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Blizzard Worthy Chicken Tortellini Soup

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I should call this “Siberian Soup” since this winter in PA has seemed uncomfortably Russian, but I will turn down my dramatic tendencies. This soup came after trying a recipe that was just a bit too heavy for me. Instead of tossing it, I went back into the kitchen and changed the ingredients to make it lighter, and a lot healthier!

Today was certainly the best day to try it, since we are receiving almost 2 FEET OF SNOW! Luckily, my husband was off today, so I could cook warm toasty meals. This soup was a hit! My husband loved it, along with four very hungry little girls, who just came in from the snow.

So, if you are looking for a way to escape the arctic, make a pot of this tasty tortellini soup!

Ingredients

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached & shredded
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of red wine
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian diced tomatoes
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 5 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
  • 8 ounces fresh tortellini
  • 2 zucchini cut into large chunks
  • 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, poach chicken breasts and shred. (You can put them in your mixer with the paddle attachment and turn on low until shredded)
  2. Sautee onions and garlic in the pot until tender. Stir in chicken broth, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, and chicken. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Add tortellini during the last 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in zucchini, cheese, and parsley. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top of each serving. Serve with warm garlic bread.

*Note– if you save this soup for leftovers the tortellini will suck up the broth so the result is a more like a stew. Feel free to add more chicken broth if you eat it the next day.

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Buffalo Chicken Chili

Buffalo Chicken Chili

This is one of those great meals that you don’t have to feel guilty about. It is so packed with veggies that your kids and husband will have no clue that you are secretly serving something nutritious! My daughter has asked for it in a thermos to take in her school lunch, and my husband will settle in to watch football with a big bowl of this tasty chili and some chips. It is also a quick and easy, one pot meal that feeds many on a budget. So whether you are entertaining the masses, or just looking for a reprieve from all that is unhealthy, look no further!

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 Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 medium onion,
  • 3 ribs celery
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of buffalo wing sauce, depending on your taste
  • 2 15 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar or blue cheese for garnish

Preparation:

1. Poach chicken breasts in about an inch of water in a large stock pot for about 8 minutes. (or you can use 2 lbs, of ground chicken, cooked & crumbled)

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2.Meanwhile, chop carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in a food processor.

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3. Once chicken is cooked, remove from the pot, reserving the liquid in a separate bowl.

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4. Add 2 Tbsp. of butter to the stock pot (no need to wash it between steps), and allow to melt.

5. Add chopped vegetables, sautéing until soft.

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6. Chop cooked chicken in food processor, then add to the vegetables in the stock pot mixing well.

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7. Add wing sauce and crushed tomatoes. Simmer for about 5 minutes.

8. Add broth, bay leaves, paprika,

9. Allow to simmer on low heat for about 10-20 minutes

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Presentation:

Top with a pinch of cheese, then serve hot with tortilla chips for scooping.

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What Leftovers? Mashed Potato & Cheddar Soup with Stuffing Croutons

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‘Tis the season for leftovers, because this mama is pretty cooked out. Really, I’ve spent weeks cooking, cleaning, shopping, serving, etc… I just want to plop on the couch and ignore the impending doom that is the end of my long weekend.

Usually, I don’t get into the leftover craze. I either try to plan my meals well enough to prevent a huge surplus of food, or I divvy them up among my guests so that everyone has a second taste of the meal, but this year, I have a lot of stuffing and mashed potatoes. I chose to freeze some, but I was also in the mood for some soup. Potato soup is the perfect dish to compliment a cold beer and a good football game! This soup is so creamy and full of flavor, you will find it hard to believe that it was simple mashed potatoes in a previous life.

Mashed Potato & Cheddar Soup with Stuffing Croutons

Ingredients:

2 cups of mashed potatoes (I used roasted garlic mashed potatoes)

1 1/2  cups of chicken broth

1/2 cup of light cream

4 oz. of extra sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup of leftover Simple Sausage Stuffing

2 scallions, sliced thin

Preparation:

The Croutons—Spread 1 cup of stuffing onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, until the bread is toasted and crispy on the outside.

The Soup—Meanwhile, on the stove top, pour cream and broth into a large stockpot and slowly bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add mashed potatoes, 1 cup at a time, whisking briskly. Once all of the mashed potatoes have been blended into the soup, simmer until it’s hot.  Chop cheese into small chunks, or shred it, then add to the soup and stir until it is melted and incorporated. Once the cheese is melted, and the soup is hot, it is ready to be served.

Presentation—Spoon the soup into individual bowls, then top with the toasted stuffing and scallions. Serve immediately. This soup pairs well with a fall beer.

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Oven Baked Risotto

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I love risotto and all its creamy goodness, but I hate that you have to just stand by, stirring and adding broth. Its like babysitting. I have 3 kids. I do not need the added responsibility of babysitting food. So, here is a recipe for an easy weeknight risotto. No stirring, adding, stirring, and adding, jsut mix and bake. It’s simple, tasty, and a hit with my kids.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons of melted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Pour the butter in a 9×13 baking dish
  3. Add the Arborio rice, garlic, salt and pepper.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Pour the chicken broth over and cover with tin foil.
  6. Bake for about 35 minutes.

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Non Dairy Potato Soup

This is a great alternative to the heavy cream based potato soups out there. Don’t worry; there is no shortage of flavor. This is one of my personal favorites. I love to serve it with roasted pork sandwiches on a cold winter day.

Ingredients

5 lb bag of russet potatoes

1/2 lb of bacon

1 large onion

2 large cans of chicken broth

 Preparation

  1. Chop bacon into bits and brown in a stock pot
  2. Remove bacon when crisp and brown diced onion in bacon fat
  3. Once caramelized, add broth and boil peeled, chunks of potatoes. boil until soft. Add bacon bits back to the pot and blend with a hand blender until smooth. Top with a bit of shredded cheddar cheese. Add salt to taste if necessary 🙂

 

 

For a healthier option, I left out the bacon and used olive oil to brown the onions. You can also use a bit of tarragon for flavor.