from the skin and bone takes some time and is quite messy but soooo worth it!) Add chicken and some chopped fresh parsley. 

In a separate pot, cook your noodles for the soup. This batch of soup, we made egg noodles. I have also used farfalle (bow-ties). When done, drain noodles and add to chicken soup.

Serve and enjoy!!!

Did I enjoy it? I really did. Chicken soup is so good when you are sick, recuperating, or just wanting to be cozy on a cold winter night.

Would I recommend it?  Yes, I would.

Will I make it again?  Absolutely!

If you make it, let me know what you think!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tomato-Basil Soup

Tonight was another soup night for my husband and I. I made one of our absolute favorite recipes guessed it!...The Best of Cooking Light cookbook. (I know, I know...I should just change the name of this blog to 'Why I love Cooking Light.') Anyway...I made Tomato-Basil Soup

This is a very easy recipe to make. The one change I made to it was to use an immersion blender instead of transferring the hot tomato and juice mixture to a traditional blender. The immersion blender - which I received as a Christmas gift a few years ago from my sister-in-law and her husband for this soup alone (yes, that is the only reason I asked for it and the only thing I have used it for thus far) - makes the soup so good and so much easier to make. No transferring it, no unnecessary mess. Easy.

Usually, when we have a garden in the summer, we will boil and peel our excess ripe tomatoes and freeze them. Then, I use those tomatoes in this soup in the winter. However, I did not have fresh tomatoes this time around. I used canned peeled tomatoes and the soup was almost as good! 

Did I enjoy it? Absolutely positively, YES! It is very fresh tasting and easy to make. We serve it with sourdough bread. 

Would I recommend it? Yes, I would!!!

Will I make it again?  Most definitely!!!

If you make it, let me know what you think!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Spicy Mulligatawny

I wanted soup on this cold, wintry night. So, I went to my trusty The Best of Cooking Light cookbook (surprising, I know) and I found this recipe, Spicy Mulligatawny. It looked good and I had most of the ingredients on hand - YAY!

This was an easy soup to assemble. You can chop all of the ingredients before hand - earlier in the day even - and have it ready to put together. You could probably even mix the five dry ingredients together before hand so that all you would have to do is dump it in when it is time.

The ingredients were easy to find. I found the curry powder, ground ginger, and mango chutney in the ethnic section of my local grocery store. This grocery store also sells the brand Badia spices which are a lot cheaper (like a fourth of the price) than the name brand counterpart that everyone knows. Badia is found in the ethnic section of this grocery store as well. 

The only change I made was I used a 32 oz box of broth as opposed to the two 14.5 oz cans. A little more broth. I don't think it made a big difference...the soup was still a nice, thicker consistency.

Did I enjoy it? Yes. Yes, I did. It was sooooo tasty. It was also spicier than I had expected but it was good spicy. My husband thought it was spicy but that it could have been spicier. Too each his own. I think he would have liked it if I had used a spicy mango chutney instead of the sweet chutney. I liked the sweet chutney and I think it would have been too much heat. Again, to each his own.

Each step smelled so good. The sauteing of the apples, onions, carrot, celery, and pepper was delightful. Then that smell changed and got better when the dry ingredients went in. And, oh my, the rest was heavenly. It made me look forward to eating it. That's how good it smelled.

Would I recommend it? Yes, I would especially if you like spicy food.

Will I make it again?  Yes, I will!!!!

If you make it, let me know what you think!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Maple-Mustard Glazed Chicken

Tonight, I didn't feel like cooking soup. I felt like cooking though. So, I found this - Maple-Mustard Glazed Chicken - in my January/February 2012 issue of Cooking Light Magazine. The picture looked tasty.

It was fairly easy to make. The ingredients were simple enough. The stone ground mustard was probably the most difficult thing to find...I had to search in the mustard section for a few minutes before I found a small jar of it. I used the syrup I had on hand, a reduced calorie light syrup. 

I served it with rice (sushi rice) and edamame. (I didn't have any other vegetables on hand that I felt like cooking.)

Did I enjoy it? I did but my husband liked it more than I did. I was expecting it to be sweeter, but it wasn't. And I expected more garlic flavor, but there wasn't that much garlic taste. My three year old son ate it and seemed to enjoy it. 

Would I recommend it? Yes, especially if you are tired of the same old chicken recipes. It is something different.

Will I make it again?  Yes because my husband really liked it. I would like to try the glaze on pork. That may be good as well. Hmmmmmm.....

If you make it, let me know what you think!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Wedding Soup

In an effort to eat a bit more healthily...and not eat so much...the husband and I are eating a lot of soup. So, tonight I made wedding soup. I cannot remember where I got the recipe or from whom - it may have been a cousin. Here it is:

In a large stock pot, combine:

  • 2 boxes chicken broth
  • 3 boxes water (I fill the broth boxes up with water)
  • 4 chicken wings or thighs (I usually use thighs - bone in, skin on)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Cook for 40 minutes to an hour. Add 2 tbsp chicken base. If you do not have or cannot find chicken base, you can use chicken bullion for the flavoring. I've used bullion in the past and it does work, just not as well. Cook for a half an hour. Taste the broth at this point, add more base if it is needed or desired.

Remove the chicken from the broth, strip the wings/thighs from the bones and skin, cut it up into small, bite-size chunks/pieces.

Prepare the egg mixture.
  • 2 eggs, beat with a fork or a whisk
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
    • beat or whisk together
      • add grated Parmesan cheese to the mixture and whisk
        • add enough to make it thick
Prepare the little meatballs.
  • 1/2 - 1 lb ground meat (I use the 92% lean ground beef.)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 - 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • mix above
    • roll into little tiny meatballs
      • do not precook!
Bring the broth to a boil, turn down the heat. Slowly pour in the egg mixture. Cook for 10 minutes. Cut through egg mixture with a spoon after the 10 minutes have elapsed.

Add to the broth and egg mixture:
  • the cut up chicken
  • chopped carrots (However many you want. I usually use about a cup of the baby cut carrots and cut those into thirds.)
  • 3/4 cup small pasta (I use the little pasta balls. You can use any kind of little pasta that you would like...orzo, small shells, etc...just use however much you want. You do not want to overload the soup with pasta.)
  • spinach (1 package of frozen, chopped spinach - thawed and drained.)
  • little meatballs 
Cook soup until the meatballs are cooked through. 

Serve and enjoy!

Did I enjoy it? I did and so did my husband.

Would I recommend it? I would. As I said, it is tasty and relatively easy - just a bit time consuming when rolling the meatballs and cutting the chicken. I had forgotten how easy it was. The last time I made this soup was about seven years ago. (I kind of forgot about it. Oops!)

Will I make it again?  Yes, I will. And sooner than seven years from now!!! Probably in a few weeks or so. =)

If you make it, let me know what you think!