To all my Atlanta followers: I am officially inviting you to join me in pretending that it's winter while sweating over steaming hot bowls of soup.
I collected a bunch of new soup recipes that I wanted to try out this winter and since we didn't exactly have much "soup" weather this winter, I still have all of these unused soup recipes sitting on my kitchen counter. Now that it's March, I feel like I better get a couple of these soups made - before the temperatures get even warmer.
This Chicken Tortellini soup really was delicious. And even though I prefer to eat my hot soup while sitting in front of a roaring fire, I liked this soup a lot. The tricolored pasta and yellow bell peppers really make this soup look more like a "Spring" soup anyway.
Chicken Tortellini Soup
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cups sliced carrots
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast (2 large breasts)
8 cups chicken broth
8.8 ounce package Cheese Tortellini
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper
Stir in cream and parsley. Season as necessary.
Maybe it's a good thing that I didn't get this soup made this winter because it is the perfect way to welcome in an early Spring. I loved this yummy, hearty meal.
I stored the leftover soup in the refrigerator for a couple of days and I was afraid that the tortellini would get too swollen and soggy but happily - I was wrong. We enjoyed this soup for several meals and eat time I warmed it - it seemed to get even better.
This was a super easy soup to put together and everyone in my family liked it. I think you will too.
What is it about a warm bowl of hearty chicken soup that is so darn comforting? I don't know if it's the intoxicating aroma or the feel of the steam rising from the warm bowl or the overload of hearty vegetables in every bite but there is something about a bowl of chicken soup that I simply CANNOT resist.
I'm really not all that picky about my chicken soup either. As long as it has lots of chicken and a ton of really great vegetables - I'm a happy girl. I'm always on the lookout for new chicken soup recipes with interesting ingredients and flavors. I found this recipe in my Cooking Light magazine and it was right up my chicken soup alley - poblano pepper, fresh avocado slices, rotisserie chicken and crunchy tortilla chips. Oh my.
Chicken Poblano Tortilla Soup
2 Tablespoons oil
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
1 cup sliced carrot
1 poblano pepper, diced
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
4 ounces tortilla chips
2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
12 ounces shredded rotisserie chicken
1 avocado, sliced
Heat oil in dutch oven. Add onion, carrot and poblano. Cook 8 minutes.
Add stock, salt, pepper and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 8 minutes.
Crush half of tortilla chips and add to pot. Stir in cilantro and chicken.
Ladle into bowls and top with remaining tortilla chips.
Add a few fresh avocado slices.
I am so happy that its soup weather again - it makes my lunch decisions soooo much easier. The three of us ate this soup for dinner and we still had plenty left over for lunches for the rest of the week.
We had a chance of snow in Atlanta this weekend!!! The govenor of Georgia declared a State of Emergency so we all raced to the grocery store to load up on supplies and prepare ourselves to be homebound for weeks. Businesses and schools were closed - even the local outdoor snow area where they make manufacture "snow" was closed:
"Snow Mountain will be closed tomorrow, Jan 7, due to snow. Yes, we are aware of the irony."
As you can see, we didn't get much snow. Better to be overprepared than underprepared I guess. AND now, I've got plenty of groceries for the weekend.
I've never been able to figure out why people in the South buy up all of the milk and bread on the shelves when there's a possiblity of snow in the forecast. Stock piling eggs and bread just never made any sense to me. On the contrary, I was at the store this weekend loading up on beans and tomatoes for gigantic batches of chili to help us stay warm during "winter" weather.???
I've actually come up with a theory on this Southern bread and egg mystery though - I think it all comes down to French Toast. I have a sneaky suspicion that Southern families stay home eating huge portions of delicious, piping hot French Toast during bad weather. And why wouldn't they? French toast is delicous and it tastes even better when you've got a long time to linger over breakfast while looking outside at the "snow".
This weekend, we became true Southerners. I bought chili ingredients AND a hearty supply of eggs and milk to bake plenty of Lemon Blueberry French Toast. These Southerners are onto something. It was sooo good. Warm French Toast and a cup of coffee = cold weather breakfast perfection.
Lemon Blueberry French Toast
5 cups French Bread
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
zest from 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup butter
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
Pour over bread, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Bake 1 hour at 325.
Best "snow" day breakfast ever!! It may not have snowed very much here but I'm still putting my bread and eggs to good use. Stay warm out there this weekend.
Have you ever tried the Lemon Chicken Orzo soup at Panera? It is seriously good. (Why is it that every time I find something at a restaurant that I REALLY like, they take it off the menu? ) Apparently lemon chicken orzo is a seasonal item and only available for a very limited time in the Fall.
What is a girl to do when her favorite soup is only available for a month? (Make a copycat recipe of my own of course so I don't have to wait until next Fall to have some more.)
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 large (or 3 small) carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch thick
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
8 cups of fat-free low sodium chicken broth
Zest and juice (about 1/3 of a cup) of 2 lemons
1 bay leaf
1 1/4 cups orzo pasta
about 2 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken
a couple of generous handfuls of fresh spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large pot. Add carrots, celery, and onion and cook about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften.
Add the chicken and cook for a couple of minutes to allow it to heat through. Stir in spinach and allow it to wilt for about one minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
When ready to serve, remove the bay leaf and serve.
This is pretty close to the original version that I had at Panera. I might even be so bold as to say that my recipe might just be SLIGHTLY better than theirs. It is REALLY yummy. I tried to freeze some for another day and the orzo got a little mushy so my advice is to add the orzo later if you plan to freeze this soup.
Who says you have to save the best soup and chowder recipes for winter? This roasted corn and poblano chowder is awesome and a perfect summertime treat!
Roasted Corn and Poblano Chowder
1 poblano peppers, halved lengthwise
3 Tablespoons oil
4 cups frozen (or fresh) corn
4 slices turkey bacon
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
7 cups chicken broth
1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup half and half
6 corn tortillas
1 Tablespoon cilantro
1 lime, half sliced into wedges and half juiced
crumbled queso fresco
If the poblano brown before the corn, remove them from the tray, place them in a paper bag to rest for 10 minutes.
Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in dutch oven and add onion. Cook until softened. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
Remove from heat and stir in half and half.
Add pureed mixture to chowder along with chopped poblanos 1 T. chopped cilantro and juice from 1/2 lime.
Prepare topping ingredients: cilantro, lime wedges, queso fresco, bacon and tortilla chips.
Serve chowder with toppings of your choice.
I ate the leftovers of this chili for lunch for a solid week. It was DELICIOUS. It may be 100 degrees outside but that isn't going to stop me from turning down the air conditioner and heating up a giant bowl of chowder.
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