Everywhere I go, someone is talking about colds and flu that are going around. It seems every household has been invaded. Chicken soup may be just what’s called to add some good lean protein and vitamin packed vegetables into everyone’s diet. Here’s a recipe that sort of morphed when I started cooking. I had the veggies and the chicken all ready to throw in the pot when I decided to transform the chicken breast into meatballs. The result—Chicken Meatball Soup. It is very good and can be changed up to fit your taste by using seasonings you prefer. Enjoy experimenting and let me know what you came up with.
Chicken Meatball Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced, I used jarred roasted red bell peppers
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups chicken broth
1 15.5 ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups shredded kale
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground chicken breast, I used my food processor to finely chop chicken breasts
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix all ingredients together gently. Form into 1-inch balls when ready to drop into broth.
Sauté onion, celery, red pepper, garlic until starting to soften.
Add thyme, salt and pepper. Cook just a minute or two more.
Add chicken broth, tomatoes and carrots. Bring to simmer.
Simmer about 20 minutes for flavors to mingle a bit.
Drop meatballs carefully into pot. Return to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until meat balls are cooked through.
Add cabbage and kale to pot. Cook until tender, 10 minutes.
Enjoy with some crusty bread spread with butter.
Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has the ability to comfort.
Weight Watchers on Freestyle can enjoy each cup of this soup for only 1 point.
More soup is on the menu at my house. This is recipe is one of the first soups I learned how to make. It’s simple and comforting. Serve with some crusty bread for dipping. I have omitted the pasta in this recipe, but it can certainly be added in if you like. Just add about ¼ to ½ cup broken spaghetti or small pasta in the last 10 minutes. You could also add Italian sausage or another meat of your choice. Just a half pound will do. Make it your own.
4 servings of about 1 1/2 cups
• 1 tsp olive oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 32 ounces chicken or vegetable broth
• 1 cup thinly sliced cabbage or grated zucchini
• 1 15.5-ounce fire-roasted diced tomatoes
• 1 15.5-ounce cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1. Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat.
2. Add onions, carrots, and garlic. Sauté until onions are soft.
3. Add basil and salt. Cook 2 minutes more.
4. Stir in broth, cabbage or zucchini, beans, and tomatoes. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.
Weight Watchers, this is a great addition to your Freestyle menu. Zero SmartPoints as is. With pasta, it becomes a 1sp about 1 ½ cups of soup.
“There is nothing like soup. It is by nature eccentric: no two are ever alike, unless of course you get your soup in a can.” — Laurie Colwin
The weather has turned on us here in my part of Southern California. The nighttime temperatures have dipped below freezing and in response I have been making soup. Tonight, it was a White Chicken Chili. Oh man, was it delish. Hope you enjoy it, too. And by the way, this will work very well in your crock pot, too.
Creamy White Chicken Chili
• 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• 1 yellow onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 15.5-ounce cans white beans
• 1 15.5-ounce corn
• 24 ounces chicken broth
• 2 4-ounce cans green chilies (mild, medium, or hot)
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1 teaspoon oregano
• ½ teaspoon black pepper
• 4 ounces cream cheese (I used reduced fat)
• ¼ cup half-and-half (I used fat-free)
1. Place all ingredients except cream cheese and half-and-half in soup pot.
2. Bring to boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until flavors mingle and chicken in done.
3. Remove chicken from pot and shred. Return to pot.
4. Add the cream cheese and half-and-half.
5. Heat on low until cream cheese melt and incorporates into soup, about 15 minutes.
6. Serve with your favorite chili toppings.
Note: If using the crock pot just dump in all the ingredients except cream cheese and half-and-half. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Shred chicken, return to pot. Turn on high. Add cream cheese and half-and-half. Cook until cheese melts and is incorporated into soup, about 15 minutes. Enjoy!
If you’re doing Weight Watchers like I am, the new Freestyle program makes this recipe 3 SmartPoints for 1 1/2 cups of soup. It’s so delicious and satisfying. I have now lost 17.2 pounds eating well.
Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living.
Louis P. De Gouy
Soup weather is upon us. This delicious lentil dish is just the thing. The curry seasoning are sure to warm you up on a cold day. It is one of those fall into the comfort food category for me. I took it to a gathering recently and it was gobbled right up, but if you find yourselves with leftovers, it tastes even better the next day.
Curried Lentils with Butternut Squash
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped,
1 32-ounce carton chicken or vegetable broth or equal amount of water
1 pound peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
1/2 cup coconut milk, I used light
3 cups spinach leaves, roughly chopped
Heat oil in Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat.
Add onion and cook, stirring until softened, about 3 minutes.
Stir in broth, squash, curry powder, cumin, salt, and cayenne.
Bring broth to a boil, then adjust heat and simmer until squash begins to soften, about 10 minutes.
Stir in lentils. cook until lentils begin to fall apart, and vegetables are tender, about 10-12 minutes.
Stir in coconut milk and heat through.
Add spinach just before serving and allow to wilt.
Soup is a lot like a family. Each ingredient enhances the others; each batch has its own characteristics; and needs time to simmer to reach full flavor.
My kids that are local are coming for dinner tonight so I thought I would whip up a pot of Pumpkin Chili. Pumpkin may seem like an odd addition to you soup pot but in this recipe, it adds richness making it very hearty and comforting. For those eating less/no meat or avoiding gluten in their diet, it is a dish that satisfies. Enjoy
1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 15-ounce cans fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 15-ounce can 100% pure pumpkin puree
2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained
1 15-ounce can corn, drained
12-ounce beer or 1 1/2 water (for gluten-free)
1 teaspoon each, salt and pepper
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Stir in spices and garlic. cook another minute or two until spices are fragrant, stirring often.
Add tomatoes and pumpkin. whisk to combine.
Stir in black beans, corn, beer or water, and salt and pepper.
Reduce heat to low, simmer covered for at least 30 minutes, stirring often. The longer it cooks, the more flavor develops, so feel free to get started in the morning for a day full of the comforting smell of something yummy for dinner.
Food is not about impressing people. It’s about making them feel comfortable.
When I was growing up my mom used to make the most delicious chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. One of my most vivid memories is an image of one of her cookies. It was big as my hand and I felt so blessed (my adult thought about my feelings then) to have it.
The thing is, cookies aren’t a need. We indulge simply because we want to. The is just something about them when they come from an oven in someone’s kitchen. Store bought never quite invoke the same feeling of warmth and specialness. Homemade cookies are like a hug making life just a little sweeter. Everybody needs a little love now and then.
Life is better with fresh baked cookies.
Sadly, I don’t have my mom’s original recipe for her Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies, but I have found one that everybody loves. Recently, I was told by a friend that she was dreaming about these cookies. You can make them with straight chocolate chips but I like to mix it up with some raisins and nuts. There is really no limitations on the mix-ins. Use your favorites. Enjoy!
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup butter, you can use unsalted but I prefer salted
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 cup oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups chocolate chips, or a combination of chips, nuts, and/or dried fruit
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Beat together butter and sugars until smooth.
Add egg and egg yolk, and vanilla one at a time. Beat well after each addition.
Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until everything is completely incorporated.
Stir in oats until uniform.
Mix in chocolate chips or your own combination of yumminess.
Form small, walnut-sized balls of dough with hands or scoop. You can make bigger if you want a hand sized cookie. These days, I want several smaller ones. Hehe.
Drop balls/scoops of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet that has parchment paper or has been greased a bit with some butter.
Bake for 12 to 17 minutes. I live at 4000 feet above sea level, so my cookies took about 14 minutes.
Yield: Depends on the size. Walnut-sized dough balls yield about 4 dozen.
I received this text this morning from my daughter, Charity—
Hey, Mom, we all got sick last night and were wondering if you could go to the store for us.
When my daughter says all, she is talking about a lot of people. You see, she has six children, age 10 and under. The flu at her house is serious business especially when she has it, too. So, I did what any mama/grandma would do. I brought her requested items of chicken soup, saltine crackers, and ginger ale to her front door, peeked in, hugged the one non-sick child, and said a quick prayer for their recovery on my way back to my car. Oh, man, it’s gonna be a long day over there.
I wish I had been more prepared. It would have been much more comforting to have some homemade chicken soup to take, but I didn’t have what I needed so I bought the canned instead. Now that I’m back home, I have come up with a Chicken and Rice Soup that can quickly be cooked up on the stove-top or in the crockpot. I have included directions for freezing as well. That way, when you or someone you love comes down sick, in a very short time you can have some comfort simmering away.
Chicken and Rice Soup
1 pound chicken breasts
1 small onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon dried sage
¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
1-2 bay leaves
6 cups chicken broth
1 8.5 ounce pouch shelf-stable rice or rice-mixture of your choice or 1 ½ cooked rice.
Add all ingredients except rice into a 6-quart crock pot then cook on low for 4 hours or until chicken breasts are cooked through. If using stove-top, simmer everything except rice until chicken is tender.
Remove chicken and shred. Stir back into soup along with rice.
Dump all ingredients except chicken broth and rice into 1 gallon freezer bag, close, label and freeze. To cook follow directions above adding 2 hours to your cooking time.
This soup can be easily transformed into what you crave or adjusted to what you have in your pantry. Experiment and let me know how it turns out.