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soup

Canadian Recipes/ Featured

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Well, cold and flu season is upon us and we are feeling it hard in our household. My toddler has been sick off and on for weeks. She has a runny nose and a cough that will come and go every other week. I kind of expected her to be sick more often after starting daycare in the fall, but not this much! I’ve had a cold a couple times over the past couple months, but sometimes I don’t know if it’s a cold or just the typical congestion that comes with being pregnant. But this weekend, my husband really went down for the count. He’s congested and has completely lost his voice. He was working 14 hour days for a few days there and didn’t see our daughter for awhile. The first night when he came home in time to see her before bedtime, he tried talking to her and she lost her mind! She was so scared of his raspy voice!

I wanted to make a really healthy soup to help the whole family feel better. My toddler is still napping 2-3 hours in the middle of the day, so that gave me plenty of time to make this to enjoy for lunch and dinner that same day. There was a lot leftover so I also took some for lunch today, and I’m sure my husband will be eating some for lunch at home today as well since he’s still off sick.

If you watched my Instagram stories yesterday, I did document how I made this. One of the things I talked about was cleaning my chicken breasts. My mom does this with all of her meat, especially if she’s using it in a stew, soup or braised dish. Have you ever noticed that when you boil meat, you get impurities that rise to the top in the form of scum or foam that you have to skim off? If you clean your meat before cooking it, you won’t have as much (or any) of these impurities to skim off. What I did with my chicken breasts was give them a healthy sprinkle of salt on both sides. I have a cheap box of Windsor table salt that I use purely for this purpose. Then using my hands, I scrub the salt well into the chicken. It’s like you’re exfoliating the chicken! Then rinse the chicken well under cold water to get rid of all the salt. After doing this step, I did not have any impurities to skim off my broth at all. The chicken boiled nice and cleanly. My mom does this all the time with pork, chicken, beef, fish, etc. I must admit, that I don’t do it all the time, but I will now that I see how nice and clean and pure my broth was!

There’s also a step in this recipe to make a roux with butter, flour and a little bit of cream to make it into a creamy chicken noodle soup. I love all types of creamy soups, so I added this step. If you’re just a broth-soup type of person, just omit this step!

Give this recipe a try to kick any of your winter colds and flus!

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Print Recipe
Serves: 6-8 Cooking Time: 45 mins

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 small chicken breasts (you can also use boneless chicken thighs)
  • 6 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots: 2 grated and 1 sliced into half circles
  • 2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of rotini
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp dried dill
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1

Clean your chicken breasts by giving them a healthy sprinkle of household table salt on both sides and scrubbing with your hands. Rinse in cold water and set aside.

2

In a large soup pot, combine 6 cups chicken broth, 5 cups water, and 1/2 tbsp of salt. Bring to a boil and add your chicken breasts. Boil uncovered for 20 minutes. Skim off any impurities that rise to the top (you shouldn't have anything thing to skim off if you've cleaned your chicken well).

3

While chicken is cooking, place a large pan over medium heat and add 2 tbsp butter. Add chopped onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add grated carrots and chopped celery and saute for another 5 minutes.

4

Remove chicken from the pot. Add the sauteed vegetables to the pot and continue to let boil gently.

5

Using two forks, shred the chicken and return to the pot.

6

Add 2 cups of dried rotini, sliced carrot, and the frozen corn to the soup pot and continue cooking at a low boil for 15 minutes.

7

(You can skip this step if you just want a broth soup, instead of a creamy soup). In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt 4 tbsp butter. Whisk in 1/3 cup of flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Add in 1 cup of the hot broth from the soup pot into the flour mixture and whisk until well blended. Add in 1/2 cup of heavy cream, and whisk until well blended. Transfer to soup pot and stir until well blended.

8

Add in 2 tbsp of dill and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook at a low boil for another 5 minutes.

9

Enjoy!!!

Canadian Recipes/ Featured

Satisfying Seafood Chowder

Seafood chowder

Hi there! Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas full of friends, family and food. We had our first road trip with Baby E to spend Christmas with my husband’s family in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan. It’s a 3.5 hour drive from Regina so I was a little nervous about the trek, considering Baby E nurses every 3 hours. But I nursed her right before we left the house and she slept for the entire car ride!

Christmas was fun and chaotic. My in-laws have 7 grandsons and 2 granddaughters. Baby E is the youngest granddaughter at 2.5 months, and the oldest granddaughter is 16. The 7 grandsons range in age from 3 to 14, and the little toddlers make for quite a noisy environment.

Poor Baby E, who is used to quiet days at home with me with political TV shows droning in the background, was clearly overstimulated most of the time. At home with me, she usually stays awake for 1.5 hours before needing a nap, but over Christmas she would last about an hour being doted on by everyone before she started fussing and needed a nap. Side note: I recently put Baby E on a schedule and it has been a lifesaver. My days are easier to plan and manage and she is a much happier baby. I realized that prior to discovering this schedule, I was keeping her awake for way too long and she was not napping enough. But that will be a post for another day where I will provide some details of her schedule and give you “A Day in the Life of Baby E”.

I wish I would have taken a picture of the Christmas dinner that my mother in law made. Let me tell you, no one makes a turkey dinner better than a small town mother. Her stuffing is to die for, and although she’s shared the recipe with me, I can never seem to get it just right. I couldn’t get a decent shot of the meal because 1) I was busy nursing Ella when dinner was ready and 2) with 22 family members for dinner, there wasn’t really a plated, sit down dinner that I could capture. Everyone just dished up and found a spot to sit and eat and socialize.

We are back home in Regina now and my husband still has a few days off from work. He’s currently watching TV and cuddling the baby while she naps, so I have some time to myself to relax on the couch and blog. Today’s recipe is a hearty and satisfying seafood chowder. I love clam chowders and seafood chowders (especially from Earl’s), so I am quite proud of this recipe that I’ve honed to make my own. This chowder can be served with some pan bread for a heartier meal, but I usually just eat a huge bowl by itself.

The recipe below is pretty straightforward, but I wanted to make note of the type of shrimp that is used. My mom has drilled it into my head that black tiger shrimp is the only type of shrimp that is worth using in Vietnamese cooking. It’s the shrimp that she uses in her spring rolls and fresh rolls, and they are bigger and juicier than Pacific White shrimp. And they are also more expensive, around $20-ish for bag of a 26-30 shrimp. I happened to buy the bag of shrimp for this recipe when Sobeys had a coupon in their flyer for 20% off an item of your choosing. The bag of shrimp was the most expensive individual item in my cart that day, so I chose to get a 20% discount on it!

Anyway, Baby E should be waking from her nap anywhere between 15-45 minutes from now and will need to nurse, so I’m going to try to catch up on some reading. I’m currently reading All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and it is taking me forever to finish. I was so naive prior to having Baby E, thinking that I could just devour tons of books on my maternity leave. What I didn’t realize is 1) it’s impossible to focus on a book while she is awake and playing because you’re always looking at her or engaging with her 2) it’s impossible to read while she’s napping because you either need a nap yourself or there’s housework to be done and 3) when she’s in bed for the night and you have a choice of reading or going to bed yourself, you’ll choose to go to bed every single time!

Enjoy this seafood chowder recipe everyone, and enjoy the rest of your holidays!

Seafood chowder

Satisfying Seafood Chowder

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 6 celery sticks, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 4 small red potatoes, cubed
  • 6 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp dill flakes
  • 2 cans baby clams
  • 12 large shrimp, pan fried and chopped
  • 1 can of crabmeat
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 cups corn niblets (I like a lot of corn in my chowder, so I use 2 cups)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley to garnish

Instructions

1

Fry up your bacon strips, chop, and set aside.

2

Fry up your shrimp in some butter until they are pink, chop, and set aside.

3

In a large soup pot on medium heat, add your oil and butter. Toss in the white onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add in the celery and garlic and continue to saute for another 5 minutes.

4

Add the flour slowly and coat the contents of the pot. Add in the potatoes, cooked bacon, salt and pepper, sugar and dill flakes.

5

Stir in all the seafood, including the seafood juices. Add the chicken broth and continue to stir on medium heat for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

6

Add the milk, cream, Worcestershire sauce and corn niblets. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes.

7

Garnish with some chopped fresh parsley and enjoy!

Canadian Recipes/ Featured

Comforting Butternut Squash Soup

It is -42 degrees Celsius with the windchill in Regina today, and it’s one of those days where you have to bring out all the things that bring you warmth and comfort. So far today, I’ve relied on a steaming mug of coffee, some baby snuggles, my thick reading socks from Chapters, and a hot mug of Pumpkin Spice tea. And that was just for this morning.

Now for lunch, I am bringing out two of my other secret weapons to combat the cold – carbs and soup! I’m going to make some pan bread and a big pot of butternut squash soup.

The prep work for this soup is a little time consuming because there are a lot of veggies in it. Take a look at all the chopped veggies that go into it:

But I’m telling you, the nutritious punch that this soup gives you is well worth the time and effort. Throughout my pregnancy and now that I’m breastfeeding, I’ve been constantly trying to get more fruits and veggies into my diet. There are some nights where I’ll reflect on what I’ve eaten that day, and I’ll feel so guilty when I realize that I’ve only had one or two servings of fruits or vegetables.  There will be no guilt tonight (and tomorrow when I eat leftovers) though! This soup is jam packed with nutritious orange, beta-carotene-filled vegetables such as the butternut squash, carrots, and yam, and loads of garlic to fight off any cold or flu bugs!

Just a word of warning: this soup has a slight kick due to the 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper in it. It’s quite amazing what a mighty kick 1/4 teaspoon brings to the soup! So if you don’t like spicy foods or if you’re going to be feeding this to your kids, I would recommend omitting the 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper altogether. I’m eating a bowl of it as I’m typing this, and I’m actually sweating a bit despite the frosty weather outside.

Well, the husband is off to his work Christmas party tonight and I’m staying in with the baby. With this soup, some baby snuggles, and one last season of The West Wing to finish, there is no reason for me to leave the house in -40-something weather!

Stay warm everyone!

Comforting Butternut Squash Soup

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp salted butter
  • 2 medium butternut squash (or 1 large one), peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium yam, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Instructions

1

In large soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter and saute all the vegetables (butternut squash, yam, onion, carrot, celery and garlic) for about 10 minutes.

2

Add the 4 cups of chicken stock, turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil.

3

Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot with a lid, and let simmer for about half an hour or until all of the vegetables are soft.

4

Turn off the heat, and using a hand blender, puree the contents of the pot until it is smooth and lump-free.

5

Turn the heat back on to medium-low and whisk in the curry powder, cinnamon, sugar, cayenne (optional), and salt and pepper.

6

Mix in the heavy cream and let simmer for another 10 minutes, making sure it doesn't boil.

7

Serve with a side of pan bread and it will warm you right up!