Friday, July 31, 2015

Crock Pot Creamy Chicken Tomato Basil Soup

I have a lot of tomato basil soup recipes on my blog and they are all just a little different, but all also wonderful and delicious in their own ways. This one is a chicken tomato basil soup and its also a crockpot recipe. I love crockpot soups. It just makes it so easy. This recipe if from Jamie Cooks It Up. I changed it just a little, served it with some french bread, and my family loved it. Thanks for another great recipe Jamie!

Crock Pot Creamy Chicken Tomato Basil Soup

4, 14 oz cans Italian stewed tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 chicken breasts (frozen is fine)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

Pour the 4 cans of stewed tomatoes into the slow cooker. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth (or you can blend the stewed tomatoes in a blender and then add to slow cooker). Add 2 cups of chicken broth. Add basil, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper, sugar, onion powder, and red pepper flakes. Add in the chicken breasts (I used frozen), cover, and cook on low for 7 hours. When chicken has cooked through, place on a plate and shred with two forks. Place back in crockpot. in a measuring cup, combine the cup of cream and cornstarch, stirring until smooth. Pour this mixture into the crockpot and stir well. Add in grated Parmesan and cook on high for about 20 minutes or until soup has thickened slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with grated Parmesan on individual servings.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Corn Chowder

I'm posting this recipe again because I've updated it and I like it even better now. It is the perfect corn chowder, to me anyway. I took out the carrots and added more celery. I also added more bacon and if you want even more bacon flavor, follow the cooking note at the bottom of the recipe. I also changed the method, cooking the veggies first in butter, which I think is the key to a really good soup. This is my oldest daughter's favorite soup and she requests it all the time, even in the middle of summer! It's just that good. I hope you like it too!

Corn Chowder

3 tablespoons butter
8 slices bacon, cooked and cut up into small pieces**
1 small finely chopped onion, about 3/4 cup
3 stalks celery, diced (include some of the leaves from center of celery bunch)
1 clove garlic, minced
6 cups chicken stock or broth, divided
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups half and half
1 can creamed corn
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
ground black pepper, to taste
milk as needed to thin soup

In a large soup pot melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add onion, celery, and bacon pieces and saute until vegetables are softened. Add garlic and cook another minute. Pour in 4 cups of chicken stock. Add potatoes and corn. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to medium and boil for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through, stirring occasionally.

In a saucepan melt 1/2 cup butter, add flour and cook, whisking, for about 2 minutes. Add half and half slowly, whisking, and cook until thickened and just starting to bubble. Pour this white sauce mixture into the soup pot. Add can of creamed corn, remaining 2 cups of chicken stock, salt, onion powder, cayenne, pepper. Bring to a boil and heat through. Thin as needed with milk. Season again with salt and pepper and serve.

**As a note: If you want this soup to have even deeper bacon flavor, which makes it fabulous, use 8 strips of uncooked bacon at the beginning. So instead of melting the butter first, cut up the bacon into small pieces and put that in the bottom of the soup pot to cook and render out the fat. Once it is cooked remove the bacon pieces to add back in later, leaving the bacon fat at the bottom of the pot. Add a couple tablespoons of butter and melt, then add the onion and celery and saute until softened. Then add back in the bacon, add the garlic and cook for a minute. Then follow the directions above from that point (next you'll add the chicken stock, and so on). I don't always do it this way because a lot of times I buy big packages of precooked bacon from the freezer section of Costco, but when I make it with uncooked bacon I love the flavor even more.

Easy Hamburger Stroganoff

Have I ever mentioned how much I love stroganoff? It's a perfect comfort food meal to me. I love the creamy, beefy, mushroom taste. So good. This is the short cut version of stroganoff using ground beef instead of cubed steak and cream soup and it's still so good. That might seem like cheating, but it makes stroganoff into a 30 minute meal and sometimes that's all I have time for. So yay for delicious stroganoff in a hurry. I served it over egg noodles with a quick steamable mixed veggie and it was on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Easy Hamburger Stroganoff

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
8 oz fresh sliced mushrooms
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 packet brown gravy mix
1 cup water
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
egg noodles

Brown ground beef with chopped onion and season with salt and pepper. Drain fat, but leave a little to saute mushrooms in. Add mushrooms and saute until softened. Add cream of mushroom soup, gravy mix, and 1 cup of water; stir and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir in sour cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over egg noodles or carb of choice.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Creamy Chicken Fajita Pasta

This yummy chicken pasta dish is from Picky Palate. It's a great 30 minute meal for a busy night and it uses rotisserie chicken so it's fast to put together. I really loved the fajita veggies in this, it just made it so different and fresh tasting, but if your family would prefer another vegetable mix, feel free to use that. I served this with watermelon and French bread and it was a great weeknight dinner.

Creamy Chicken Fajita Pasta

1 pound fusilli pasta (or other curly dry pasta)
2 cups milk
1 packet dry Ranch Dressing mix
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped fajita vegetables (I used 1 yellow bell pepper, 1 red bell pepper, and 1/2 an onion sliced)
3-4 cups cooked and cubed or shredded chicken (meat from 1 rotisserie chicken)
1/4 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet. Add fajita vegetables and saute until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat milk and ranch dressing mix in a dutch oven or large pan over medium heat, for about 5 minutes, until hot.

Microwave the cream cheese in a bowl for about 45 minutes and then whip it with a whisk, slowly stir this whipped cream cheese into the milk until combined. Stir in cooked pasta. Stir in cooked fajita vegetables. Heat and stir for a few minutes until all combined and hot. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 6-8 servings.