Category Archives: Soup

Chicken & White Bean Chili

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Ah, it’s good to be back in the old blogging world. As you may have noticed, I haven’t been around much lately. I feel bad I haven’t kept up with this blog as much as I’d like, but I honestly haven’t had the time. The only time I’m able to photograph and write recipes for HH is on the weekends, and if my weekends are busy, then unfortunately blogging gets pushed to the back burner. I’ve photographed a couple recipes over the past few weeks, but I wasn’t particularly excited about them, so I wanted to wait until I had a post I thought was worth sharing.

Chicken & White Bean Chili is a fun twist on the traditional. It’s made with shredded chicken breast, green chiles, classic chili spices, and uses a chicken broth instead of tomatoes. It has all the wonderful flavor of tomato chili, but with a slightly lighter taste and is lighter on the calories, too. A combination of cornmeal and milk is used to thicken up the soup a bit, though it tastes delicious just with the broth if you want to save further calories. It’s a simple one-pot meal that comes together in under an hour and makes for great leftovers during the week.

This is a recipe I originally wrote a post for about a year ago, and have made a few times, but my photos were less than impressive. It’s not the most photogenic soup, but it sure is tasty. Last time I made it, I used cornstarch to thicken the soup, but I didn’t like the consistency. After reading a few similar recipes, it seemed like cornmeal and milk was the way to go, and I definitely liked the results better.

Chicken & White Bean Chili
adapted from White Chicken Chili on AmyBites and Pinch of Yum

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Ingredients:serves 5 -6

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil + 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Spices:
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper
    • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 32 oz. container low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 raw chicken breasts (about 1 1/3 lb)
  • 2 14 oz. cans white beans, rinsed and drained (Cannellini, Northern White – any kind will work!)
  • 1 4 oz. can of diced chiles
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • juice from 1 lime
  • Optional toppings: chopped scallions, cilantro, shredded cheese, avocado, sour cream

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together cornmeal and milk until combined and set aside. Let it sit while cooking the chili so the cornmeal can soak up the milk and thicken up.
  2. In a large cooking pot, heat olive oil and begin sauteing diced onions. After about 10 minutes, add diced bell pepper and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until veggies are softened. Add butter and garlic and saute for an additional 3 – 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in spices and let them toast for a minute or two. Pour in chicken broth and can of diced chiles and bring to a boil. Place chicken breasts in pot and cook over a medium simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken breasts from broth and let them sit on a cutting board for a few minutes before shredding it. Add shredded chicken back to the broth, along with beans. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, covered loosely.
  5. Pour in the cornmeal and milk mixture and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Finish off with lime juice and any spices or salt as you see fit. Serve with optional toppings and enjoy! πŸ™‚

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Begin by whisking the cornmeal and milk together to let it thicken while your soup is cooking

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Saute up your onion, pepper, and garlic

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Stir in spices and then pour chicken broth in, along with diced chiles. Bring to a boil and add raw chicken breasts right into the broth. Let them cook for about 10 minutes and then remove to a cutting board.

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Shred your chicken using forks (or your hands if it’s cooled off enough!)

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Add chicken back to the pot, along with the drained beans. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, loosely covered.

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Stir in your thickened cornstarch/milk mixture and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Finish off with lime juice for an extra bite.

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The finished product!

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Add your favorite toppings

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Nom nom nom

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And what chili is complete without avocado? πŸ™‚

Lentil Chickpea Coconut Curry

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Since trying lentils for the first time last summer, I’ve become mildly obsessed with them and usually cook them anywhere from one to three times a month. I love lentils with brown rice, or with sausage, but my favorite way to eat lentils is in a delicious curry. I was originally going to post a recipe for Chana Masala (chickpea curry), but decided I needed to include my beloved lentils and also some greens.

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If you enjoy curry, I definitely recommend giving this recipe a try. Hearty lentils and chickpeas are simmered in a flavorful tomato-curry sauce with kale and coconut milk, served over rice. This meal is so filling and satisfying, I bet most wouldn’t guess that it’s vegan. I admit I sometimes miss meat in a vegetarian or vegan meal, but this isn’t one of them. Lentils and chickpeas are both packed with protein, very low in fat and diet superfoods in my book. I’ve been making this meal in some variation or another for months now, and it really has become one of my favorites. This is the first time I made it with coconut milk and I love the way it mellows out the strong flavors a bit. The amount of spices are based off my personal preferences, so you may find you want more or less of something – just have fun playing around with it!

Lentil Chickpea Coconut Curry

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Ingredients:
serves 5-6

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups of water, veggie stock or chicken stock
  • 1 cup dry brown or green lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 15 oz. can fire-roasted tomato sauce or diced tomatoes
  • 5-6 stalks kale, torn into small pieces or 4-5 cups spinach (I used both)
  • 1 Tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 1 tsp red curry powder or garam masala
  • 1 tsp red curry paste
  • 1 tsp cumin + 1 tsp coriander (or 2 tsp cumin if coriander is not available)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained (feel free to use the whole can if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • juice of 1 lime (about 2 Tbsp)
  • fresh cilantro and scallions to garnish, warmed Naan to serve

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Directions:

  1. In medium saucepan, cook rice according to box directions. You can do this step in advance, or let the rice cook while you’re preparing the rest of the meal.
  2. In a 3-4 quart cooking pot, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over low heat. Add diced onion and carrots and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add minced garlic and continue cooking.
  3. Once veggies have softened and browned a bit (about 15-20 minutes), add water or stock to the pot, along with your lentils and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then return to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato sauce or diced tomato to the pot and stir in kale. (If using spinach, don’t add it until later – see step number 5.) Season with all of the spices (yellow curry powder through red pepper flakes) and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until kale is tender and the curry has thickened.
  5. Stir in chickpeas, coconut milk, and lime juice (and spinach, if using) and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve curry over rice, with a garnish of fresh cilantro, scallions, and warmed Naan. πŸ™‚
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Start by sauteing your veggies

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Once veggies are tender, add 3 cups of water or stock to the pot, along with lentils and 1 bay leaf. Simmer for 10 minutes.

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Stir in tomato sauce, kale and spices and cook for another 10-15 minutes.

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Once kale is tender, add chickpeas, coconut milk, and lime juice to the curry. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.

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The finished product!

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Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili – In Honor of Boston

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I had a nice paragraph written about celebrating Marathon Monday in Boston and how it’s such a big tradition around here, but those words needed some revising after the tragic events that took place yesterday. I was in complete disbelief as I listened to the news stories about multiple explosions that happened just miles from my house and ruined what should have been a joyous event, injuring almost 200 people and taking the lives of three. I will never understand how people can be filled with so much hate or rage that they can justify such a senseless act. But as President Obama said when he addressed yesterday’s events on the news: Boston is a tough and resilient town, as are the people. Though I grew up about 30 minutes south of Boston, I’ve always considered it my home; even more so since moving just outside the city this past fall. We will pull together and move forward, but for now, my thoughts go out to all of those affected by this tragedy.

To honor my beloved Beantown, I’m posting a recipe for Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili. True to my Bostonian roots, I find chili incomplete without beans. This recipe evolved in a few ways: After seeing others add sweet potatoes to chili, I thought that was a great way to balance out the spicy flavors. I always eat chili with cornbread, so adding sweet potato made perfect sense to me and saves some calories as well. I love the combination of sweet potato and black beans, so I decided both of those things would need to present in this chili.

This Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili combines tender sweet potatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes, black beans, and Mexican spices to create a smoky, flavorful chili with a surprising hint of sweetness. I generally followed the same steps as for my 3-Bean Turkey Chili, but cut down the portions (though this recipe can be easily doubled to serve a crowd). I included ground turkey in this chili, but feel free to leave it out for a vegan recipe – or sub ground beef or chicken for something different!

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili
serves 3-4

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Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey (optional)
  • 14.5 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • salt, to taste
  • optional toppings: shredded cheese, scallions, diced avocado, Greek yogurt or sour cream, etc.

Directions:

  1. In a large frying pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over low heat. Add diced onion and sautΓ© for about 10 minutes, until softened. Add diced sweet potato, red pepper, and garlic and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 10 additional minutes.
  2. Once veggies are tender, transfer to a medium cooking pot. In the frying pan used for veggies, cook ground turkey until browned. Stir cooked turkey into to the pot with veggies, along with both cans of tomato and your spices. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in black beans and cook just until they’ve warmed up. Season with salt or any additional spices you find appropriate, serve with optional toppings, and enjoy. πŸ™‚

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I hope all of my readers and your loved ones are safe after yesterday’s events. Please keep Boston in your thoughts. β™₯

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

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When I was in high school and part of college, I worked at Panera Bread. After working there for three years, you’d think I would have become incredibly sick of their food, but instead it was just the opposite. I would take advantage of my discounted meal at my half an hour lunch/dinner break most shifts, and I almost always brought home some type of goodie for myself or my family. Needless to say, I probably gained at least 5 pounds while I was working there.

One of my favorite soups to get on my breaks at Panera was Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice Soup. Chicken noodle soup is comforting to most, but I’ve always preferred rice and I’ve always been a sucker for creamy soups and dishes. Two years ago, when I had been living in my first apartment for just a few months, I made this Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup I found on the blog Budget Bytes. The soup was so delicious and instantly reminded me of the one I enjoyed at Panera Bread on so many of many occasions.

This soup is one of my very favorite recipes and is so satisfying every time I make it. It’s creamy, soothing, and filled with tender chicken, wild rice, and vegetables. It’s a perfect soup to make for your family, or to cheer up a sick friend. The combination of the rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves creates a wonderful aroma that will make your home smell amazing.

To make this soup slightly lighter, I subbed the whole milk for evaporated milk and it was still incredibly creamy and flavorful. If you wish to eliminate the dairy all together, this soup is delicious just with a broth base, too! You can actually use any type of grain you like, as long as you make sure to follow the cooking instructions so as to not overcook it. I used a combination of wild & long grain rice and Bob’s Red Mill “Vegi Soup Mix”, which includes split peas and lentils in addition to grains.

Winter is coming to an end in New England, and what better way to celebrate than with this lovely soup? πŸ™‚

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
adapted from Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup on Budget Bytes

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Ingredients:
serves 5-6

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. chicken (about 2 medium-sized breasts)
  • 1 quart (4 cups) low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 sprigs rosemary + 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup wild rice or your favorite grain mixture
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • salt, to taste

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Directions:

  1. In a 3-4 quart cooking pot, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over low heat. Add diced onions and carrots and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring, until slightly softened. Add your celery and garlic and continue to cook over medium-low heat.
  2. Once veggies are tender, add your chicken breasts, chicken stock, water, herbs, and rice to the pot. Stir to combine and bring soup to a boil, then return to a simmer.
  3. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until rice is finished and chicken is cooked throughout. Carefully remove the chicken from the pot and use two forks to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces, then transfer back into the pot and turn off the heat.
  4. In a separate smaller sauce pan, melt 2 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until a thick paste is formed. Stir in evaporated milk and bring to a simmer, continuing to whisk. Once mixture is thickened, remove from heat.
  5. Pour milk mixture into soup and season with salt to taste. Fish out herbs before serving, and enjoy with a piece of nice, crusty bread πŸ™‚
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Saute up your veggies until nice and tender.

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Add your chicken, herbs, chicken stock, water, and wild rice and cook for about 30 minutes or until rice is finished and chicken is cooked throughout.

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Remove your chicken from the pot, shred it using two forks, and return it to the pot.

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In a small sauce pan, prepare your roux. Melt 2 Tbsp of butter and whisk in 2 Tbsp of flour. Stir in your 12 oz. can of evaporated milk and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Once mixture has thickened, remove from heat and stir into soup. Season with salt to taste.

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πŸ™‚

Roasted Tomato & Eggplant Soup

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This recipe was kind of a spur-of-the-moment decision, but I’m pretty pleased with how it came out. Last night my roommate Emily came home with Creamy Tomato soup from Panera Bread and all of a sudden I found myself craving tomato soup. I’ve been attempting to post twice a week nowadays, usually on Tuesdays and Fridays, but I hadn’t thought of what to make for today (Tuesday) yet. That’s where tomato soup comes in!

This soup was influenced by a few different recipes. Last year I tried Au Bon Pain’s Eggplant Soup and found it surprisingly delicious. I’ve always loved tomato soup, but found the addition of eggplant enticing. One of the best tomato soups I’ve had in a while was at a local restaurant a town over from me. Back in September, when I had my wisdom teeth out, I couldn’t eat much other than soup and mashed potatoes. I was tired of eating soup, but found this restaurant’s tomato soup especially delicious. It was chunkier than usual and tasted like it had cheddar cheese cooked into it.

Soup also appealed to me today because I have the most horrible canker sore on the side of my tongue right now. Yesterday it was pretty painful, so I figured today it’d be starting to heal. Instead I woke up and it had just about doubled in size and was so painful I could barely eat anything. Even just swallowing or talking hurts. Not fun. After taking some medicine, my tongue feels a bit better but solid or tough food is still kind of out of the question for now.

If you are a tomato lover, you will love this soup. Roasting tomatoes brings out an incredible sweetness that you can’t really get with raw tomatoes. The roasted eggplant adds a nice, mellow flavor and the soup is finished off with some fire-roasted bell peppers. I chose to add some light cream and cheese to my soup, but you can eliminate these things if you’re looking for a soup that’s dairy-free (as well as vegan). This soup is comforting and will help keep you warm for these last few weeks of winter. It could even double as a pasta or pizza sauce!

Roasted Tomato & Eggplant Soup
makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • Two large tomatoes, cored, seeds removed, and cut into quarters
  • 1 eggplant, stem removed and sliced in half length-wise
  • 1/2 of 1 sweet onion, cut into large chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 28-oz can peeled or diced tomatoes
  • 1 small (6 or 12 oz.) jar roasted red peppers
  • handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • optional: 1/2 cup light cream or half and half
  • optional: 1/4 cup cheddar cheese

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Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400ΒΊF. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange your tomatoes, eggplant, and onion chunks on top. To prevent garlic cloves from burning, insert into cored tomatoes (see photo below for reference). Drizzle veggies with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Roast your veggies for 30-40 minutes, or until the tomatoes have begun to collapse and eggplant is starting to shrivel. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
  3. In a large sauce pan, combine your peeled/diced tomatoes, roasted red peppers, basil, chicken/vegetable broth, and red pepper flakes. Once your roasted veggies have cooled slightly, add them to the sauce pan as well.
  4. Use an immersion blender to blend the veggies to your desired consistency. (Or, alternatively, transfer the veggies to a blender and then return to sauce pan.)
  5. Heat the soup to low and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until hot. Stir in cream and cheese, if using. Serve with an extra sprinkle of cheese or your favorite type of bread and enjoy πŸ™‚

After cutting up your veggies, place them on a lightly greased baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil on top and season with salt and pepper. Nestle your garlic cloves inside the tomatoes, as shown in the photo. Roast for 30-40 minutes.

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Once your veggies are finished roasting, let them cool for 5-10 minutes.

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Gently remove the skin from your eggplant. Grab a small chunk at the end of it and it should peel off rather easily.

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Place your roasted veggies into a large sauce pan, along with the canned tomatoes, roasted red peppers, chicken/veggie broth, chopped basil, and red pepper flakes.

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Using an immersion or regular blender, blend the soup to your desired consistency. (If you cook a lot and are considering getting an immersion blender, buy one. seriously. best thing ever.)

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Heat sauce over low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until hot. Stir in cream and cheese, if using.

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Serve with an extra sprinkle of cheese and some basil. πŸ™‚

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