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Passionate about Vermont
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Three Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Soup Recipes for Dinner

January is soup month, and I couldn’t be more excited.

I love everything about soup, and you will find it on our meal plan at least once per week. Coupled with a crusty loaf of bread, and you have me hooked. Today, I will share three of my family’s favorite soup recipes, along with our favorite (and super easy) crusty bread recipe. Cooking soup is a great opportunity to get the kids in the kitchen to help with chopping and prepping, and they may even ask for more soup at dinnertime!

Soup Bowls

Soup for Dinner

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup- Adapted from Healthy Seasonal Recipes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 32oz cartons of chicken stock
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt (plus extra for tortillas)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1- 1.5  pounds of boneless and skinless chicken breasts, roasted and shredded (or just shred the meat from a rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 cup red salsa (whatever brand your family prefers)
  • 1 large package corn tortillas
  • 3 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Optional Add Ons:

  • Shredded Mexican cheese
  • Hot sauce
  • Diced avocado
  • Sour cream
  • Chopped cilantro (highly recommended, it really brings the soup to life!)
  • Lime wedges
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay tortillas on a cutting board and brush with oil. Stack together and cut into thin strips. I find using a pizza cutter makes this part easy-peasy. Spread on a cookie sheet in a thin layer and sprinkle with salt. Place tray in oven and bake until crispy, about 15 minutes. You can stir them mid bake so they get evenly cooked.
  2. Heat remaining oil from tortillas in a pan on low/medium heat, add onions and stir. Cook for 5 minutes, then add carrots, celery and garlic. Stir all together, and saute another 5 minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Add cooked chicken, and sauteed vegetables to crock pot. Add in all other ingredients and give it a stir. Set on low for 8 hours and forget it. Once dinner time rolls around, put the soup into bowls and top with any of the optional add ons, and of course the super crunchy and delicious tortilla strips…YUM!!

Harvest Chicken Stew

Ingredients:

  • 1 32oz cartons of chicken stock
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Few swirls around the pan of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, chopped in chunks
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1- 1.5  pounds of boneless and skinless chicken breasts, roasted and shredded (or shred the meat from a rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 large winter squash (whatever you have on hand, or your family’s favorite, I usually use acorn or butternut)
  • 2 teaspoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cups chopped potatoes (I never peel them, but you certainly can!)
  • 2 cups other root vegetable, ie turnips, rutabaga, parsnip, sweet potato
  • 1 cup vermouth or white wine

Directions:

Cut winter squash in half, scoop out seeds and drizzle the inside with olive oil, and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Place chicken breasts and squash, cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and squash is soft.

Once cool enough to touch, scoop squash out of skins and puree in a food processor until smooth. Chop the chicken, removing any weird pieces. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil in a Dutch oven on low/medium until soft and translucent, about 15 minutes. Add carrot, celery, and flour and toss to combine. Cook on low/medium until vegetables are soft and flour is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Deglaze pan with vermouth/wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add all other ingredients, except the peas, to the Dutch oven, including the chicken and pureed squash. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and cook on low-medium heat for 2-3 hours, stirring every hour.

Alternately, you can place Dutch oven in 250 degree pre-heated oven for 2-3 hours. In the last 15 minutes, uncover the pot and stir in the peas. Serve with a big hunk of bread or biscuits and butter, enjoy! 

Soup Vegetables

Soup Vegetables

Crock Pot Lentil and Black Bean Chili Adapted from Pennies and Pancakes 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb bag of dry lentils
  • 1 lb bag of dry black beans
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic diced
  • 4 large carrots chopped small
  • 1.5 cups of your favorite salsa
  • 2 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Optional Toppings:

  • Squeeze of lime
  • Diced avocado
  • Sour cream
  • Diced red onions
  • Shredded Mexican cheese
  • Hot sauce

Directions:
Rinse the lentils and black beans well, removing any bad beans or small stones. Place in 6 quart or larger slow cooker, and add all other ingredients to slow cooker. Add 10 cups of boiling water to the crock pot, and place lid on top. Cook on high for 6 hours, or low for 8.  We serve our chili with cornbread or tortilla chips. This makes a great filling for burritos, or a topping for nachos!

No Knead Jalapeño Cheddar Bread, adapted from Nature and Life Notes

This bread is, hands down, the easiest, and most delicious bread we have made at home. With a little planning ahead, you can have fresh bread in no time!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon yeast
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 chopped jalapeños (I remove the ribs and seeds)
  • 1 ½ cup luke-warm water

Directions:
Whisk flour, salt and yeast together in a large bowl. Add water and stir. Add the cheese and peppers, and mix with your hands until all combined. Dough will be shaggy and not pretty. Drizzle with olive oil and tightly cover with plastic wrap and then a dishtowel or two. Place in a draft free, but warm area. I usually use the buffet in the dining room, for 12-24 hours.

Remove the dough from the bowl and turn out onto a floured cutting board. Turn and pull the dough onto itself 5 or 6 times to distribute the yeast and ingredients and shape into a ball. Leave on cutting board and loosely place Saran Wrap and a kitchen towel on top. Let rise for 1 ½ hours.

After an hour, heat oven to 450 degrees, and place cast iron pot and lid in the oven for 30 minutes to heat up. Carefully remove pot from oven, and place bread dough into pot and cover with the lid. Bake for 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Remove from oven, and tip bread out onto a cooling rack (it should slip right out), and let cool for at least an hour. Enjoy!

Crusty Bread

Crusty Bread

For all of these recipes, you can find a lot of the produce required at a local winter market!

What is your favorite soup or stew recipe?

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