Soup to warm your body when it is cold outside

When it is cold we need and crave something to warm our bodies, and soup is the perfect solution.

by Joanne Henning Tedesco — 

In Arizona, we are now enjoying that short season in our state known as winter. The snowbirds are wearing their shorts and sitting by the pool, but it is very cold for us full-time residents, as our bodies are unaccustomed to the lower temperatures. We need and crave something to warm our bodies, and soup is the perfect solution. Just add a great salad made with fruit and vegetables from the local farmers’ markets for a delicious meal.

If time is limited, pick up a rotisserie chicken, cut it up and add vegetables, seasonings and chicken stock to a soup pot. Having made such a wonderful soup, your family will think you have been slaving all day in the kitchen.

 

Rotisserie Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 (two pound) rotisserie chicken
  • 3 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, quartered and left unpeeled
  • 6 fresh parsley sprigs, plus 2 tablespoons, chopped
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 10 cups organic, free-range chicken broth (80 fluid ounces)
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/2 cup long-grain rice, rinsed, optional

Preparation:

Remove meat from chicken, reserving skin and bones. Coarsely chop one celery rib and put in a 6- to 8-quart pot, along with chicken bones and skin, onion, parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, bay leaf and chicken broth. Simmer, partially covered, one hour. While broth is simmering, shred about half of chicken meat into 1-inch-long pieces (about 1/4 inch thick) to yield 1-1/2 cups meat, reserving remaining meat for another use. Dice remaining two celery ribs into 1/4-inch pieces. Pour chicken broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing hard on solids with back of a ladle and then discarding them. Skim fat from surface of broth. Return strained broth to pot, then add carrots, diced celery and rice. Simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and rice is soft, about 30 minutes. Stir in shredded chicken and chopped parsley. Serves 6 to 8 (makes 2 quarts).

 

Blue Cheese and Chive Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup chives, minced
  • •racked black pepper, to taste

Preparation:

Combine blue cheese in a bowl with butter, chives and black pepper, to taste. Whisk vigorously with a fork. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks. Let it come to room temperature before using. This versatile flavored butter is wonderful on juicy steaks, broiled thick-cut beefsteak tomatoes, baked potatoes or green beans. Makes about 3/4 cup.

 

Beet and Tangerine Salad with Cranberry Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 3 red beets, cut into 2-1/2 inch diameter pieces, tops trimmed
  • 3 large tangerines
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons cranberry juice cocktail concentrate, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup paper-thin slices red onion
  • 1 large bunch watercress, thick stems trimmed

Preparation:

Cook beets until tender. Meanwhile, finely grate enough peel from tangerines to measure 2 teaspoons. Cut top and bottom off each tangerine. Following contour of fruit, cut off all peel and white pith. Cut horizontally into 1/3-inch rounds, remove seeds. Whisk oil, cranberry concentrate, vinegar and reserved tangerine peel in small bowl to blend. Season dressing with salt and pepper, to taste. Add onion. Hold beets under cold running water and rub off skin. Cut horizontally into 1/4- to 1/3-inch-thick rounds. Sprinkle beets with salt and pepper. Cover large platter with watercress sprigs, and top with beet and tangerine rounds. Using fork, lift onion slices from dressing and arrange over salad. Drizzle with dressing. Yield: 6 servings.

 

Broccoli Soup with Leeks and Thyme

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups chopped leeks, white and pale green parts only (about 3 large)
  • 6 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 1-1/4 pounds broccoli crowns, chopped (about 8 generous cups)
  • 4 cups (or more) low-salt organic chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:

Melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add chopped leeks and 4 teaspoons fresh thyme; sauté until leeks are almost soft, reducing heat if needed to prevent rapid browning, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer 1/2 cup leeks to small bowl; reserve. Add broccoli and 4 cups broth to pot; bring to boil. Cover; boil until vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Purée soup in blender until smooth. Thin soup with more broth, if desired. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Ladle into bowls; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons chopped thyme and reserved leeks. Yield: 4 servings.

 

Sources: bonappetit.com, gourmet.com and Joanne’s recipe box.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 32, Number 1, February/March 2013.

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