This is a great time of year for soup.
After eating the Christmas turkey, we love to use the bones to make soup. And this is a meal that I get to delegate to someone else. Twice a year Andrew is in charge of meals, and that’s after we’ve cooked our Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys. He makes the soup slightly differently every time we eat it, whether it's with potatoes or rice, or another grain, and with some combination of vegetables that he pulls together from what's in the fridge. It’s always a treat for me to smell the aroma of turkey soup coming from the kitchen, and to know that someone else is making dinner!
But that’s not the only reason to eat soup at this time of year. Over the holidays, we don’t want to spend a lot of time fussing with meals, and soups are usually quick to put together. They’re warm on a cold winter day. And, after a holiday of eating excess, they’re the simple kind of food that I crave.
I have two soup recipes to share today. I’ve been making the first one nearly as long as I’ve been married. I cut it out of a newspaper years ago, and later found it in Bonnie Stern’s More HeartSmart Cooking. Her HeartSmart books were among the first healthy cookbooks I bought, and I still use them all the time.
The second soup is a more recent find, from the perfectly titled Whining and Dining cookbook for serving picky eaters. It’s very simple, but so appealing with the alphabet pasta that you might make it even for the people who will eat anything.
Chicken Soup with Rice
(from More HeartSmart Cooking)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups homemade chicken stock or 10 ounces chicken broth plus water
2 cups milk
pinch dried sage
pinch dried thyme
pinch dried savory
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup diced cooked chicken breast
1 cup cooked rice (I use brown rice or wild rice)
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onion, celery and carrot. Cook on low heat for a few minutes until tender but not brown.
Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook gently for 3 to 4 minutes. Add chicken stock and milk. Bring just to boil.
Add sage, thyme, savory and Worcestershire. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add chicken and rice. Cook for 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. (The soup will thicken on standing. Thin it with additional milk or water when reheating.)
(from Whining and Dining)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery (about 2 stalks)
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
½ cup alphabet shaped pasta
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery; sauté for 5 minutes or until softened. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add pasta; simmer rapidly for about 8 minutes or until al dente. Season with salt and pepper to taste.