Monday, February 21, 2011

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

'Tis the season for colds, flus and germs in general! So there is no better time than now to share my recipe for chicken noodle soup. I promise it tastes better than anything you can get out of a can...and even when you are sick and your taste buds are seeminly on vacation, you will love this soup.

6 cups chicken stock (I prefer homemade but store bought will do)
500 grams broad egg noodles (more or less depending on how noodly you like it)
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced
2 tsp oil
1 tsp medium strength curry powder
2-3 large carrots, chopped
1 leek, chopped (green and white parts only)
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 cups cooked chicken, pulled apart (save time and use a freshly precooked chicken from grocery store)

What to do
  • In a large stock pot or pan, heat oil.
  • Sautee onion, carrots, jalapeno and celery for about 4 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  • Add curry powder and stir for 30 seconds.
  • Add stock and bring to boil.
  • Add pasta.
  • Cook according to time on pasta package for al dente. Al dente is important as pasta will cook more when reheated.
  • Add chicken and heat through.
  • Serve.
If desired separate into individual containers and freeze. I find the egg noodles have a better consistency and less texture change when defrosted than other pastas.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Butternut Squash & Sage Soup

Not your ordinary cup-a-soup!

I'm on a soup kick. Black bean, pumpkin, and chicken noodle soups...all made from scratch recently. This one is butternut squash and sage. The two flavours work really well together to make a creamy and hearty soup. But don't mistake the creaminess for calories...there is no cream in the recipe. In fact, the calorie count for a cup and a half is about 200.

You also have the option of steaming or roasting the squash. I prefer the roasting method as it brings out more flavour and natural sweetness of the squash. If you choose to steam it peel and chop the squash into 2 inch chunks before steaming. If you roast it, I recommend 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Just cut the squash lengthwise in half and rub with a little olive oil and salt. Place on a pan cut side down. Once roasted and cool enough to touch, scrape out squash and you're ready to go.

3 medium size butternut squash
1 large sweet vidalia onion, chopped
1 medium leek, chopped (white and light green parts only)
1 apple, peeled and cored, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups of stock (chicken or vegetable)
2 tsp oil
1-1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp pepper
salt to taste

What to do
  • Steam or roast squash as discussed above.
  • Add oil to frying pan and saute onion, leek and apple over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add pepper, garlic and sage. Saute for another minute.
  • Add stalk and squash.
  • Bring to boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Using immersion blender, puree soup. If using a regular blender, puree in batches.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Enjoy now or freeze for later!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pumpkin-Apple Soup

Normally, I wouldn't be jumping back on the pumpkin band wagon so soon after the holidays but this soup is just too good to resist. And it is a great option for anyone who is hanging on to their New Year Resolution of eating in a healthy, low-fat and high fibre kind-of-way! It has less than 100 calories in a cup (makes 8 cups), 5 grams of fibre and 4 grams of protein.

I often make a batch and freeze this soup in individual servings. During the week I just pull them out for lunches as needed.

Adapted from the New Complete Cookbook
2 teaspoons cumin
1 large spanish onion, chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp smoked paprika or cayenne pepper
4-5 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
2 cans (15 ounces) real  pumpkin (NOT pie fillling)
1/2 cup apple sauce, unsweetened
1/4 tsp pepper
3 tbsp lime juice, optional
thyme sprigs for garnish

What to do
  • Heat oil in a large pot and cook onions until translucent - about five minutes.
  • Add cinnamon, paprika, and cumin. Stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant (do not burn!).
  • Add all remainng ingredients.
  • Using a hand blender, carefully puree soup.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • If using lime juice add just before serving.
  • Garnish dishes with thyme sprigs.

Note: If you don't have a hand blender, add onions mixture to blender and add 1 cup of stock. Puree. Pour back into pot and add the rest of the ingredients. Continue as directed.