Slow-Cooker Spicy Ranch Chicken Soup

Obviously, today is Tuesday. At least it’s Tuesday when I’m posting this recipe to share. It might not be Tuesday when you read this. Wow, is that clear as mud or what?

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Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Bring on the chill of an Autumn evening. Bring on the comfort of a beautiful bowl of soup. My favorite time of the year has to be fall. The days are still warm enough to take long strolls through the neighborhood, while the nights are cool enough to welcome dinners that warm you to the bone. Soups. Gotta love soups.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Thigh Noodle Soup for Grownup Tastes

Today is National Noodle Day. Noodles have been around since the beginning of time. Okay, that’s not entirely true, but in China an earthenware bowl containing some well preserved noodles has been dated to 4,000 years old. Wow, that’s some old noodles!

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Cajun Chicken Noodle Soup

Today is the 13th of March. It is National Good Samaritan Day, Earmuff Day, Open an Umbrella Indoors Day, K9 Veterans Day, Jewel Day and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day. Hum, not much inspiration there. I suppose we could bake up some doggie treats while wearing earmuffs and standing under an open umbrella in the kitchen. We could wear our best jewels while making sure the doggie treats are healthy for our K9 veterans. And who could argue that passing out treats to strange dogs isn’t an act of a Good Samaritan? A bit much, huh?

Oh, did I mention today is also National Chicken Noodle Soup Day? Thank goodness, because that’s something I can work with.

Did you know that Campbell’s first introduced their canned soup in 1934? It was called Noodle Soup with Chicken. During a radio promotion on “Amos ‘n Andy”, Amos misread his script and plugged “Chicken Noodle Soup”. Within a few weeks, Campbell’s changed the name of their canned soup.

While my Cajun Chicken Noodle Soup isn’t exactly what Campbell’s had in mind, and the Pasta Rings aren’t what you think of when thinking about Chicken Noodle Soup, what is a noodle but pasta, right? So go with it – and there’s a whole new array of Chicken Noodle Soup out there.

Cajun Chicken Noodle Soup
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 cup White Onion
1 cup Red Bell Pepper
2 Celery Ribs
1 teaspoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
1 lb. Chicken Breast, boneless
Kosher Salt to taste
1 tablespoon Cajun Seasoning (without salt)
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1 tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice
32 oz. Chicken Broth or Stock
1 cup Pasta Rings
1/4 cup Italian Parsley, chopped

Peel and mince garlic. Set aside.

Peel and chop onion. Set aside

Core, seed and dice bell pepper. Set aside.

Rinse celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch slices. Set aside.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Season chicken with salt and cook until golden brown all over, 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate to cool, then chop into 1/2″ cubes and set aside with any leftover drippings.

Return pot to medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil, garlic, and onions. Cook until softened, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add celery, red bell pepper, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and salt and cook, 3 to 4 minutes. Add lemon juice, broth, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil.

Add pasta and cook according to package instructions.

While the pasta is cooking, chop the parsley and set aside.

Once the pasta is cooked, stir in the chicken with leftover juices. Sprinkle with parsley and heat until warmed through.

Ladle into bowls and enjoy.

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Hubby hung up his jacket in the entry closet and let out a loud sigh. Was something the matter? Had it been a rough day at work? After all, it was only Monday – far too early in the week to feel that heavy sigh of frustration.

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Taco Chicken Soup with Rice-A-Roni

How’s the weather in your neck of the woods? As I sit here, sipping my morning coffee and looking out the dining room window, I see just how foggy today is going to be. Cold and damp. It’s one of those mornings when you just want to snuggle under the blankets and hibernate. It’s also one of those mornings that makes you dream of big bowls of soup. Yeah, soup. I love soup on foggy days, don’t you?

Taco Chicken Soup with Rice-A-Roni
2 Cups cooked Chicken meat
1/2 White Onion, Chopped
2 Cups Mexican Corn
3 Cups Chicken Stock
1 Box Chicken Rice-A-Roni
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Celery Salt
1 tablespoon Taco Seasoning
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste (from tube) Continue reading “Taco Chicken Soup with Rice-A-Roni”

Five Easy Steps to Italian Chicken Soup

Just a few quick questions before we get the soup simmering – can you open a few cans and boil water? Great, because that’s all it takes to make an incredibly quick and oh so tasty pot of soup! Better still, is there a teenager in your house that can operate a can opener and boil water? Just think, your student can whip up a delicious pot of soup for those late night studies sessions rather than munching away on cookies or chips or whatever. Even Hubby, who is a genius at the grill but lost in the kitchen could make this soup. (Before we were married, he thought all dinners either came from the grill or by opening cans!)

This soup is similar to my Unbelievably Quick Chicken, Rice and Tomato Soup, only this time around we’re using pasta rather than rice and Italian seasoned diced tomatoes. My Quick Chicken, Rice and Tomato Soup was a big hit with my guys, it was a fair bet they would like the Italian version just as well. As for me, I loved the idea of very little investment in time for a delicious return at the table.

The diced Italian seasoned tomatoes, pasta and chicken would have been a delicious combination all on their own. The cut green beans were an added plus in the flavor category, bringing more depth and texture to the finished soup. I don’t know about you, but I can always tell when I have hit one out of the ballpark – no left overs. None. Not a single drop.

SoupFive Easy Steps to Italian Chicken Soup
1 Can Cut Green Beans (15 oz) Drained
2 Cans Chicken Broth (15 oz)
1 Can Chunky Chicken (10 oz) – Or Left over chicken meat
1 Cup COOKED Small Pasta such as Mini Penne or Bow-Tie Pasta
1 Can Diced Italian-Style Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic and Oregano
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Open the cans. Drain green beans into a strainer and rinse under cold water to remove any excess “packing” salt.
  2. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions.
  3. Place everything into a stockpot over low heat.
  4. Simmer until chicken is heated through.
  5. Throw out the cans (for recycling, of course) and call it home-made.

You can serve up this soup with warm Buttery-Chive Crescent Rolls; or a simple tossed salad. This soup is filling, simple to make and oh so flavorful.

Tip: If serving with Crescent Rolls; preheat oven while the water for the pasta comes to a boil. Prepare the rolls while the pasta cooks. Pop rolls in the oven to bake after the soup has been assembled in the pot. In the time it takes for the rolls to bake (about 12 minutes); the soup is ready to serve.

 

Unbelievably Quick Chicken, Rice and Tomato Soup with Buttery-Chive Crescent Rolls

Somewhere out there I came across an article about making soup in five easy steps. Actually, I’ve read several articles on the subject – most dealing with using left-over vegetables and meats. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

This soup uses cans and a quick microwave rice to render a chicken soup that is packed with flavor. Since I’m still in recovery mode from heart surgery, an easy supper I could make myself and have ready when my guys came home from a long day was just what the doctor ordered. They have been great through this long recovery process, and I wanted to show them that there was light at the end of the tunnel. Great tasting food that they didn’t have to cook for themselves.

Just a silly side-note: When I was balancing our bouillon spoons on the rim of the large coffee mugs, Hubby wandered into the kitchen. He smiled and said “Now are you happy? You get to use your fancy new soup spoons.” Yep – I was happy.

SoupChicken, Wild Rice and Tomato Soup
2 Envelopes Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice
16 oz Chicken Stock
2 Cans (10 oz) Chunky Chicken White Meat
1 Can (14 oz) Italian Diced Tomatoes
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
1 Teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb

Vent Uncle Ben’s 90-Second Long Grain & Wild Rice according to package direction. Place bags, one at a time, into the microwave and “zap” each bag for 90 seconds.

While rice is “cooking”, pour chicken stock into a pot.  Add chicken meat, without draining, into the pot with the broth. Break up the larger pieces of chicken.

Open can of diced tomatoes, then dump into pot with stock and chicken. Add rice, stir everything together. Season and continue to heat over low heat until bubbling. The longer the soup simmers, the better the flavors come together.

Ladle into soup bowls or large coffee cups, throw out the evidence and call it home-made. Serve with Buttery-Chive Crescent Rolls.


Buttery-Chive RollsButtery-Chive Crescent Rolls
1 can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 tablespoon butter, soft
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped

Heat oven to 375-degrees (350 for darker pans). Unroll dough; brush with butter.

Sprinkle buttered side with chives.

Separate rolls along perforated lines. Roll each into crescent shape and place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

Makes 8 rolls; double for more.

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Happy slurping everyone!

Smoked Bacon and Chicken Cream Soup

Normally, when I’m cooking up a recipe from someone else, I like to give credit where credit is due, provide a link (if possible) to the original site and let you know what sort of changes I’ve made, if any. I first made this soup for my family two years ago, before retirement and the life of leisure, just puttering about in my kitchen. Knowing that I needed to rise a wee bit early that first morning I had planned to cook up this soup, I decided it would be best to read the recipe through, digesting the instructions the night before so that there would be no surprises the next day. I am so glad I did! The instructions were not complete – beyond browning the chicken and putting the stock and bacon into a crock pot, there was nothing. Total silence. Hum, that’s not a good thing. Typically, when I save a recipe in Yumprint; it automatically saves the link as well, which it did. However; when I clicked on the link I received a warning that the site MAY not be safe. I don’t know about you, but those kinds of warnings generally stop me in my tracks. I’ve said this before – and I’ll say it again now – when all else fails, punt! I had the basic concept of the original recipe and enough cooking know-how to fill in the massive gaps in the instructions. The results were a beautiful, thick, creamy soup. And while the original fragmented recipe called for chicken breast, I decided to opt for boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead. Why thighs? Two reasons – dark meat is more flavorful and we have been eating a ton of breasts lately – I needed a change. Since first making this creamy soup for my family, we have enjoyed this thick, smokey bowl of creamy goodness as part of our Autumn routine.

The original title for the recipe was “chowder”; not “soup”. I really struggled with that whole “chowder” concept, since I’ve always equated “chowder” with something from the sea. The anal side of my personality decided just maybe I should google chowder to see what truly constitutes a chowder. Perhaps, in my narrow view I’m not thinking far enough outside the box. As it turns out, a chowder is a soup that contains milk and is typically thickened with a roux, although crackers can be used. It contains some sort of seafood or vegetables or both as the main ingredients. Clam Chowder is the most famous of all chowders; while Corn Chowder is a great example of a vegetable chowder. Chicken and bacon in a thick, creamy base is NOT a chowder. In other words; Creamy does not equate Chowder no matter how much we may wish it to be so. Now I’ve learned something new – something my instincts told me, but I really wasn’t sure of. Isn’t learning fun?

The only suggestion I would make for future reference would be MAYBE adding some chopped carrots, and ONLY as an option – my finished soup really didn’t need them, but the carrots would have been pretty splash of color.

One word of caution – it took me about 25 minutes from start to finish to get everything chopped, browned and into the crock pot. If you are like me, you’ll be prepping the pot before dashing out the door to face the “real” world. It’s always nice to know how much time you’ll need to get dinner going before the shower and second cup of coffee.

Just a quick note about crock pot cooking – if you haven’t “discovered” them yet, pick up a package of crock pot liners. We’ve been getting a great deal of use from our crock pots lately – and while a good soak will make clean up easier; a liner is heavenly. No clean up, except to wipe down the outside of the pot and wash the lid. Talk about easy – wow! Especially since most of us begin our day by filling the pot. Clean up your mess in the morning, and that’s about it besides a few bowls. What could make the evening any easier? Loving it!

Smoked Bacon and Chicken Cream Soup
1 lb. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs (about 6)
6 Strips Smokey Bacon
4 oz. Cream Cheese
1 Cup Heavy Cream
2 Cups Chicken Stock
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Pepper
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Thyme
1 Shallot, minced
1 Leek, chopped
3 Ribs Celery Hearts, chopped
6 oz. Mushrooms (I used a mix of Baby Portobello Mushrooms and White, stems removed)
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
A Few Sprigs Italian Flat Leaf Parsley for garnish

In a small sauce pan, warm chicken stock (this will aid in making the base for your chowder smooth).

Lay bacon in a stack. Split length wise, then width wise to slice into pieces. Place a dry pan over medium heat to warm nicely. When ready, toss bacon into pan and cook until crisp, stirring often. (While bacon is browning, cut thighs into chunks). Drain off excess fat, leaving about a tablespoon or so in the pan. Transfer bacon to slow cooker.

Pour 1 cup warm chicken stock into pot. Add cream, cream cheese and seasonings into slow cooker. Stir well to combine.

Toss chicken chunks into the pan used for the bacon until almost cooked through, about 6-8 minutes per side. If chicken is browning too quickly, lower heat just a little. Once nicely browned, add chicken chunks to slow cooker.

Toss shallots, leek, celery and mushrooms into the now empty pan. Stir and let brown about 2 or 3 minutes. Deglaze the chicken pan with the remaining 1 cup of chicken stock. Scrape to incorporate browned bits into mixture. Continue to cook until vegetables are almost tender, just another few minutes. Add garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds longer. Pour contents of skillet into slow cooker, scrapping any remaining bits into the pot.

Cover and let cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.

Ladle soup into bowls or large coffee mugs. Garnish with parsley. Serve and enjoy!

Alternative Serving Suggestions: This “soup” is very rich, thick and oh so creamy. Like other thick soups, this would be equally yummy, if not more so, served over an egg noodles pasta similar to a Beef Stroganoff.

Awesome Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

This is one of those wonderful soups that can be made from left over stewed chicken or started completely from scratch, whatever you happen to have on hand that works best for you. The chicken stock filled with tender carrots, onions and celery can be made several days in advance or the night before, whatever your busy schedule will allow. Although you could make the stock in the morning for the soup that night, it’s really best to let it sit in the refrigerator overnight to skim off the layer of fat that will rise to the top as the stock cools.

I like to make my chicken and its soup broth on a lazy Sunday afternoon while puttering about the house, then finish the soup later in the week for a quick yet satisfying mid-week supper. By making the base for the soup in advance, in the time it takes to boil a pot of water and cook up the egg noodles, I can serve up piping hot bowls of soup to warm our weary bones at the end of a long day. I love soup weather and try to make a different soup at least one night each week throughout the fall and winter months. It’s especially nice to finally be able to put one of my beautiful soup tureens to good use. After months of hunting, Hubby and I found two wonderful tureens over the summer at our favorite monthly antique fair. They are both beautiful, one with a matching ladle and platter, the other without. Fortunately, I found the perfect silver soup ladle at another fair that fits the tureen like a glove. You would think they were made for each other. Up until recently, I alternated between the two tureens. Now I have only the one, with the platter. The other (featured here) I gave to my sister, another avid soup maker.

The fact that the chicken for this yummy homemade soup is slow cooked for several hours, skin, bones and all, only amplifies the wonderful flavors of the stock itself. It’s the same basic recipe I use for making my Chicken and Herb Dumplings (another chilly night favorite – a recipe for sharing on another day). The only real difference here is that my soup is made with a little more celery and carrots.

Chicken Soup
1 Chicken, 3 ½ – 4 lbs
3 Celery Stocks, Chopped
1 1/2 Cup Baby Carrots
1 Red, Orange or Yellow Bell Pepper, cored and cut into strips
1 Yellow Onion, chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Bay Leaf
2 Teaspoons Salt
1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
½ Teaspoon Ground Pepper
2 Cups Chicken broth (or stock for really intense flavor) + water
2 Cups Wide Egg Noodles

Chop celery, carrots, bell pepper, onion and garlic according to recipe. Set aside until ready to use.

Place whole chicken, breast side up, in a large pot. Distribute vegetables and seasonings evenly around and over chicken. Add Chicken broth or stock and enough water to cover chicken three-quarters of the way up. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear, about 2 hours. Midway through, turn chicken breast side down to allow juices to flavor the meat.

Remove chicken from pot. With a large fork and tongs, remove all the skin from the chicken and discard. Cut the meat from bones, discard carcass. Cut chicken meat in to large chunks. Set aside.

With a slotted spoon, remove all the vegetables from the pot, leaving only the broth. Fish bay leaf from vegetables, then mix with chicken meat and place in a gallon food storage bag. Lay flat in the refrigerator.

Pour broth into a large container fitted with a lid. Place in the refrigerator over night. As the broth cools, the fat from the chicken will float to the surface and harden. Skim off this layer of fat as much as possible before proceeding.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm broth with chicken and vegetable mixture. While the main “stock” of the soup warms, bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Cook egg noodles in salted water about 8 minutes, or until tender.

Drain noodles well, add to “stock” and stir. Ladle soup into large bowls and serve with plenty of warm bread.