Some days are tough. Schedules that defy comprehension. Days where you feel like cloning yourself is the only way you’re going to get through. One child is supposed to be at soccer, one is supposed to by at Tae Kwon Do, and both you and your significant other need to be at work. You’re wondering how you are going to be in three places at one time. Days like these call for life hacks (and a village full of carpools!). Days like these call for Slow Cooker Maple Chicken Chili….
I’ve been looking for this dish for a long time, and didn’t even know it. I’ve substituted many things, but this, this Mushroom Bourguignon is the real deal. So, just like so many awesome things in my life, this dish came in to my life by accident. Completely by accident. Well, really it was due to a minor mistake by my husband-but really, the best mistake possible. For real. …
As I sit here in my yoga pants and sweatshirt (don’t judge-it’s the weekend!), listening to the breeze ruffle the leaves, I think I finally have to admit summer is over. I am crying inside knowing that it will be a long 9 months until I can swim in the lake (fellow Minnesotans know this is actually quite optimistic, but let me have my delusions). But for all of those tears, I am also secretly excited for the beauties of fall. Football games, gorgeous brilliant leaves in all colors of the rainbow, sweatshirts (I really love them enough to give them two mentions) and of course…soup. And for the perfect meal to straddle that summer into fall weather… Thai Chicken Soup. …
Lighter Lasagna Soup. Yup, lasagna soup. In the summer. Have I lost my mind? I know that some people out there view soup as a cold weather food. For the record, I am not one of those people. I have an unabashed love for soup and would happily eat it every day, all year long. Hot, cold, thick, thin, full of exotic flavors or a simple classic – I’ll take them all. One of my go to soup recipes for any time of the year is an adaptation of Bobby Dean’s Lighter Tastes Like Lasagna Soup. His recipe (which is a lightened up version of his mom’s Lasagna Soup – so yes, technically this is an adaptation of an adaptation) is full of flavor but requires little time to throw together, making it an ideal weeknight meal….
This Carrot Ginger Soup with Coconut Shrimp was course number 3 in our epic dinner party. (P.S.-don’t worry if you’re having a hard time following along with our dinner party menu reveal, I promise to post the entire menu in order, with links, in a few weeks. And if you just can’t wait, it was already posted on twitter so you can check it out there!). We knew we wanted a soup course to follow our Pomegranate, Squash and Apple salad. While we were initially dreaming up plans for our blog we had a lot of “business” lunches at Lakeshore Grill at Macy’s in Ridgedale (which has been totally redone, and if you haven’t checked it out you definitely should!). Their summer soup was a carrot scallion soup that was so good, I would order it for lunch and then order a cup to take with me to my evening shift at work. Looking around the internet for a soup that would be similar to this one, brought us to this Carrot Ginger Soup with Coconut Shrimp from Food and Wine. Holly made the soup first, and interestingly enough, this soup is not really similar to the carrot scallion we loved-but it is fabulous in its own right, so fabulous that we decided to add it to our dinner party menu. Sometimes you find exactly what you need, exactly when you need it!
I first made this soup for some friends while up at my cabin. My friends loved it and the soup was given rave reviews. This soup is creamy and bright, with a hint of heat that is well balanced by the coconut shrimp. It is ridiculously simple to make and yet tastes complex. We served our soup not only with the coconut shrimp, but also with a peanut-cilantro gremolata. So delicious, your guests will thank you!
And if anyone has a recipe for a good Carrot Scallion soup, please let us know, we are still looking!
Carrot Ginger Soup with Coconut Shrimp
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3/4 pound carrots diced
- 1 Tablespoon ginger grated
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice
- 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon asian sesame oil
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1/4 cup light coconut milk
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 3 Tablespoons cilantro chopped
- 3 Tablespoons salted peanuts chopped
- 16-30 large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a dutch oven until shimmering.
Add onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes until onion is softened.
Add carrots, ginger, and crushed red pepper, and sauté for 6 minutes.
Add chicken broth and bring mixture to a boil.
Turn heat down and simmer the mixture for approximately 20 minutes until the carrots are tender.
Take dutch oven off of the heat and add in soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, peanut butter, and sesame oil.
Using an immersion blender (or you can transfer the soup to a conventional blender), puree soup until smooth.
Add skim milk and coconut milk.
Season to taste taste with salt and pepper.
You can eat the soup immediately, or refrigerate overnight and plan to eat the next day.
When you are ready to eat the soup, reheat if not eating immediately.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Thaw the shrimp if frozen.
Combine the shrimp with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil until lightly coated.
Roll shrimp in sweetened, shredded coconut.
Spread the shrimp on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
We sprinkled an additional Tablespoon of coconut onto shrimp on the baking sheet.
Roast in the oven at 425ºF for 5-8 minutes keeping an eye on the shrimp to ensure it it is pink but the coconut is not burning.
Combine the chopped cilantro and chopped peanuts to form the gremolata.
Ladle the soup into bowls, top with gremolata and serve with shrimp.
What sounds better to eat on a snowy evening than Chicken Wild Rice Soup? All I have heard about this week, on social media, TV, radio, everywhere, is tales of the blizzard. Blizzards don’t normally catch my attention since I do live in Minneapolis, where a blizzard is a pretty common winter experience. This one, though, where the drifts were over my head in New York and they had more snow than us in Washington D. C., seeped into my subconsciousness. Frankly, I was kind of jealous (for a few minutes), because it feels like we haven’t gotten much snow lately! So today when the flakes started coming down (much more gently here than on the East Coast), I was inspired to make one of my favorite cold weather foods. Chicken Wild Rice Soup is one of those foods that, in my mind anyway, has it all-vegetables, protein and that always comforting cream.
Chicken Wild Rice Soup was one of the first foods I ever cooked for my husband. I had him over to my tiny apartment while we were dating, and I made a pot of something very loosely resembling Chicken Wild Rice Soup. Did I mention before that when I met my husband I did not cook? At all. What in the world tempted me to make chicken wild rice soup? One of the world’s great mysteries! Sadly, my attempt was a flour-y, chunky, overcooked chicken disaster. I’m positive I do not have enough space in a blog post to explain what went wrong, but suffice to say, it is a testament to my husband’s love for me that he choked some down (and married me anyway).
Luckily, fast forward 20 years since our “dating” days, and I think I now have this one down. I poach my chicken so it does not get dry or overcooked. I use homemade stock (you surely can use store bought and I promise it will still be good, but if you have homemade stock-this is the place to use it!). I use the traditional Minnesota wild rice. And, although almonds may seem like a strange addition to a soup, I can attest to the fact that they are the loveliest addition, think crunch and flavor all in one bite. So, if the snow is falling in your area, or you are in need of a comfort food, try this one.
Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 8 cups chicken stock I used homemade, store bought would work equally well, divided
- 2 cups of cooked wild rice
- 1 1/2 pound chicken tenders or chicken breasts
- 2 teaspoons salt divided
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper divided
- 1 cup of slivered almonds
- 3 1/2 Tablespoons cooking sherry
- 2 cups half-and-half
To Poach Chicken: Place chicken tenders (or chicken breasts) in a saucepan with 2 cups of chicken stock, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper.
Simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
Allow to cool.
Chop chicken to be used in soup.
To Make Soup: Melt butter in a dutch oven or large stock pot.
Stir in the onion, celery and carrot and sauté for 7-10 minutes or until soft.
Add the flour and stir until mixed in.
Slowly add 6 cups of chicken stock, stir continuously while adding.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer.
Add the rice, chicken, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, curry powder, mustard powder, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, almonds and sherry.
Add the half-and-half.
Simmer for 1-2 hours until all flavors have melded.
Serve and enjoy!
Note: If reheating, you may need to add a small amount of stock to thin the soup, it does thicken upon cooling.
We are squarely in that time of year when the winter chill has set in and comfort foods – soups and stews, chili, and rich pasta dishes – are what I reach for again and again. After all of the indulgence of the holidays, this chili is a great balance of healthy(-ish) and hearty.
I’ve been making a version of this chili for years. It started with a recipe from the great Ellie Krieger (find the original here), and over the years has morphed into something a little spicier and a little richer, without totally sacrificing the nutrition. My husband likes it served with generous amounts of shredded sharp cheddar and some sour cream. I think it’s great on it’s own. It freezes well and keeps, refrigerated, for 3-4 days.
Most chili recipes are fairly flexible and can be adjusted to fit your personal and family tastes. If you’re nervous about the heat from the chipotle peppers, remove the seeds but don’t eliminate the peppers entirely. They give a beautiful, rich, and almost smoky flavor that is really worth trying. I also recommend taking the extra time to puree whole, canned tomatoes instead of using the more typical crushed tomatoes. I particularly love Muir Glen Fire Roasted San Marzano style tomatoes, but if you’re wanting to save time and dishes, go ahead with regular crushed tomatoes.
Chipotle and Stout Chili
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 2-3 medium carrots peeled and roughly diced
- 2 red bell peppers diced
- 2 heaping teaspoons cumin
- 16 ounces lean ground beef grassfed, organic if possible
- 2 teaspoons of adobo sauce from canned chipotle in adobo
- 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo minced
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 16 ounces good stout beer I prefer Guinness
- 1 28 ounce can of whole, fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven
Add the onion, carrot, and bell pepper and saute until just softened, about 10 minutes
Add the cumin and stir until fragrant, about one minute.
In the same pot, brown the ground beef until no longer pink.
Add the chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, removing the seeds if you prefer less spice.
Puree the tomatoes in a blender and add to the chili mixture.
Stir in the beer.
Mix in the oregano and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Allow to simmer, partly covered, approximately 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Remove the lid and stir in the beans. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Adjust seasoning and serve with your favorite toppings.
What are your go-to comfort foods in the winter?
For years I’ve been obsessed with finding the perfect tomato soup. Obsessed. Every year as the weather turns colder, my attention turns towards the pursuit of that pinnacle of tomato soups, the one you want to make over and over again, and every year I am disappointed. I have tried cream based soups, broth based soups, and even a vegan soup with cashews used instead of cream, but I have not found THE soup…until now. …