Merry New Year, Nummy!
I was thinking of making some sweeping New Year’s Resolution about posting more interesting things than soup in 2012, but then I realized I hate resolutions and I still love soup, so everyone can deal.
Seriously though – I wonder what percentage of people actually follow through with resolutions. Because I’m betting 90% of us just end up hating ourselves for not being able to cut it and the other 10% are overachievers who the rest of us hate.
Anyway, the soup: Not only is this delicious, but it’s also a good alternative when you’re looking to strap on the Italian feedbag but don’t want to pile on the calories. The tastes are the same, but because it’s mainly broth and veggies, it could be construed as mildly good for you. And it has a 2 full servings of veggies! (I made that up, but it could be true.)
Also, because this is not cream- or roux-based, all of you clichés who have resolved to eat more healthily in the new year can keep the dream for one more day.
1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp oil
6 cups (or more) chicken broth
1 cup pasta sauce
2 cans stewed/diced tomatoes with juice (if stewed, chop those suckers)
8 oz baby portabella mushrooms, barely chopped
1 bag spinach, roughly chopped
1 zucchini, chopped evenly
1 package refrigerated tortellini (tri-color for the fun)
1 cup parmesan cheese + extra for garnish
Seasonings to taste:
Italian seasoning + extra basil/oregano/thyme (fresh would be the bomb)
- Saute garlic and onion in oil until translucent.
- Add the next four ingredients and all of the herbs and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Bring to a boil. Add chicken, zucchini, and tortellini.
- Cook under zucchini and tortellini are tender. Stir in parmesan. Serve.
I have not been seasonal in my postings. Butternut squash has been a theme these past weeks, and let’s be honest it just screams fall. Here is a very tasty take on chicken pot pie incorporating butternut squash, mushrooms, gravy, biscuits, and bacon. Do I need to say more? –ts
1 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chicken broth (preferably homemade)
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. olive oil
6 slices center-cut bacon
3 portabella mushroom caps, cleaned and diced (about 3 cups)
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 cup diced onions
2 lb. chicken breasts and thighs, diced
salt to taste
buttermilk biscuits (make your own if you can, but I can’t bake)
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Place the butternut squash, milk, chicken broth and garlic in a small pot and set over medium-low heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in the smoked paprika and set aside.
- While the squash cooks, set a large skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the oil and the bacon and the onions. Saute until the bacon begins to crisp and the onions turn translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Add the chicken and cook through, about 10 more minutes. Then add the mushrooms and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Grease a casserole dish. Place the contents of the skillet in the baking dish, then ladle the butternut squash puree evenly over the top. Halve the biscuits and place them in an even layer over the top.
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the biscuits are cooked through and golden. Remove and let stand for 10 minutes before servings.
This recipe is Ina Garten‘s, that sweet wonderful lady who spends her time having cocktail hour in The Hamptons with the gays and putting cream in everything.
Anyway, The Chef suggested I post this earlier today when the world was dark and gray and dreary, but lately Memphis weather has decided to be a rancid, sobbing manic depressive mess, so now it’s freaking beautiful outside. Whatever. We are not to be deterred. Soup was suggested, and soup you shall have.
And if you’re gonna have one, this should be it. This is perfection even if you don’t have a borderline shameful obsession with mushroom. (I literally just googled “disorder: people who marry vegetables” because I thought there might be a hilariously awesome word for crazyfolk who try to do stuff like this somewhere, but alas, I must be the first.) My problems aside, this is creamy, comforting goodness, so go get your Ina on, girl.
5 oz shiitake mushrooms
5 oz portobello mushrooms
5 oz cremini (or porcini) mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 pound + 1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme + 1 tsp minced thyme, divided
salt & pepper
2 cups leeks, white and light green parts chopped (2 leeks)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
- Clean the mushrooms. Separate the stems, trim off any bad parts, and coarsely chop the stems. Slice the mushroom caps 1/4-inch thick and or cut them into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
- Make the stock:
- Heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large pot. Add the chopped mushroom stems, onion, carrot, sprig of thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Add 6 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Strain, reserving the liquid. (You should have about 4.5 cups of stock. If not, add some water.)
- Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat the remaining 1/4 pound of butter and add the leeks. Cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the leeks begin to brown.
- Add the sliced mushroom caps and cook for 10 minutes or until they are browned and tender.
- Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and stir for another minute, scraping the bottom of the pot.
- Add the mushroom stock, minced thyme leaves, 1.5 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the half-and-half, cream, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste and heat through (do not boil).
This is by far my favorite salad
The Chef has made to date. And not just because I got to eat it while watching The. Most. Shocking. Bachelor. Finale. EVER. (Which it wasn’t even
– I mean, Brad picked Emily. That girl was so good-looking even I
was in love with her, and I usually only go for Latinas. Sup Eva Mendes.)
But I digress. Whenever you give me roasted mushrooms and tomatoes of any kind, I am happy, and the combination of both with the crunchy walnuts was fantastic. The Chef says the tangy vinaigrette is also great as a sauce on chicken or fish. I just thought it would be highly drinkable… if you’re into that sort of thing.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/2 shallot, minced
zest of one lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
- In a mixing bowl, add everything except oil and combine.
- Slowly add oil to emulsify.
Roasted Veggie Salad:
1 pound portabella mushrooms, sliced
arugula, half of a container
6 *yellow tomatoes, quartered
crumbled goat cheese, a few “sprinkles” (We’re very technical here.)
walnuts, chopped, a few “handfuls”
salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Toss mushrooms and tomatoes in oil, salt and pepper. Lay out on sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes. (The Chef likes to serve these veggies at room temp, and I agree.)
- Toss arugula with dressing and top with veggies, goat cheese, and walnuts.
*You can obviously use red tomatoes if necessary, but these are prettier and have a great flavor, so try to snag some if you can.
**Also fairly obvious is the fact that this picture is not of the same version of the salad written above. Mainly because I was too involved in finding out whether or not Chantal was gonna wig out and deck Brad when he basically denied ever liking her on “After the Final Rose” (She didn’t – LAME.), and I forgot to take a photo. The Chef says he makes this a lot, though, so we”ll replace this one shortly.