Thank you Bekka Shepherd! One of my very oldest friends (2nd grade) sent me this recipe as her family’s weekly staple. She’s a busy working mom so I can officially deem this “busy working mom approved”. Ok, this is it, a really, truly, EASY recipe. I mean it. If you can open cans you can make this. If you want it to be more like chili, skip the chicken broth. With the broth, it’s sort of like a “stoup” or a nice, thick soup. The first time I made it like chili – no chicken broth and some simmering to thicken it up. The second time, soup! Both flavorful and delicious.
I have so many thoughts. First, I was always hesitant to try pumpkin chili because it sounded gross. In my mind there was pumpkin pie mashed with meat and beans. My church and cooking gal pal Heather had it on her site, here, and wanted to see if I had any suggestions. I trust her cooking, so I figured it was worth a try. I followed her blueprint but added here and there as necessary. The end result floored me, not because it was so good (which it was) but because you literally cannot taste pumpkin – it just has a more creamy consistency (minus any dairy) which makes it pretty awesome.
My bestie Jenna texted me one night with lots of exclamation points. It was about this Blue Apron meal she had just made – the explanation seemed confusing and when she texted me pictures of the Blue Apron “how to” and recipe, it still seemed strange. Was it a soup? A pasta dish? I’d been wanting to make something with miso and Jenna, a great cook, endorsed this recipe big time. I went for it.
This recipe if from Deb – she received it at her wedding shower from an aunt who’s mother lived in Italy as a little girl. She makes it all the time and can I just say, I am SO GRATEFUL she shared this with me. I tasted the soup as I went but it wasn’t until I spooned myself a big bite from my photo bowl that I understood exactly what this was – the best lasagna you’ve ever had with a quarter of the work.
I really like Asian flavors – my husband not as much. Our weeknight staple sweet and spicy beef and edamame aside, he typically enjoys the more familiar flavorings found in Italian food, BBQ and the like. The kids like the above beef dish as well but I didn’t even try them on this soup. Reason one being I had leftover chili and I knew they were fans. Reason two being that I didn’t want to share.
Butternut squash soup is something I haven’t gotten into. It’s often flavored with curry or cumin which isn’t my favorite and it’s always lacking protein. It’s sort of like drinking very orange, healthy tea. It’s not a meal, it’s a drink that one eats with a spoon. Ain’t nobody got time for that (I say this fifteen times per day). This recipe needs “beefing up”.
This soup came to be because I was absentminded at the Grower’s market. I saw some beautiful red skinned potatoes and fresh rosemary and thought that combo would make for some lovely roasted taters. Once home I saw that I’d had a similar thought the week before, hence the week old potatoes in my potato storing spot.
Though I’ve had my reservations about my crock pot (steamed vegetables are gross), there is no doubt that crock pot chili is where it’s at. This recipe is easy enough for a weeknight (no browning the meat!), but tasty enough for company. You’ll notice that I haven’t posted chili yet on my site – that’s because I always feel slightly dissatisfied with versions I’ve tried. Well, not this time!
I love weekend afternoon cooking. Rich is home to entertain Tess and Leo naps; I listen to my perfected Jack Johnson Pandora station (heavy on the Joshua Radin, Gavin DeGraw and Ingrid Michaelson) and cook. Sometimes it’s for friends coming over or bringing a dessert somewhere but usually it’s just for the week ahead. Typically it’s the regulars like pecan pie bars, double chocolate zucchini muffins, baked brown rice, or poached chicken. I’ll throw a bunch of sweet potatoes in the oven with a spaghetti squash then refrigerate until needed. Even though it’s monotonous I still truly enjoy it. Using up what I’ve bought or what’s in season at the market gives me a sense of accomplishment.
I’ve always liked white chili better than red but I find that most recipes for white chili aren’t so healthy – sometimes they contain dairy and when they don’t, they’re sort of thin, more like a soup. How did I not think of this before? Pureed beans! Creamy and healthy – my fave combo.
I finally have a garden and managed to grow a few zucchini and a crazy amount of basil with minimal care or attention (my thumbs are not green, but I love free food). I’ve been making this soup all summer and have tweaked a few things. It’s by memory now; currently eating a bowl from a batch I made while talking to Jenna the entire time (speaker phone while chopping).
This is one of the freshest tasting soups I’ve had in a long time. The typical garlic or onion flavor boost that starts most soups is absent here and it’s quite alright. With spicy radish and bright lemon, not to mention the decidedly springy asparagus, this soup is the closest I’ll ever get to doing a “cleanse”.
So tempted to write “Chicken Fiesta” soup but I don’t see how the literal translation has anything to do with the flavor of soup. Chicken party? It sounds more like a children’s book title.
This healthy soup was purposely made after a birthday lunch at the new Victory Brewery in Kennet where I shared Thai mussels with my bestie and devoured a handcrafted burger (basically a mostly organic version of a Big Mac) that pretty much rocked my socks off. My appetite vanished for hours, probably due to the calorie bomb burger, but that Thai coconut flavor nagged me, begging to be reproduced.
Stracciatella – is that not just the sexiest word? It means “little shred” and before it found it’s way into a Haagen Dazs commercial it was a sort of Italian soup; the ice cream was inspired by the soup. I have been using this technique for years with my Christmas Eve Holiday soup, but I never knew what it was called.
You should be making homemade soup. I know that sounds bossy but truth be told, I’ve been called bossy too many times to count (so I’m sort of okay with it). It’s just so EASY that it’s actually hard to mess up.
The idea of this stew came from a Food Network Magazine, but I changed it a good bit. I loved that the ingredients list was so short and it was a slow cooker dish that required no work on the front end. I wasn’t sure what hominy was but the word was fun to say.
I must confess that this soup came to be when I looked at the ingredients that happened to be in my fridge and pantry and got to cooking. That being said, planning ahead doesn’t always yield happy results and more often than not, “a little of this and a little of that” is the best way to cook. Definitely the case here, though I’d add scallions if I were you.
Pretty sure I’ve mentioned before my weather related anxiety? It basically goes like this – on beautiful days I feel that I must spend hours outdoors and if/when I’m prohibited, I feel as if I’ve “missed out” and will never experience those moments in exactly the same way again. On cold or rainy days, I feel no pressure and love being inside, cozy and getting things done. This past weekend, “things” meant chili.
Budget cooking at it’s finest, here. You will find that if you use seasonal produce as much as possible, you’re grocery bill could be lower – not to mention it’s better for the planet. Time to lose a few summer pounds so I revisited this recipe, already on my site. Here’s why…