Have I mentioned that I LOVE fall? My favorite part of the season is, of course, the food! As much as I love salads and the like, there is a special place in my heart for warm, feel good foods! Like soup. I would love to share two soups I made this week…
Not to toot my own horn, but this was quite possibly the best chicken noodle soup ever! J The recipe was actually from TheFoodNetwork.com, titled Slow Cooker Chicken and Pasta. But, I tweaked it a little. Here is what I did to this oldie yet goodie:
Cut cup about 3 carrots, an onion and a couple cloves of garlic. Put them in a slow cooker along with some olive oil (I used garlic-herb olive oil) and lemon zest and juice. Added ~8 cups of chicken broth, diluted with some water. I then seasoned 2 chicken breasts with a tiny bit of salt and some pepper, and put them in broth mixture. This cooked for about 6 hours on high. I then added some peas, fresh dill and ~1½ cups of orzo in the soup and tore apart the chicken. This all cooked for another 25 minutes or so to cook the peas and pasta, and we ate it with some farmer’s wheat bread! Yum yum yum.
The reason I love the taste so much is the lemon and dill. They are both pretty mild, but add something a little different than your typical chicken noodle soup; yet it still has that good, warm feeling that chicken noodle soup brings! And, it is good for you, because it is relatively low calorie, includes veggies (you can also add spinach or another green, but I didn’t have any around), the pasta is small, and there is some chicken for protein; yet not too much of it. Oh, and for broth, I get some MSG free chicken stock base from a local natural food store (Mama Jeans). Just make sure to avoid the ones that are filled with sodium and have all kinds of unknown stuff added to them. And last but not least, it is so easy! Just cut up your veggies and put it all in a slow cooker to do the work for you.
PS- Did you know that chicken noodle soup really does help with the cold and flu? Tis the season… Even the Mayo Clinic recommends it as a cold remedy! Chicken soup has vitamins and minerals that may help the immune system, may have an anti-inflammatory and mucus-thinning effect. If nothing else it is soothing to the throat and provides fluid (as long as you watch the salt!). So, if you need another reason to try some homemade chicken noodle soup… I can probably brainstorm a little more.
And Butternut squash soup!
Like I mentioned before, I love squash! Here’s what I did with this one:
Roasted 2 butternut squash in the oven (cut in ½, brushed with EVOO and sprinkled with pepper, in oven flesh side down 400 degrees, 35ish minutes). Then, I cut up some onion, garlic and carrots and sautéed in EVOO. Once those were soft, I scooped out the EVOO and added enough chicken stock to cover all the squash. I added a pinch of cayenne pepper, and that all simmered for about 40 minutes. Finally, I added some cinnamon, allspice and ginger and used an immersion blender to smooth it all out.
And then I thoroughly enjoyed it 🙂