I'm starting to feel like Rip Van Winkle. Have I slept through three months and awakened in the spring? The weather is so unseasonably warm that I've been outside without a coat both yesterday and today. Because of the NHL strike there's no professional hockey. That may not be a big deal in some places, but in Canada it's unthinkable. If it wasn't for the Oscar nominations earlier this week, I'd check to see if I was sitting under a tree somewhere in the Catskill Mountains.
I know this won't last. There's lots of time left for winter weather and, with the strike settled, the NHL players will be back in the rinks next Saturday.
In the meantime, regardless of what it feels like, the calendar says it's January. And that means I'm making soup. This Chicken, White Bean and Brown Rice soup is full of delicious and healthy ingredients. It'll fill you up whether you're shovelling snow or mowing your lawn. I think even Rip Van Winkle would approve.
1/2 cup brown and wild rice blend
1 1/2 cups water
2 tsp olive oil
1 large red pepper, chopped
1/2 large green pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 lb ground chicken
1 1/2 cups canned tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn
1 can (15 ounces) white beans, drained and rinsed
2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
Bring rice and water to boil in a small saucepan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 55 minutes (or follow package directions). Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add peppers and onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add celery and chicken, and continue cooking until chicken is no longer pink, using a wooden spoon to break up meat. Drain any fat off.
Add tomatoes, corn, beans, stock and spices. Season with salt. Stir in cooked rice and simmer until heated through. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve.