Sunday, January 18, 2015

White Chicken Chili

What goes good with an day of football?  Chili!  We decided to mix it up and try a creamy White Chicken Chili tonight.  Do you like it hot?  Or you a wimp like me?  You can control the spiciness with the hotness of the green chilies and amount of cayenne pepper you use.  Serve with chips and enjoy!

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

1 pound chicken breasts
1 small yellow onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
4 cups chicken broth
1 4 oz. can diced green chilies
1 1/2 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 8 oz package neufchatel cheese
1 can yellow corn
2 cans cannellini beans
1 tbsp lime juice
fresh chopped cilantro
shredded monterey jack cheese
tortilla chips

Slice chicken into 1/2 inch cubes. Add oil to a large pot and set to medium high heat. Once the oil is hot add chicken. While the chicken is cooking, finely chop the onion and add the onion and garlic the the pot with the chicken. Once the chicken is fully cooked and the onion is soft, add the chicken broth, chilies, cumin, paprika, oregano, coriander, and cayenne pepper, then bring to a simmer. Drain and rinse the cannellini beans. Take 3/4 of one can and puree it with 1/4 cup of the broth from the pot. Cut the neufchatel cheese into small chunks and add it and the pureed beans to the pot. Simmer and stir until all of the cheese if melted and well mixed. Drain the corn and add it and the remaining beans to the pot. Add the lime juice and cook over medium low heat for at least 15 more minutes until everything is heated through. Serve topped with chopped cilantro and monterey jack cheese and a side of tortilla chips.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Zuppa Toscana - Olive Garden Copycat Recipe

I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and some time off!  Yes, I know it has been a few weeks since I last posted.  I decided to take a few weeks off from blogging to enjoy spending time with family and friends, and we even  managed to sneak in a quick vacation.  Now it's back to reality and Soup Sundays!

The Hubby and I had a craving for Olive Garden this weekend, but decided our wallets would appreciate a break.  So, we brought Olive Garden to us!  Tonight's recipe is a copycat of Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana and of course our meal wouldn't be complete without warm, buttery, homemade breadsticks.  Check out our recipes for both below.  Enjoy!

Zuppa Toscana Soup

Zuppa Toscana

1 pound Italian sausage
4 slices thick cut bacon
3 large russet potatoes
1 large onion
3 cups chopped kale
3 garlic cloves
8 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
2 cups half and half
ground white pepper

Begin by browning and draining the Italian sausage and set aside for later. While the sausage is cooking, peel and chop the onion. Start to fry the bacon in the same pan used to fry the sausage. Once it is a few minutes from done, add the onion and minced garlic and continue to cook until the onion becomes soft. Separate the bacon and remove excess grease. Drain the grease from the onion and set aside for later. Chop the bacon into half inch pieces. Peel the potatoes and chop them into half inch cubes. In a large pot bring the water, chicken stock, and potatoes to a boil for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and add sausage, bacon, onion, half and half, and white pepper to taste. Heat the soup through - the longer, the better. 15 minutes before serving, add the kale.

Garlic Breadsticks

3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup water
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Add yeast and 1 tsp of the total 2 tbsp of sugar to a cup of warm water, mix and let sit for 10 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups flour, vegetable oil, remaining sugar, salt, and the water-yeast mixture to a mixer bowl. Mix at low speed until everything has come together and then add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour. Continue mixing until you've got a solid ball of dough. Grease a large bowl and place the dough in it, covered, in a warm area to rise for an hour. Split dough into 12 pieces and roll/stretch them into nine inch sticks. Grease a baking sheet, place the sticks on it, cover, and allow to rise for another hour. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. While baking, melt butter and mix in salt and garlic powder. Once out of the oven, spread the butter mixture over the breadsticks.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  We spent time with family, put up all of the Christmas decorations, and enjoyed a little R&R (thus why it's Monday and I'm writing this post).  Sunday rolled around and not feeling up to braving the cold, we scrounged up what we could find in our cupboards and fridge to make this week's soup - Loaded Baked Potato.  Enjoy!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Loaded Baked Potato Soup

6 medium russet potatoes
1 medium yellow onion
1 pound thick cut bacon
8 oz cheddar cheese
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups skim milk
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp season-all
1/4 tsp black pepper

Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Add potatoes and chicken stock to a large stock pot and simmer covered for half an hour, or until potatoes start to become soft. Uncover and turn town the heat to medium low. While the potatoes are simmering, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the bacon for about 25 minutes. This should get you extra crispy bacon that won't get mushy in the soup. Baking is the only way I cook bacon any more. Finely chop the onion and saute with garlic and butter until the onion becomes soft. Add the milk, sauteed onion, and garlic to the soup. Once the bacon has cooled crumble into 1/2 inch pieces. Slowly stir the cheese into the soup. Once all of the cheese has melted add the bacon, season-all, and pepper. Heat and stir for 10 minutes, then enjoy!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Creamy Tomato Soup

This was a busy, but productive Sunday for us. We got the house cleaned and partially decorated for Christmas. All of our chores that had been piling up are finally taken care of. Our credit cards are hot and Amazon stock is up. We're trying to do 100% of our Christmas shopping online this year so we don't have to fight the crowds. With all of this we still managed to come up with a tasty and incredibly simple soup. In searching for recipes we found that people seem to think tomato soup needs carrots, onions, and twenty other things. So we came up with our own recipe, paired it with grilled cheese, and had a great dinner.

Creamy Tomato Soup

Creamy Tomato Soup

2 28 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp basil
1 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Blend one can of tomatoes and 3/4 cup whipping cream until tomatoes are broken down and no chunks are left. Pour the mixture into a large stock pot and repeat for the other can of tomatoes and remaining whipping cream. Stir in seasonings and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. Serve with grilled cheese.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Egg Noodles

Winter reared it's ugly head this week in Minnesota!  We got a few inches of snow and ice, and it sounds like the cold temps will be sticking around for a while.  Growing up, my mom always made homemade Chicken Noodle Soup on days like today, so we tried our hand at this classic.  My favorite part about this soup are the homemade egg noodles.  My advice - take a few extra minutes and make your own noodles, you won't regret it.  Enjoy!

Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Egg Noodles

Chicken Noodle Soup

4 chicken breasts
10 cups chicken broth
6 medium carrots
3 large stalks celery
1/2 tsp pepper
Homemade Egg Noodles (click here for our recipe or if you are in a hurry you can find Egg Noodles in the freezer section)

Bake the chicken, let cool, then shred.  Coarsely chop peeled carrots and celery. Add 10 cups of chicken broth to a large stock pot and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken, carrots, celery, and pepper and simmer for 3 hours or until carrots and celery are cooked through. With 15 minutes to go, add the egg noodles and return to a simmer. Serve hot.

Homemade Egg Noodles

I remember my mom would make her Chicken Noodle Soup in huge batches, enough to feed an army (or our family of 6 for a week), and this meant there would be egg noodles drying on every flat surface in the house.  I thought my mom slaved over these noodles, but then I found a recipe and tried it for myself.  I couldn't believe how easy these were to make.  Nothing makes Chicken Noodle Soup like homemade Egg Noodles!  It may add an extra 15-20 minutes to your prep, but it is totally worth it.

Homemade Egg Noodles

Homemade Egg Noodles

3 egg yolks

1 whole egg
6 T cold water
2 tsp salt
2 cups flour

In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk eggs until well mixed. Beat in water and salt. Stir in flour with a spoon until combined . Once combined, separate into two balls.  Roll each ball out thin and cut into thins strips using a pizza cutter.  Allow noodles to dry on a baking sheet with parchment paper (or a clean cheese cloth).


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mom's Classic Chili

With temps dropping and a big winter storm moving in tonight, it was time to break out Mom's Chili recipe.  I know it's not technically "soup," but we were looking for something hearty for dinner and to have for lunch tomorrow.  This is my go to recipe for a classic chili.  In fact, I still use the original recipe my mom e-mailed me while I was in college.  Don't forget the Fritos Scoops, cheddar cheese and sour cream to make this dish!  Enjoy!

Mom's Classic Chili
Mom's Classic Chili Recipe

2 pounds hamburger
2 cans chili beans
1 can light kidney beans
1 29 oz and 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 8 oz can tomato paste
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Brown the hamburger and drain. Add browned hamburger, tomato sauce, and tomato paste to a large pot over medium heat. Add all spices and simmer for 3 hours. Add chili beans and kidney beans. Simmer for another 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.