Showing posts with label soups/stews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label soups/stews. Show all posts

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Slow Cooker Cheeseburger Soup

So delicious - this will definitely be added into my favorite recipe file. I added a few dashes of Tabasco sauce before turning on the slow cooker to add a little more spice. Definitely try this with the pickles and ketchup as garnish - sounds weird but adds to the flavor! I served this alongside Texas Toast and a green salad.

Slow Cooker Cheeseburger Soup

Saturday, December 10, 2011

White Bean and Chicken Soup with Pesto

While browsing through my mother's Sandra Lee magazine (I know, clutch your pearls in horror) I saw several recipes that I thought would be good for weeknight dinners. This easy, comforting soup was one of them. And it actually doesn't really use any pre-packaged processed food, unless you count the ready-made pesto. The white beans go nicely with the shredded chicken in a tasty broth. The pesto on top ends up just getting mixed into the soup of course, so if you don't like the taste of pesto, just skip it as a garnish.


I let the soup simmer a little longer than the recipe suggests both before and after the chicken is added. And if you are making shredded chicken instead of using a rotisserie one from the store, make sure you season it nicely with salt and pepper. I did not and I think it would have added even more flavor to this. Serve with a few slices of Texas Toast and a green salad!



White Bean and Chicken Soup with Pesto

from Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade magazine, Christmas 2011 issue

makes 5-6 servings


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup carrot, chopped

2/3 cup celery, chopped

3 cups low-sodium chicken stock

2 1/2 cups water

2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon garlic powder

12 ounces roasted pulled chicken (I used a pound of shredded chicken)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

6 tablespoons prepared pesto


In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook 5 minutes or until tender.


Add stock, water, beans, tomato paste, and garlic powder. Stir to mix and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer, partially covered, for at least 20 minutes.


Add chicken and vinegar, simmer 5 more minutes or until heated through.


Serve immediately and top each bowlful with a tablespoon of pesto.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cheesy Chicken, Bacon, and Rice Soup

With no end in sight to the snowfall here in the Northeast, a good hearty soup is an ideal dinner. This was more of a very thick stew than a soup but it was delicious and filling. The cheese, rice, chicken, and bacon are superb all together and there are a whole bunch of veggies in there to make it a complete meal.

I saw it on Picky Palate and made it according to the orginal recipe from smithfield.com (link below). The only thing I changed was to use a pound of shredded chicken breast instead of a store-bought chicken. To make this even better, serve with some Texas Toast! :)

Cheesy Chicken, Bacon, and Rice Soup

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pasta Fagioli Soup

Mmmm, the first slow cooker meal of the season, and it also happens to be a soup! Perfect comfort food while I am awaiting the changing leaves and pumpkin picking with Abbie. This recipe is actually a little reminiscent of the last soup I blogged, but easier to make and tastier in my opinion.

Fairly easy to prep, with browning the ground beef and chopping the onion the only real work you have to do. The cayenne pepper gives it a little kick and the broth is nice and rich with the beef and tomato taste. Add some Parmesan cheese to give it a nice salty bite and enjoy this while watching the leaves fall!

Pasta Fagioli Soup
Makes 6-8 servings

1 can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped (I omitted)
2 (10.5-ounce) cans beef broth
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, broken apart
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil
3 cups dried pasta, cooked (I used elbows)

Combine all ingredients but pasta in a 4 to 7-quart slow cooker. Cook on Low for 8-10 hours or High for 4-5 hours. At the end of cooking time, add the cooked pasta and serve immediately.

Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hamburger, Macaroni, and Bean Soup

As you can see by the picture, my attempt at this didn't really result in a soup. I made a big mistake and put the whole pound box of macaroni into the soup instead of just one cup. But I added some more ingredients and it ended up delicious anyway! It was more of a pasta, beef, and bean dish with a light tomato sauce coating everything.

I gave you the original recipe below, but put my changes for the thicker pasta dish in parentheses in case you want to try that version instead. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve with some crusty bread!

Hamburger, Macaroni, and Bean Soup
slightly adapted from The Big Book of Soups & Stews
Makes 6 servings (a lot more)

1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon oil, if needed
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
6 cups beef stock or broth (8 cups)
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce (2 cans)
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni (1 pound)

In a large pot over medium heat, combine meat, onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook, breaking up meat, until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add oil if needed to keep from sticking.

Add remaining ingredients and increase heat to high; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until macaroni is tender and flavors are blended, 15-20 minutes.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Chicken Cacciatore Ravioli Stew

This was a great little recipe that was fairly easy to make for my lunches this week. I love the idea of sauteeing the mushrooms in the rosemary and thyme to give the soup a richer flavor base. And this made a TON of soup, which gave me lots of leftovers to put in my freezer for another week!


I used less than the amount of chicken the recipe recommends, and there really wasn't enough. So I would suggest using the full pound of chicken, which I boiled and shredded into bite-sized pieces. This soup has so many delicious flavors, you could even leave out the ravioli if you were watching carbs (but I wouldn't)!

Chicken Cacciatore Ravioli Stew
slightly adapted from The Sisters' Cafe
Makes 6-8 servings


3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper
1 (15-ounce) can stewed tomatoes with peppers, onions and celery
2 roasted red peppers, drained and finely chopped
8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 package chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
6 cups chicken broth
3/4 to 1 pound chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
14-ounce package bite-size cheese ravioli
shredded Parmesan cheese, for servings


Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over med-high heat. Add minced/pressed garlic and rosemary and thyme. Add the mushrooms, and stir occasionally, 3-5 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper.


Add stewed tomatoes with their juices and roasted red peppers. Break the tomatoes up a little bit with your spoon. Add spinach, tomato sauce and chicken broth. Stir until the spinach is all broken up in the broth.


Add the shredded chicken and bring liquid to a boil. Add the ravioli and cook until al dente, 4-5 minutes or according to package instructions. Serve with Parmesan cheese and Italian bread if desired.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Meatball and Vegetable Stew

I saw this recipe while flipping through my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and was astounded at how little prep time it entails. True, it's not a "made-from-scratch" stew, but it looked good enough for me to take for my lunches this week to work.

After reading the fat content on the original recipe I decided to look for turkey meatballs instead. I found them in the meat aisle, not the frozen food section - look for Shady Brook already-cooked turkey meatballs if you want to make this lighter as well (and cut them in half, as they are rather large). Also, the picture on the website is much more appetizing than mine; but what can you expect, it's comfort food!

Meatball and Vegetable Stew
Makes 4 servings

1 16- to 18-ounce package frozen cooked meatballs
1/2 of a 16-ounce package (about 2 cups) loose-pack frozen broccoli, corn, and red sweet peppers, or other mixed vegetables
1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes with onion and garlic, or stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 12-ounce jar mushroom gravy
1/3 cup water
1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil, crushed

Place meatballs and frozen vegetables in a 4 quart slow cooker.

In a medium bowl, stir together tomatoes, gravy, water, and basil; pour over meatballs and vegetables.

Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Smoky Turkey Tomato Soup

My dad fried a turkey for Christmas Day and my mom gave me a ton of leftovers. We have been out at different events so much we haven't been home to eat it! So I decided to make some soup to freeze for lunches instead.

You can certainly change out some of these ingredients if you would like - or add some! Some additional add-ins could include diced green chiles, salsa instead of the tomatoes, or some green peppers sauteed with the onion. Be creative!
Smoky Turkey Tomato Soup
from Colleen's Kitchen
Makes about 6 servings
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 large onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 14.5 ounce cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 14.5 ounce can petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups diced cooked turkey
coarse ground black pepper, to taste
Heat oil over medium-high in large saucepan or Dutch oven; add onions and saute until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add chile and garlic, saute 30 seconds more.
Add broth and tomatoes; turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium, add turkey, and cook until turkey is heated through.
Serve with toppings of your choice: shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro, crushed tortilla chips, etc.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Spicy Potato Soup

Well after a few very busy weekends and exhausting my supply of "lunch" soups from the freezer, I am back to making soup for lunches! My mom gave me this recipe a few weeks ago with a good recommendation so I put it on the top of my list. I had almost all of the ingredients hanging out in my freezer too so it was perfect timing!

This soup is very tasty and filling, along with a wonderful aroma that made everyone in the lunch room jealous! As per my mom's suggestion, I used frozen hash browns instead of regular potatoes - makes for a lot less work. She also suggested additions of peas and/or some orzo at the end of the cooking time if you wanted to get some green veggies or even more carbs in there!

Note: If you are having trouble draining your ground beef out of the deep sauce pan, use a baster to get all the fat out of there! This makes a very generous 6 servings - I even got Chuck to take some into work and he loved it!

Spicy Potato Soup
from Taste of Home
Makes 6 servings

1 pound ground beef
4 cups cubed peeled potatoes (1/2-in cubes) (or 4 cups hash browns, defrosted)
1 small onion, chopped
3 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
4 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 teaspoons pepper
1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

In a Dutch oven or large kettle, brown ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.

Add the potatoes, onion and tomato sauce. Stir in the water, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until the potatoes are tender and the soup has thickened. Serve with parmesan cheese if desired.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

I am warning you now that this soup is not healthy for you. With the milk, half and half, sour cream, butter, and bacon all going on in here; it's definitely not diet food! But it is quite tasty and is a great soup for a cold night.

When you are bringing the milk and half and half to a boil and then simmering, it may seem like nothing is happening and then all of a sudden it get thick and creamy. The original recipe below calls for cooking the bacon in a skillet but I really think it's easier to bake it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or so until crisp. It's much easier and less messy than frying it on the stove.

Serve with some warm bread and a nice green salad!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup
from Culinary Infatuation
Makes 6-8 servings

5 medium yukon gold potatoes
1 stick of unsalted butter (I use 1/2 stick)
1/2 cup flour (use 1/4 cup if you are halving the butter)
1 medium yellow onion diced (about 1 cup)
3 cloves of garlic minced
6 cups 2 % or whole milk
2 cups half and half
3 Tbs. fresh basil chopped (or chives)
1 tsp. fresh nutmeg grated
8 strips bacon chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. freshly grated black pepper
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Wash potatoes and poke holes all over with a fork. Bake potatoes at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes until cooked completely through. Let cool.When potatoes are cooled, dice and put to the side(I leave the skin on).

Melt butter in a large dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute a minute longer. Add the flour and whisk until combined and smooth (about a minute).

Pour in milk, 2 cups at a time combining the roux until fully incorporated. Whisk in the half and half and nutmeg. Turn heat up to medium high and bring to a simmer. Let simmer gently for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While you are bringing the soup up to a simmer add bacon to a medium size skillet and cook until crispy (about 10 minutes).

Remove from heat or turn to low heat and add potatoes and basil. Use a masher and mash potatoes until soup becomes thick. (You can do this before hand in a processor, or mash in a separate bowl.)

When soup is the desired consistency; whisk in sour cream and cheese. Remove bacon from skillet with a slotted spoon and add to soup and serve.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chicken Braised in White Wine

This recipe is one of my tried-and-true favorites. (Well, as tried-and-true as you can get when you have only been really cooking for 2 1/2 years - haha) Plus, the name just makes it sound so fancy, doesn't it? I discovered last year that braising is one of my favorite ways of preparing meat. Braising simply means cooking with "both moist and dry heat; typically the food is first seared at a high temperature and then finished in a covered pot with a variable amount of liquid, resulting in a particular flavour" (Wikipedia).

I have changed a lot of the amounts in this recipe, in order to make more servings with not as much meat. The key ingredient to this dish is the demi-glace; which is a thick paste made from simmering stock and aromatics for hours and hours, resulting in a highly concentrated flavor. Look here for a better idea of what it is. And before you get excited about the price, you don't need to buy demi-glace to still have a similar flavor in this dish. Go to your local supermarket and pick up some Better Than Bouillon for about $5.99 and you will be all set. You can find it near the soups and soup mixes.

That being said, this dish is excellent. The slow-cooked meat paired with the potatoes, onions, and mushrooms is delicious, especially when highlighted by the white wine and demi-glace flavors. Mmmmm....

Chicken Braised in White Wine
adapted from Williams-Sonoma
Makes 4 servings

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
8 oz. white button mushrooms, quartered
1 cup white wine
1 tablespoon chicken demi-glace
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs or 2 teaspoons dried parsley, plus more for garnishing
2 fresh thyme sprigs or 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1 to 1 1/2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Preheat an oven to 375ºF.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat evenly.

In a deep oven-safe sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the chicken and brown on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

Add remaining tablespoon olive oil to pan. Add the onion and mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the wine and demi-glace. Set the pan over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the demi-glace, about 5 minutes.

Return the chicken to the pan and add the garlic, parsley, thyme, bay leaf and potatoes. Bring to a boil, cover and transfer to the oven.

Cook until the chicken is very tender, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, remove the bay leaf, garnish with parsley, and serve immediately.

Ready to go into the oven...

And after...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Buffalo Chicken Chili

Chuck and I both love buffalo-style chicken, either as wings, or on a pizza, or in a salad; so when I saw this recipe over on Everything Rachael Ray I decided to give it a whirl. Chuck was not crazy about it, but after tasting it, I have already decided on the modifications I will make next time, which are below. I really liked it though, and have it for lunch today!

He said it was not thick enough to be called a "chili" which I think is partially my fault because I forgot the crushed tomatoes. So I had to use diced tomatoes with their juice, so that added more liquid. That and I think there was too much chicken broth. I may actually try this next time in a slow cooker for a few hours so that it really thickens up and absorbs all the flavor. But please, give it a try and let me know what you think!

Oh, and I am a blue cheese freak so in addition to the chips, I also added more crumbles to my bowl! Yum!

Buffalo Chicken Chili
slightly adpated from Rachael Ray
Makes 4-6 servings

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 tablespoons butter
2 pounds all-white meat ground chicken breast
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
5 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon smoked paprika (you can substitute with chipotles or chipotle chili powder)
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken stock or broth
1/4 to 1/2 cup hot sauce, depending on how hot you like it
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
several handfuls of tortilla chips
about 1 cup blue cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 375°F or broiler to medium.

Place a large pot over medium-high heat, add 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon, and the butter. Once the butter has melted and the pot is hot, add the ground chicken. Brown it, using the back of a wooden spoon to break it up in to small pieces, about 5-6 minutes.

Add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, paprika, bay leaf and some salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3-4 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the hot sauce, tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes, and bring up to a bubble. Simmer for 8-10 minutes to let the flavors come together.

While the chili is simmering, spread the tortilla chips out on a cookie sheet. Top with the crumbled blue cheese and transfer to the oven to melt the cheese, about 4-5 minutes. If using the broiler, 2-3 minutes should do the trick.

Remove the bay leaf from the chili. Top each serving of buffalo chicken chili with a few blue cheese-topped tortilla chips.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

White Bean and Chicken Chili

This is a nice, easy chili to make on a weeknight when you don't have a lot of time to spare. It definitely doesn't have that "slow-cooked" taste that I personally think a chili should have, but it's good if you need it quickly! Although I am eating a bowl of it right now for lunch, the day after, and I have to say it tastes even better now than it did last night!

The chili powder and cumin combine to make a slightly spicy, creamy chili and the peppers and onions really add flavor. I left out the pickled jalapenos on purpose but meant to buy some diced green chilis at the supermarket and just forgot. They will definitely be added in next time; along with some chives sprinkled on top. Serve with cornbread or tortilla chips!

White Bean and Chicken Chili
from Bon Appetit, October 2008
Makes 4 to 6 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapenos or 4.5-ounce can diced green chilis, drained
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
14.5-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth
2 15-ounce cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 pound shredded chicken breast
1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream
Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno or chilis; saute until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes.
Add garlic, chili powder, and cumin; saute 1 minute. Add broth and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and simmer until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add beans, chicken, and half and half. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls and serve.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tomato Ravioli Soup

This is a great soup to make if you have 15 minutes to spare and want something warm and comforting. I have to apologize for the picture though, I was making this for lunches in the middle of making dinner and didn't have time to snap anything of merit.

I used mini raviolis because I had them leftover but the recipe calls for tortellini. And make sure you whisk the cream cheese and broth fully together otherwise you end up with the little cream cheese dots like I did!

Tomato Ravioli (or Tortellini) Soup
from Jo's Kitchen
Makes about 4 servings

2 14.5 ounce cans chicken broth
8 oz. frozen mini ravioli, tortellini, or other bite-sized filled pasta
4 ounces cream cheese (preferably chive)
1 can condensed tomato soup

Bring chicken broth to a boil in medium saucepan; add pasta and cook 5 minutes. Whisk together cream cheese and 1/3 cup hot broth in separate bowl; add back into saucepan. Add tomato soup and heat through.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hearty Beef Stew

This is a perfect stew for an brisk autumn night. Rich broth surrounding beef, potatoes, peas, and carrots is only improved upon by what bread you serve with it. Make sure it's something that can sop up every last morsel!

Make sure you leave yourself enough time to make this. Not once, but TWICE have I not given myself enough time for that last hour in the oven after the potatoes and carrots are added. Thank goodness it can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. If you don't have enough time to make it before dinner, just make it one night and serve it the next!



Hearty Beef Stew
from America's Test Kitchen via Good Things Catered
Makes 4-6 servings

2 1/2 to 3 lbs. beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 in. cubes
salt and ground pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped coarse (about 2 cups)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 c. full-bodied dry red wine
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoons dried thyme
4 medium red potatoes, cut into 1-in. cubes
4 large carrots (about 1 lb.) or 16 ounce bag of baby carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 in. thick
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup minced parsley

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Dry beef throughly and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add half the meat so that pieces are not touching and cook not moving until brown (about 2-3 minutes). Use tongs and rotate pieces until all sides are browned (about 5 additional minutes). Trasfer beef to medium bowl and add another 1 tablespoon oil to pan, repeating previous steps with other half of beef.

Reduce heat to medium and add additional 1 tablespoon oil to now empty pan and swirl to coat bottom. Add onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, scraping bottom of pan for brown bits until softened (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and continue to cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook until lightly colored (1-2 minutes).

Add wine, scraping the bottom and stiring until thick and flour is dissolved. Gradually add the chicken stock, stirring constantly scraping up the remaining browned bits on bottom of pan. Add bay leaves and thyme and return to simmer. Add beef, return to simmer, and place the pot in the oven.

Cook for 1 hour. Add potatoes and carrots cover and return to the oven to cook for additional hour. Remove the pot from oven (here you can cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days).

Add the peas, cover and allow to stand for 5 min. Stir in the parsley, discard bay leaves, adjust seasoning and serve immediately.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

This is one of my favorite "lunch soups". It is soooo easy to make - you open a few cans, pour in some beer, and you don't even have to brown the chicken before you add it to the slow cooker.

Gotta love Yuengling in a measuring cup!

It is delicious with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream on top - and make sure you pack some tortilla chips to accompany it!

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup
adapted slightly from AllRecipes.com
Makes 6-8 servings

1 onion, chopped
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer (anything but light beer!)
2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained (Rotel brand)
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
2 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts, each cut in half

Place the onion, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours.

Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 1-2 hours on low.

Monday, September 29, 2008

French Chicken Stew

Last year when the weather started to get cooler, I began to make a soup or stew at the beginning of each week. I would instantly have at least two lunches already taken care of; plus more for the freezer. Each recipe made at least four to six servings so my freezer was stocked and I was nice and warm eating lunch!

My mom found this recipe in her Better Homes and Gardens magazine (which I shamelessly scour for recipes each month at my parents' house). She made hers on the stove due to lack of slow cooker, and it was delicious! I was inspired to make it again yesterday and used the slow cooker set on high, so this was thrown together before dinner and ready to package up by the time my 9:00PM TV show was starting!

I copied the original recipe below; but when I made this I left out the olives and added a little more green beans and potatoes than it calls for. Also, I had some extra crushed tomatoes so I substituted them in for the tomato sauce at the end. My mom did not use tapioca, so don't stress if you don't have it, it will just add to the thickness of the soup.

Chicken thighs are great in the slow cooker, so tender and you can pull them apart with two forks. In fact, I recommend separating the thighs into smaller pieces you are not stuck with a whole piece of chicken surrounded by the broth. Top with Parmesan cheese if you wish!

French Chicken Stew
from Better Homes and Gardens
Makes 6-8 servings

4 cups (or 8 ounce package) sliced button and/or shiitake mushrooms
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 medium carrots, thinly diagonally sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red potato, cut in 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh green beans, cut in 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup pitted ripe olives, halved
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
5-8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (1 3/4 to 2 pounds total)
1/2 teaspoon seasoned or garlic salt
1 14 ounce jar tomato pasta sauce or one 16 ounce jar Alfredo pasta sauce
French bread (optional)

In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker combine mushrooms, undrained tomatoes, carrots, onion, potato, green beans, olives, broth, wine, tapioca, herbs de Provence, thyme, and pepper.

Place chicken on top; sprinkle with seasoned salt.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 4 hours. Stir in pasta sauce. If desired, serve with French bread.