Fall Chicken and Pumpkin Soup

I’m sure that a pattern of “pumpkin” is starting to reveal itself on my blog this year. Pumpkin, being a vital element to the fall spirit, is obviously one of my favorite things right now; not only in cooking and baking. My soap is pumpkin scented, we have pumpkin pie and cinnamon flavored candles all over the place, and my dad just bought pumpkin almond milk and pumpkin Cheerios.

This A-M-A-Z-I-N-G soup is the epitome of the perfect pumpkin dish. It is extremely unique and my dad claimed “its the first dish I can say is better than my Halloween chile!!” (which is a compliment that I never thought I’d here him  say). The flavor of the pumpkin in subtle enough that it doesn’t overshadow the other flavors and ingredients but strong enough to make the soup very warming and interesting. The spices added to the soup give it a sort-of strong eccentric flavor that its very unique. After helping ourselves to our second helping of the soup, despite being full, we decided that this recipe is going to become a fall regular. I hope you enjoy as much as I did!!!

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Ingredients

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium yellow onion

2 cloves garlic

5 cups chicken broth

1 large chicken breast (3/4 lb.)

1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin pureé

1 (15 oz.) can black beans

½ cup frozen corn kernels

1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1 Tbsp cumin

½ tsp salt

½ bunch fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add both to a large soup pot along with the olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are translucent (3-5 min.)
  2. Add the chicken breast (whole) and chicken broth. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and allow it to come to a full boil. As soon as it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and allow the pot to simmer for 30 minutes. Make sure the pot does not stop simmering after turning down the heat. If it does, increase the heat slightly until it is gently simmering.
  3. After 30 minutes, remove the chicken breast from the broth and use two forks to shred the meat. Return the shredded meat to the pot.
  4. Add the pumpkin purée and stir until the it has mixed into the broth.
  5. Take one or two chipotle peppers from the can (one pepper for a milder soup, two for a spicier soup) and mince them. Add the minced peppers and about a teaspoon of the adobo sauce from the can to the soup.
  6. Rinse the black beans and add them to the soup, along with the frozen corn kernels and cumin. Allow the soup to come up to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes more to allow the flavors to blend.
  7. Taste the soup and add about ½ teaspoon of salt if desired. Roughly chop the cilantro and stir it into the soup just before serving.

Love,

Ally

I give an immense amount of credit to Budget Bites, for this flavorful and incredible soup (http://www.budgetbytes.com/2013/08/chicken-pumpkin-soup/)

White Chicken and Bean Chile

Today it was extremely humid and like 1000000 degrees out, so naturally I wanted to cook something fruity and cold.I looked through my collection of cooking magazines to try to find a good recipe and came across this soup. Since I already had most of the ingredients and the rest were relatively easy to find, I decided that I was going to make this chile, despite the heat.

Although cooking and eating the chile did leave me a little sweaty, I am so glad that I decided on this recipe. The spices I added made it very unique and it tasted completely different than what I expected. It’s hard to describe the flavor of the soup in a few sentences, but it was sooo delicious.  I’m definitely making this again (probably on a colder day though). ENJOY!

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Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers (1 diced, 1 halved; remove seeds for less heat)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 pounds ground chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 15 -ounce cans white navy beans (do not drain)
1 4 -ounce can chopped green chiles (do not drain)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 corn tortillas, torn, plus more for serving
1 bunch cilantro, leaves roughly chopped
Lime wedges, for serving
Directions
1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, both jalapeños, cumin, coriander, oregano and allspice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and the spices are toasted, about 7 minutes.

2. Add the chicken, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until it starts browning, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the beans, canned chiles, chicken broth and 1 1/4 cups water; bring to a boil.

4. Add the torn corn tortillas to the pot; reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 40 minutes.

5. Remove the halved jalapeno from the chili and stir in all but a few tablespoons of the cilantro; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.

6. Serve with assorted toppings, the reserved cilantro and lime slices.

(Courtesy of Food Network Mag.)

Love,

Ally

Squash and Black Bean Chile

I found this recipe after receiving the January/February edition of the food network magazine and spontaneously ran to Gristedes to make the recipe. Cut to five hours later when my feet are throbbing from standing on them all day and my family’s table is set with our best (and only) china, this chile, cornbread, Sautéed Kale and beets with Goat Cheese. While I love cooking, the highlight of this day was definitely the after effect. My parents raved about the chile and, while this recipe serves 6-7, we ate it all.

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Ingredients:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 bell peppers (1 red, 1 yellow), chopped
Kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chile powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 28 -ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
2 15 -ounce cans black beans (do not drain)
2 bay leaves
1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 1/2 cups)
1 small rutabaga (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch squares (about 3 1/2 cups)– if rutabaga is unavailable, add another 2 cups of butternut squash
Sliced scallions and shredded cheddar cheese, for topping
Cornbread, for serving

Directions:
1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat.

2. Add the onion and bell peppers, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the chile powders, cumin, coriander, oregano and tomato paste.

4. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are coated in the spice mixture, about 2 minutes, adding a splash of water if the mixture is dry.

5. Add 2 cups of water, the tomatoes, beans, bay leaves and 1 teaspoon salt to the pot.

6. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and stir in the squash and rutabaga.

7. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the chili is slightly thickened, 30 to 40 minutes. (Add up to 1/2 cup water if the chili gets too thick.

8. Remove the bay leaves and season with salt. Serve with assorted toppings and cornbread. I am posting a Gluten Free cornbread recipe next week.

Love,

Ally

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

This soup is amazing! I love when a soup is hearty enough to act as an entire meal and tastes heavenly at the same time. A bite of this soup tastes like you are in Mexico and cuddling up on a snowy day at the same time. ENJOY!!

7 hours to cook, 15 minutes to make

Ingredients

1 onion, chopped

16 ounce can chili beans

15 ounce can black beans

15 ounce can whole kernel corn, drained

8 ounce can tomato sauce

12 fluid ounce can or bottle beer

10 ounce cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained

1.25 ounce package taco seasoning

3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts

shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)

sour cream (optional)

 Directions:

  1. Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend.
  2. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours.
  3. Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled. Shred the chicken and stir the shredded chicken back into the soup.
  4. Continue cooking for 2 hours. (Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired).

Love,

Ally