Friday, January 11, 2013

Favorite Freezer Soups

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (Panera Style)

This is Nye's favorite food.  Make this for him and he will love you.  It's pretty much guaranteed   The entire time I'm cooking it, he will walk in and out of the kitchen, sniffing audibly and saying, "MMMMMMM...smells....good!!"  He has literally stopped in the middle of eating it, put his spoon down, climbed off his chair, walked over to me, and kissed my face all over to thank me for making it.  :)  That boy knows how to charm a cook!

With that said, it's not entirely healthy, but it is delicious (and doubles well).

4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 cups cooked shredded chicken (more or less depends on you)
1 (4.5 oz) package of long grain & wild rice (or just a cup or two of brown rice)
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery (finely for me)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3-8 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup flour
3 Tbps butter (original recipe calls for 5-can also use half butter, half oil)
1-2 cups milk (original recipe calls for heavy cream)
optional: 1/4 cup white wine (I've never noticed a difference adding it or not, so I usually leave it out)

-In a large pot, saute carrots and celery in 1 Tbsp of butter (better than oil!) till soft.  Add garlic and saute till done.  
-Add broth, water, and chicken to the pot.  Bring to a boil.  
-Add rice and cover.  Remove from heat (let it simmer on low for about 30-40 minutes if using brown rice).  
-In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt 2-4 Tbps of butter/oil.  On low, stir in flour, salt, and pepper a little at a time to form a roux.  Let flour brown just a little.  Whisk in cream and wine (optional) a little at a time until fully incorporated and smooth.  Cook till thick about 5 minutes.  
-Stir cream into the rice pot.  Cook on medium till heated through and rice is tender (~10-15 minutes).

Parsnip Curry Soup

Lee and the kids don't care for this soup, but Mom and I could get it by the gallon-daily.  It's sweet and spicy, incredible creamy, and just plain delicious.  It really is that good, and super healthy too.  It also doubles and triples well.

1 lb parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped (~3 large parsnips)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped (7 or 8 pieces)
2-5 cloves of garlic
3 Tbsp butter or olive oil
1/3 cup flour
3 pinches of curry powder
4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
Salt or pepper to taste

-Chop parsnips and onion coarsely.  Saute them with garlic for about 5 minutes, till onions are translucent   
-Add flour and curry.  Stir and let the flour brown a bit.
-Add broth, stirring constantly.
-Bring to a boil, simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally till parsnips are tender.  
-For a creamier soup (yes, please!), blend 1/2 to all of the mixture.
-Salt or pepper to taste.

I also made this soup last night and I LOVE it.  Spicy, sweet, thick, delicious, and healthy!  I'm not sure if it freezes well or not, but it's worth mentioning here.  It doubles well, but don't double the spices unless you really love spicy!  Here's how I tinkered with it to serve 4 adults (or just two awesome servings for me!).

1 large red onion (or whatever color you have on hand)
tiny bit of oil4 cups vegetable broth
2 sweet potatoes, diced and peeled unless organic
10 cups kale, chopped (use a really big pot, or steam in batches, it cooks down well)
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp mild curry powder

1 tbsp yellow miso paste
¼ tsp cinnamon

Slice the onion into thin slices. Put a little oil in a large pot and cook onions over medium high heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add broth, sweet potatoes, 3/4 cup water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to medium and cook until potatoes are almost fork tender, about 30 minutes. Immediately add the spices, stirring them in.  Then add the kale and cook, stirring frequently and covering, until kale is dark green and soft (wilted), about 3-5 more minutes. Set aside for 5-10 minutes, allowing flavors to merge.  Eat the whole pot by yourself savoring every bite! 

1 comment:

Jenny Miller said...

These look great, Lindsey! Parsnips are now on the grocery list...