Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chicken and Tomato Bruschetta Soup

This soup is a takeoff of a recipe I recently did for Family.com, Cheesy Chicken and Tomato Bruschetta Turnovers. They were fabulous, if I do say so myself, and I was so enamoured with the flavors that I had to make something else with it.

This goes together very easily, has few ingredients, but is big on flavor. I like a bit of red pepper flakes for spice, but you can make it mild and leave them out.

Chicken and Tomato Bruschetta Soup
Printable Recipe
Ready In 45 minutes
Serves 4-6

8 plum tomatoes - seeded and chopped
1 cup finely diced yellow or white onion
2 large cloves garlic - minced
1/4 cup fresh basil - minced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 cups cooked chicken breast - chopped
4 cups chicken stock
red pepper flakes to taste
4 - 6 slices crusty bread - toasted
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Combine tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil and salt in a small bowl. Stir well and let stand. This is the tomato bruschetta.
Heat chicken stock to boiling and add 2 cups of tomato mixture. Save any remainder for another use.
Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add chicken and red pepper flakes and cook for another 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
Stir in 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan. Check seasoning and add salt if needed.
Top the toast rounds with Parmesan cheese and float on each bowl of soup.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Vegetable Soup

There is something so very lovely about spring vegetables. More often than not I like them straight-up, sprinkled with sea salt and drizzled with olive oil. I love the 'green-ness' of them and the tender bite. I think this soup retains what I like so much about them.

Cipollini onions are flat, round little onions also known as the 'Italian spring onion'. They can be buggers to peel, but once they are, they add a sweetness I like enough to put up with ornery onion skins.

Spring Vegetable Soup
Printable Recipe
Ready In: 30 minutes
Serves 4 as a main course or 6 for a starter

2 green or spring onions - sliced
2 cipollini onions, sliced thinly
1 large shallot - sliced thinly
1 clove garlic - minced
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup asparagus spears - cut into 1 to 2 inch lengths
1 cup sugar snap peas
8 ounces baby button mushrooms - cut in half
sea salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried mint (optional)

Pour stock into a medium stock pot and add onions and garlic. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat so stock is simmering.
Add asparagus, peas, mushrooms and mint. Stir once and cook for 20 minutes or until asparagus is tender. Serve.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Garlic Soup with Chicken

A couple years ago I wrote a post on Cooking with Anne about my love of garlic. Included at the end of the post was a recipe and this soup was it. As good as it is in its original state, I made a couple tweaks to it according to my own tastes and made it again yesterday in the hopes that it would help to cure a fairly bad cold I've been stricken with.

I added a few cloves of garlic and changed the method slightly. I love this soup for its simplicity. It really is just a basic chicken soup with a bunch of garlic added to it, but the end result is so deliciously different that it deserves a whole post to itself.

The two methods of cooking the garlic provide a depth of flavor that you don't get from just one method. Don't skip it!

Garlic Soup with Chicken
Printable Recipe
Ready In: 1 hour
Serves: 6-8

1 whole chicken - about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds, cut up
2 carrots peeled and diced
2 stalks celery diced
1 large onion diced
2 heads garlic - peel 10 cloves and set aside
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
Freshly cracked pepper and Kosher salt
4 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour

1. Put vegetables in the bottom of a large soup pot and add chicken, unpeeled garlic cloves (a little more than 1 head of garlic) and herbs. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Turn heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
2. Remove chicken and garlic cloves and set aside.
3. Strain broth and return to pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by about one-third.
4. When chicken is cool enough to handle, chop into bite sized pieces and set aside.
5. Squeeze softened garlic from skins and add 1 teaspoon Kosher salt. Mash into a paste (a mortar and pestle works well for this) and set aside.
6. Heat butter in a small skillet over very low heat. Add the 10 peeled garlic cloves and cook until cloves just begin to brown. Remove cloves with a slotted spoon and add to mashed garlic and mash these together as well.
7. Add flour to butter and whisk until a paste forms. Add mashed garlic to flour and butter and whisk until well combined. Add all to chicken broth. Heat until slightly thickened and add chopped chicken back into the pot. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Potato Soup Without Guilt

A Twitter follower recently asked if I had a recipe for low fat potato soup. I think my answer was a fairly vague one that had something to do with using the potatoes as a thickener. I think he understood what I meant, but just in case he didn't, I took notes when making this one today.

Not all potato soup is chowder and likewise, they aren't all vichyssoise. This one is a sort of blend of those two. I had extra cooked new potatoes today after using them for another recipe and I also had leftover green onions. I took one look at them and decided they would become soup.

This soup was a total of 3 ingredients - really. The only fat to consider is the fat contained in the stock, which was chicken this time. The trick is in the method - which calls for gently mashing the potatoes in the stock to create the perfect 'creamy' consistency without the cream. You also need a really rich stock to pull this off without having to add extra seasonings. The stock I had today was so good there wasn't even a need for salt.

Potato Soup Without Guilt
Printable Recipe
Ready In: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 - 6


6 cups chicken stock (do a quick vegan with veggie stock)
1 pound red potatoes, cooked, peeled and diced
1/2 cup sliced green onion


1. Pour stock into a 2 quart pot. Add potatoes and green onion.
2 Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
3. Roughly mash potatoes so soup is thick and creamy but still has chunks of potato in it. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve.