SUYL: Favorite Soup Recipes

It’s not often I can actually link up to Kelly’s Show Us Your Life! I’m not sure many people would appreciate that my “kid” is a neurotic gray cat. LOL But this week is all about food, in particular, soups. Since I am obsessed with cold weather and snow, soups are a perfect match. I have a couple of soups I like to make when it gets cold and hold up well for a week while you eat on it. My favorite is French Onion Soup but sadly it is still quite a challenge for my impatient personality. The other two are easy and quick: Potato Leek Soup and Chicken Noodle Soup. Word of warning, I don’t exactly measure when I make either of these.

Potato Leek Soup

  • Four to five large potatoes of your choice (I prefer the golden, waxy ones for the creamy texture they provide)
  • Two to four leeks (depending on their size)
  • One medium onion
  • Butter for sauteing
  • Chicken broth (I use the reduced sodium, at least the 32oz box, normally end up using another partial box to make a bit more)
  • Heavy whipping cream (I try to stick to the smallest carton in the dairy case)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Parsley for finishing

Dice potatoes, set to the side. Slice leeks and onion, saute until translucent, add broth, cream and potatoes to the pot season to taste. Cook until potatoes are done. Use hand blender to blend the potatoes and onions with the broth and cream. Check flavor, season a bit more if you desire. Add parsley flakes, stir and let simmer for about 15 minutes and then serve.

*If you prefer, you do not have to blend the soup. Also, I normally just prep everything from start to finish in a stock pot.

Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Two to three skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Butter for browning
  • Chicken broth (as with the above soup. . . I use the reduced sodium, at least the 32oz box, normally end up using another partial box to make a bit more)
  • One small onion
  • Two carrots (although I normally just use the baby carrots and do about two handfuls from the bag)
  • One stalk of celery (I leave this out, I don’t know why)
  • Extra Wide Egg Noodles (I usually use half of a bag but I really love noodles in my soup)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Parsley for finishing

Dice the chicken breast, onion, carrots and celery and brown in pot with butter; once browned to your satisfaction add broth. Make sure you get all the goodness stuck to the bottom of the pot off and mixed into the broth. Cook on a low/medium heat for about 30 minutes, season to taste and add egg noodles (use time as directed on package). I normally check and season to taste again once the noodles are done but I have also been known to keep this on the stove cooking for most of the afternoon. Sprinkle parsley and serve.

I hope you enjoy both soups! I tend to end up making these when I don’t want to deal with actually cooking something each evening after work during the winter.


A Mix Bag of Stuff

Burying a parent is hard and luckily I haven’t had to deal with this but Bird had to face that this week when we said goodbye to her mom. While you never want to say goodbye to a parent, grandparent, spouse, friend or child, it never gets easier to walk that path. But having friends there to lean on certainly help. I remember Bird coming to pay her respects to my Popa, a sweet gesture from friends.

A funny thing ended up happening while I spent time at the funeral home, I got to spend some quality time with Bird’s twins and nieces. After countless hugs, kisses, laughs and telling them no I ended up with a parting gift, a slight cold that kind of slowed me down this weekend. Oh well, with football on, movies to watch and naps to be had, it wasn’t a bad thing.

The cooler weather and me being under the weather inspired me to try, once again to make French onion soup. I love this soup, not only for the hearty flavor but the bread, onions and the cheese. Oh my! The cheese makes me happy. Here is the one issue I have when making this soup. In order to get the most out of your onions, they need to caramelize, which means cooking them slowly on a lower heat. Let’s just say that history of patience when it comes to anything, especially caramelizing onions is not good. I want to hurry the process but like most things, good things come to those who wait. So this time I took my time. Set my timer for 40 minutes and let those suckers turn a pretty shade of brown.

The end result? Perfection! Well, close to perfection. It makes me so happy to succeed in cooking and it was one of the few things left that the boy did so well because he is patient (well about cooking, let’s not get into football). While I probably need a few more tries to really prefect it, I will say that I am getting closer to getting it right. I guess I need to find another cooking challenge now.

After months (at least I think it has been months) of hearing about Pinterest, I finally signed up. Actually, I have had the invitation for a few weeks but never got around to creating an account. For those not in the know, it is simply a site for you to pin everything you have ever seen and liked to have as inspiration or a reminder of what you would like to have or do in one spot. You can create your own boards so if you are into cooking, sewing and decorating, then pin everything that you like within those categories. I started out basic and then kept adding other boards. Places I want to travel to, cookware, shoes, purses, etc. I like the thought behind it but I think that I have most of that in my head. . . who knows. I may be swearing by this in three months.

You all know I love me some Publix, I travel quite further now than when I lived in Nashville to get to one. But I have a small issue with them. . .they will take competitors coupons but will not match a price on an item. So these Lean Cuisine Spinach Artichoke Dip snackers that are $2.50 at Wal-Mart and $2.99 at Target are $3.49 at Publix! I loathe going to Wal-Mart; have for quite some time. But a dollar difference for the same product? Okay, fine, I will go there. I will huuf, puff and stomp my way there but I will go none the less. I even checked with Publix about this today and they said nope, no way. Sigh. . .there is a reason I shop at Publix and I normally buy what is on sale (instead of meal planning, I plan according to what is cheapest this week). Plus, I LOVE their milk and refuse to get it elsewhere unless I am getting it from Earthfare. Now that I go through a gallon or more a week, I don’t get it at the organic grocery store.

I did splurge today with regards to my diet. . . I got a large sweet tea to drink. So, so bad for me but I was in need of something to drink and that just sounded so good. Since I am focusing on drinking milk or water most of the time, I thought today would be a good time to indulge in something that makes me smile. I was going to go for the Sonic diet cherry Coke but it was past happy hour and I am not spending three bucks on a drink.

I am also really getting into French music. I listen to Pandora while at work and was getting tired of listening to some of the channels I have created so I created one with Amy Winehouse. Here is the thing, I had never really listened to her stuff not released on the radio. I love her voice but until I set that as a station I never had listened to her songs. Well, besides soulful lyrics, the station also brought together Ray Charles, Adele, Duffy, etc. but one of my favorite songs that has been used in a million movies, La Vie En Rose is on there by several different artists. It makes me dream of walking the streets of Paris on a crisp fall day, stopping at a cafe to write, eat bread and cheese and drink coffee and wine. And I thought I would never get the urge to want to visit Paris.

With that, I think I shall go heat up some of my very yummy French onion soup and catch up on all the football today. I am afraid to look at my fantasy football teams though. If I am striving for last place in either league, I am accomplishing that this year. My drafts weren’t that great and I am getting close to pulling a Coach Cower on all of my players, jut my jaw out and start yelling. . . with spit flying out of my mouth. Do you think that might help?