Tag Archives: soups

Better than a Prescription

I must be sick.

It’s been beautiful the past three days and I haven’t stepped outside anymore than I’ve needed to.  There have been no runs in the sun, no walks in Duke Gardens, nothing outdoorsy taking place in my life.  Instead, I’ve felt like I’m going to sneeze every 20 seconds and my nose is starting to resemble Rudolph’s.

Allergies seem to be the culprit.  I think I could star in an Allegra or Claritin commercial right now and I wouldn’t even have to act that I’m sniffling, sneezing, coughing, wheezing.  It’s all real.

Thank goodness for soup.

Chicken Jalapeno Soup to Cure Anything
Makes 5 to 6 large servings

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup onion, diced
4 medium carrots, chopped
3 jalapenos, chopped (remove the seeds for less heat)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. cumin
1 ½ tsp. oregano
½ tsp. paprika
¾ cup golden hominy
¾ cup great northern beans (drained and rinsed if using the canned variety)
1 ½ cups shredded rotisserie chicken
32 oz. low-sodium chicken broth or stock
¾ to 1 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Once hot, add in onion,carrots, and jalapenos and saute for 3 minutes.  Add all seasonings (garlic through paprika) and stir to combine for about a minute. 

Add in hominy*, beans, and chicken**.  Mix well in the pot and let cook for 2 minutes to allow everything to warm together. 

Pour in chicken stock and water.  You want to make sure that everything is covered with liquid.  Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes.  Stir occassionally during the cooking process and adjust seasonings before serving.

Cook’s Notes:

*Hominy — a variety of corn (I affectionately call it “corn on steroids” because the kernels are huge) can be found in most grocery stores in the Mexican or Hispanic food section (it comes in a can).

**Rotisserie chicken — I simply bought a whole rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, let it cool, and then shredded the meat to use for this soup.  I removed the skin, but you can leave some on if you like the flavor. 

This soup is FILLING.  And it’s incredibly healthy — lots of vitamins and minerals from the vegetables, plus some healthy fats from the olive oil.  It’s a perfect dinner on it’s own and gets better and better the longer it sits, so this is a time when you can look forward to leftovers!  Plus, if you’re stuffed up like me, the spice from the peppers and seasonings will help decongest you. 

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Pumpkin, Onion, and Ginger Bisque

Baby, it’s cold outside!  Durham is expecting an inch of snow tonight and maybe 3 inches on Monday going into Tuesday.  I’m excited, but I’m probably one of the very very few in the Triangle area.

Let me explain a little equation to you:

If A<B, then C=D.

A = your location in the United States’ latitude

B = latitude of 39°43′19.92″ N……otherwise known as the Mason-Dixon Line

C = snow

D = an apocalypse

The farther south you go, the more true this statement becomes, and Durham is no exception.  I once sent an employee home because she started having a panic attack at the very sight of snow falling.  I, on the other hand, miss Calvin & Hobbes cartoons when it snows and wish that I could get a snow day from work. 

Here’s a recipe to help warm you up on a cold winter’s night like tonight!  I came up with it when I got back to Durham from spending the New Year’s in Arlington, VA, and had extremely limited food options in my fridge and cabinet.  I actually really enjoy those times when I don’t have a lot of ingredients to work with because I have to be extra creative to make something taste good.  Also, thinking of going grocery shopping to restock my empty cabinets makes me very excited.  Hope you like it!

Pumpkin, Onion, and Ginger Bisque

Makes 5 Cups (4 – 1 1/4 cup servings)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
2 – 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1″ pieces
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 – 15oz. can of pureed pumpkin
1 tsp. ground ginger or 2 tsp. fresh ginger (use a little more or less depending on your tastes)
1/2 tsp. ground cayenne red pepper
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cup skim milk (use more or less for desired consistency)

1. In large pot, heat olive oil over medium.  Cook onions for 5 minutes until soft.
2. Add in carrots and garlic, cook for 3 more minutes stirring occassionally.
3. Add broth, pumpkin, and spices.  Reduce heat to med-lo, stir and cook for 5 minutes.  Mixture will be thick and chunky.
4. Stir in sour cream and take the pot off the heat.
5. Transfer half of mixture into a blender (or use immersion blender).  Puree until smooth and add in half of the milk.
6. Repeat process with mixture remaining in the pan and the remaining amount of milk.  Add milk in slowly to reach desired consistency (less milk for a thicker bisque, more milk for a thinner soup).
7. Pour contents of blender back into pan and cook over low for 10 minutes.  Mixture will thicken slightly.
8. Serve immediately, or transfer into heat-safe container and keep in the fridge.

**You can add a can of great northern beans or garbanzo beans to it for a boost in protein.  It would also be great with a grilled cheese sandwich.

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