Tag Archives: soup

Magic Soup

14 Mar

Even though winter’s winding down, we keep encountering folks who have that ‘change of seasons’ flu- especially here in the northeast right now. It seems the timing is perfect for this soup recipe sent to us by Kathy Larson, Frontier’s VP of Sustainability and Education. It might be just what’s needed if you’re battling the blahs while waiting for spring.

by Kathy Larson

Some years ago while we were in the city shopping, I started getting a sore throat, feeling achy and blah.  We had planned to eat supper before going home but I was looking forward to getting home and wrapping up in a warm blanket with a cup of tea.  However, my husband really wanted to stop at a Thai restaurant that was on our way home, so thinking perhaps some hot soup would be good, I agreed.

I got a hot, spicy and brothy soup with cilantro, mushrooms, onions, chili peppers and other goodies at the bottom of my bowl.  I like spicy foods, but this was just at the limit of comfortable eating and I remember taking careful spoonful after spoonful to avoid coughing.  Soon I was sweating and panting a bit but I cleaned up every drop of that tasty soup because it just felt healing.  And the best thing was that the next day, I felt healed!

Ever since, when I start getting that achy, sore throat feeling I make a hot, gingery soup that always warms me up and makes me feel better.  I vary this soup depending what I have on hand, as I usually am making it when I can’t plan ahead.

Magic Chicken Soup

1 small chicken (or 2# deboned, skinless chicken pieces)

Water to cover and cook chicken (2 to 3 quarts)

3 astragalus root slices

3 bay leaves

2 to 4 whole red chilies

2 large onions, chopped

1 cup chopped carrot

3 celery stalks, chopped

1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms

2 tbsp tamari

1 2-inch pieces of fresh ginger, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tbsp parsley flakes

3 cups bok choy or other Chinese cabbage, chopped

juice of one lemon

Garnish: 2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaf chopped

Place the chicken, bay leaf, chili peppers and astragalus in a large soup pot, cover with water and cook until tender (about an hour).  Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool.  Rinse shiitakes under cool water to remove any grit, then place in a small bowl and cover the mushrooms with hot water to soften (15 minutes).  Add onion, celery, carrot, tamari and drained, chopped mushrooms to stock and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove chicken from the bone and add it along with the garlic, ginger and parsley flakes to the soup and continue simmering another five minutes.  Add bok choy and lemon, stir well, taste and adjust seasonings if desired.  If soup is not as spicy as you would like, add cayenne ¼ tsp at a time.  Serve piping hot and garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.

Kathy says: I also make this soup without chicken and add chicken broth powder to the veggies while they are cooking to get a richer broth.

 We’d love to hear about your magic soup recipes!

Refocus on Simple Healthy Eating

3 Jan

Refocus is a positive word, an action word that implies moving forward. It suggests doing something again that you once did, and maybe did well. You were focused, now let’s refocus.

It’s what we like to do when the new year dawns – refocus our energies on some things we’ve maybe lost sight of, or not been as vigilant about as we’d hoped. Often this involves food and our health. Maybe this is the year you really want to learn to cook simple, healthy meals.

One of the easiest ways for a busy person to do this is with a slow cooker. We’ll offer you some other tips in the coming weeks, but let’s start with a simple slow cooker recipe. Almost all of us have a slow cooker, in the form of a crock that plugs in.

Here’s a recipe for chicken tortilla soup that combines some hearty vegetables with spices, as good as anything you’ll find at the restaurant down the street! Serve it at home, knowing exactly what ingredients are within: simple and healthy.

CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP
Ingredients
1 pound boneless chicken, cooked and shredded
1 can (15-ounce) crushed tomatoes
1 can (10-ounce) enchilada sauce
1  medium onion, chopped or 1/2 cup dried minced onion
1 can (4-ounce) chopped green chilies
2  cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
1 can (14.5-ounce) chicken broth
1 can (15-ounce) whole kernel corn
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried chopped cilantro
Directions
Combine all ingredients in greased 4 1/2 to 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat 6 to 8 hours or on high heat 3 to 4 hours.
Chef Suggestions
Serve with tortilla strips and garnish with grated pepper jack cheese and guacamole.
Add 1 cup shredded carrots or shredded zucchini at the beginning of cook time.
In the coming weeks, we’ll present more ideas to help you renew your efforts in the areas of healthy eating and sustainable living under the “Refocus” heading.  We’d love to hear your tips and plans, too.

Summer Soups

28 Jul

Here’s a very quick idea for a summer dinner. A cool soup! If you’ve never tried a summer soup, you’re in for a treat. You’re likely to come across some new flavor combos when exploring cool soups. And this delicious summer fare made with the weekly bounty from your local farmer’s market is a perfect way to eat healthy and support local growers.

Cool summer vegetable soups are a nice variation from serving a salad. They can also be a hearty meal by themselves. Unlike the desired smoothness of a fruit soup, summer vegetable soups are often rich and full of texture. To get texture, feel free to add beans, rice, or bread to the mix.

Again, there’s nothing like a summer farmer’s market to offer you an array of vegetables for creating soups: spinach, avocados, cucumber, tomatoes, beets, carrots, corn and asparagus. Any of these creatively combined with herbs and spices in a summer soup will revive your weary taste buds after a long summer day.

Here’s a sweet and tangy recipe to get you started.

Chilled Carrot Honey Soup

Ingredients:
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 cups water
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons mild honey
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6  thin lemon slices
1 tablespoon mild honey for drizzling
Directions:

Combine all ingredients except 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice in a 3-qt heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until carrots are tender, 30-40 minutes.

Purée soup in 2 batches in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids) until very smooth, then chill soup quickly, stirring occasionally, in a metal bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and water, about 30 minutes. (Alternatively, cool soup, uncovered, 30-40 minutes, and then chill covered, until cold, about 4 hours.)

Stir in remaining 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice and salt to taste. Divide soup among 6 bowls with a ladle. Float a lemon slice on top of each serving, then drizzle with honey and serve.

 
Remember, when cooled, some of the flavors of your vegetables may fade, so you need to start with the freshest ingredients you can. Newly picked vegetables will give you the most satisfying results.

Here are more summer soup ideas, and creative serving suggestions. Enjoy!

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