The weather is chilly, blustery, and sometimes a little rainy today. It's perfect Fall weather. For making soup. So I did. Make soup.
I made a few old favorites and some new recipes, all of them destined for the freezer. Today I'll share the chicken recipes.
First up was Tuscan Chicken and White Bean. I got this one from an internet friend who posted it on a Yahoo group. I think it came from the Feb/Mar 2005 issue of Fast and Easy magazine.
This is a quick one to throw together, but it's really important to use fresh sage. I happened to still have quite a bit of sage out in the garden that I cut this morning.
(I know! Fresh herbs still in the garden in NOVEMBER! A little happy dance went on! Hope none of the neighbors were looking...)
If you don't have a fresh sage plant available, try to find it in the grocery. It's expensive, but makes all the difference in this soup.
There are leeks in this recipe, too. Leeks are usually gritty and sandy - make sure you pop those slices into a bowl of cold water for a little while so the icky stuff falls to the bottom.
Here's the recipe:
Tuscan Chicken and White Bean Soup
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts, cut into 1/4" rounds (2 cups)
1 Tbs. chopped fresh sage (I use 2 Tbs.), or 1/4 tsp. dried sage
2-14 oz. cans reduced-sodium chicken broth (I used my homemade stock)
2 C water
1-15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 lb. roasted chicken, skin discarded, meat removed from bones and shredded
Heat the oil in a soup pot or large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in sage and continue cooking until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth and water, increase heat to high, cover and bring to a boil. Add beans and chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Serve hot.
6 Servings, 1 1/2 cups each
Per serving: 208 calories; 6 g fat; 15 g carbs; 3 g fiber
The next recipe was easy, but not nearly as quick to put together. This is the first time I've made it, but it's pretty tasty, and I'm sure will freeze great. This is a Paula Deen recipe - that explains the butter...
White Bean Chili
1 pound dried navy beans
5 C chicken stock (again, I used my homemade, but canned is fine)
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) butter
1 Tbs. minced garlic
3/4 C diced onion
1 1/2 C chopped green chiles (fresh or canned) (I only used 2 small cans since Greg's not a huge fan of green chiles in large quantities.)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, finely chopped (I used pre-cooked chicken.)
1 Tbs. ground cumin
1 Tbs. dried oregano
1 to 2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper (I omitted - just don't have any)
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped (I'll add when I reheat)
Rinse beans well, cover w/ cool water and soak for 2 hours. Drain. Place beans in a large pot w/ chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat. In a saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and chiles and saute for 5 minutes. Add chile mixture to pot w/ beans. Add chicken, cumin, oregano, peppers, pepper flakes, and cilantro. Lower heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 1 1/2 hours. Serve w/ cornbread, if desired.
The reason I saved the cilantro to add later when I serve this soup is because I've never frozen fresh cilantro in a recipe. My instinct tells me this is best added fresh.
This soup has great flavor even without the cilantro, and I suspect will get better after sitting in the frig for a day.
Okay, so while I typed this, it started snowing outside. I picked fresh herbs from my garden this morning, and now it's snowing. Only in Nebraska...
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