Saturday, March 23, 2013

Weekend Cooking; Warm soup for cold weather

Mighty blasts of cold air-that's what I've felt all Spring Break.  No tropical sun or sand sifting through my toes. We spent Spring Break right here in Iowa with a little weekend getaway to Minneapolis which was just as cold.  A freezing Spring Break gave me plenty of inspiration for soup, reading, and writing but zero inspiration for spring cleaning.  I cleaned one room over break.

College Boy (formerly Teenage Boy) -he does turn 18 this April and is almost finished with his freshman year so I think a name change is in order-anyway he spent most of the week enjoying Colorado so it was just Groovy Girl, Big Daddy, and me, all freezing together.  I whipped up two fantastic soup recipes to combat the cold.


Chicken and Green Chili Stew
adapted from Super Suppers Cookbook 2
Judie Byrd

 2 whole chicken (organic or farm-raised) breasts or a small whole chicken
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 T cooking oil
1 4-oz can chopped green chilies, undrained
1 14 1/2-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup chopped carrot
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp black pepper (to taste)

1. Place chicken in a Dutch oven; add enough water to cover chicken. Simmer, covered, 30 to 45 minutes or until meat is falling off the bone.  Remove chicken from the pan.  When cool, shred the chicken meat, set aside.  Reserve the cooking liquid.   I had two leftover breasts from another recipe that I'd tossed in the freezer so I just used those and skipped this step altogether.

2. In a large saucepan cook and stir onion, bell pepper, and garlic in hot oil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.  Add the chicken, undrained chills, undrained tomatoes, potatoes, and carrots, simmer covered, 20 minutes.  Stir in enough reserved cooking liquid to reach desired consistency.  Add salt and black pepper.

My other alteration was to skip the green chilies because I had a half a can of green enchilada sauce from a Mexican dish I made last week so I added that instead.  It was perfect.  Groovy Girl will eat the mild enchilada sauce so I thought this was a safe yet flavorful trade-off.

Suggested sides: Tortillas, shredded lettuce, cheese, chips, or salsa.
We had a salad and some fresh bread from my mom.  All three of us loved this soup and the leftovers made an easy lunch the next day.

(Potato soup )
Because it stayed cold all week and I had time on my hands I made a potato soup two days later that was out-of-this-world delicious.  With a velvety texture this soup, served with more fresh toasted bread, kept us warm while the temperatures dropped outside.  Yes, the temps actually dropped during our break!  The potato soup recipe can be found here at Cooking from the seat of our pants website.

I could eat soup several times a week and I'll definitely make both of these again.

In other news it's my husband's birthday and I cooked up a storm for him today.  We started our morning off with homemade biscuits and gravy from Bev Cooks blog.  Biscuits and gravy are my husband's total weak spot and if we happen upon a diner this is exactly what he orders.  I've done the biscuits before for him and this time I made the gravy myself which was far superior (of course!) than the jarred stuff.  I need a bigger biscuit cutter but other than that the recipe was a huge hit.

My mom and step-dad made him a Guinness chocolate cake on St. Patrick's Day so I made him chocolate chip cookies for an afternoon treat today.  I tried a new recipe and  I loved how soft and chewy they were.  I found it on Pinterest and was happy to see it originally came from KA Flour.

Spring Break comes to an end this weekend (Groovy Girl is already sobbing about this) but I'm cool with it.  There are still so many activities to do with my students and hopefully Spring is around the corner...although the word on the street is that snow is predicted for tonight and tomorrow.  Seriously.

Have a mighty peaceful day!

This post is linked to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking meme.  Click over and find many other food related posts like this one.