Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Quick Broccoli Cheese soup

I found an amazing recipe for some broccoli cheese soup. You can find the original here. As much as I love to cook with raw veggies, sometimes I just don't have the time to peel, chop, etc. Here's how I adapted this fantastic recipe with frozen veggies to make it just a bit faster for you.

4 T butter
1/4 c flour
2 c vegetable broth (use the homemade kind found here!)
2 c half and half
1 16oz bag frozen broccoli florets
1 12oz bag mirepoix veggies (celery, carrot, onion mix)
1 t minced garlic (about 1 clove)
8 oz sharp cheddar

Melt the butter in a heavy soup pan. Whisk in the flour. Make sure the flour is fully incorporated and thick, then slowly add the vegetable broth. Keep whisking. Next add the half and half. Keep whisking. You'll know you did it right if you have a semi-thick base once everything is in. You can simmer about 10-15 minutes here to thicken it up some more. I skipped this step. Add all your frozen veggies, the garlic, and the seasoning. Let it simmer a good 20 minutes. Once the veggies are cooked through you can add your cheese OR you can put your soup in the blender and make it smooth. I like to do that with my broccoli cheese soup. Once it's to your consistency, add the cheese and mix until melted. So very delicious and so quick. You can add rotisserie chicken to quickly make it a little more hearty. I prefer it as is in a homemade bread bowl. Yum...

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Chicken & Noodles

There's something so comforting about chicken and noodles. It's just that kind of dish. It's especially wonderful when you get in from nearly freezing temps and sit down to watch the Wiz.

My favorite thing about cold weather is the savory crockpot dishes that can be made. As you can see, our crockpot is very loved.

One thing I love about this dish is the variety of ways it can be made. You can pretty much add any vegetable, use any kind of base, the only constants are the chicken and the noodles!

Here's how today's version went. I started with 6 boneless chicken thighs. I trimmed the excess parts of fat off, tossed them in the crockpot and then added my favorite seasoning. Chesapeake Bay. It's a must in the kitchen.

Shake the seasoning on to your liking. I like to get a good covering on the whole piece of chicken. After seasoned, add a can of cream of chicken soup to the top. You can use cream of mushroom or cream of celery, either will work. If you have a homemade version, use that. I went with cream of chicken today. Empty the can and spread it around the top of the chicken.

My veggies today were fairly simple. I started with about six carrots. Peel 'em, chop 'em. Add them to the crock pot.

Celery. I cut the stalks in half lengthwise and then chop them.

Two small onions. Peel 'em. Chop 'em.

I had some white mushrooms that needed to be used, so they got chopped up as well. I would estimate that there was about a cup to a cup and a half of each veg.

Look how pretty they all look once in the crockpot. I have a homemade vegetable broth mix. If you have the time and you have the spices, please do yourself a favor and make this mix. I use it ALL THE TIME. I added two teaspoons over the top of the veggies and then added one cup of water to the crock pot.

Shut the lid and let it cook 6-7 hours. It will be pretty thin when you it's finished. You can choose to leave it or add a cornstarch or flour slurry to thicken it up. I like a thick base, so I made the slurry. I add 1/4 cup of flour to 1/4 cup of water. Mix it up and add it to the crockpot. Let it cook another 30 minutes and it will thicken right up for you.

When it's finished take some noodles, I like egg noodles, and get them boiled up.

Add them to a bowl.

Scoop some of that deliciousness on top.

Mix it up and enjoy every single bite.