Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Snow and Chicken Soup

The snow is finally back. The flakes are tiny, and it's coming down like a heavy sprinkle, but it's still snow. That's all that matters. The cats are not impressed. They've seen all of this before. You will be happy to know that the temps are in the positive numbers again. It's actually 23 degrees right now. That's practically balmy. We should get out the patio furniture and have a barbecue. The high for tomorrow is supposed to get up to 36 (that's swimsuit season). I will believe that when I see/feel it. It does mean that I probably won't bother to shovel off the driveway tonight. I'll see if it gets warm enough to melt on it's own tomorrow. Stranger things have happened.
I thought I'd share a recipe for Chicken Soup, because nothing warms you better in the winter. My family is not a big fan of soups in general. They normally go for the heartier meals. I tend to love soups, so I keep trying recipes in the hope of finding one they they will like. I hit the jackpot with this one. I got it out of a Taste of Home: Simple and Delicious magazine (thanks for the subscription, Mom!) and thought I'd share it with all of you. Give it a try. It's hearty, extremely easy to make, very healthy, and really fills you up.
Chunky Chicken Soup
3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, but into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) vegetable broth
2 cans (15-1/2 ounces each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1-1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 cup frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
In a Dutch oven, saute the chicken, onion and garlic in oil until chicken juices run clear. Stir in flour until blended; gradually add broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes.
Reduce heat; stir in the beans, vegetables and seasonings. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Garnish with cheese. Yield: 7 cups.
That's the official recipe. Now here is how I make it. It's even easier. I get frozen grilled chicken strips at COSTCO. I thaw about 1 to 1-1/2 cups of frozen chicken strips for a few minutes in the microwave. I leave the olive oil out completely. Toss the chicken into a big pot, and add the other ingredients. My family doesn't like the broccoli, so I leave that out as well and add another cup of the veggie mix instead. I also leave off the cheese garnish. It's a great healthy meal in a matter of minutes. Give it a try and have a wonderful winter's day!

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