Friday, December 28, 2007

soup, snow, and celebration

This year we started a new holiday tradition. On Christmas Eve, weather permitting, we will have yummy soup in bread bowls, a dusting of snow, and celebration with friends and family. Here are the soups we served this year. They tasted extra delicious in bread bowls from the local bakery. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas Eve and maybe even had the chance to start a new holiday tradition!

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup
2 (14-oz) cans chicken broth
1 jar green salsa
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large saucepan and simmer about a half hour. Top with white corn tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and sour cream. Great with a side of cornbread!

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 cups uncooked brown rice
1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
2 (14-oz) cans chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup margarine
3/4 cup flour
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
6-8 cups milk, divided
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot over high heat, combine the celery, onions, rice, bouillon, broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter or margarine. Slowly add the flour, stirring often, to make a roux. Add 4 cups of milk, 1/2 cup at a time, while constantly stirring. Add this and the chicken to the rice mixture and return the rice mixture to the stovetop over low heat.

If the soup seems too thick, add some or all of the remaining 2 cups of milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste and allow to simmer for at least an hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Tomato Basil Soup
3 cups whole tomatoes with juice, pureed in a blender (1 large can is perfect)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrots
2 small diced potatoes
1 T dry basil
1 tsp dry oregano
1 bay leaf
3 cans chicken broth, divided
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups Half & Half, warmed
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper

Heat oil in large pot; add celery, onion, carrots, and potatoes and saute 5 minutes. Add basil, oregano, and bay leaf. Then add 2 cans chicken broth and tomato puree and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender. Melt butter in large saucepan and slowly sift in flour to make a roux. Slowly mix 1 cup hot soup into roux. Then add another 3 cups hot soup. Add roux mixture to remaining soup. Simmer. Stir constantly until thickened. Add remaining can chicken broth, cheese, warm Half & Half, salt, and pepper. Simmer 15 more minutes.

Here's some food for thought from Alice May Brock:
"Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good." --Emily


amominred said...

Oh, I LOVE chicken tortilla soup! Thanks for an easy recipe!

Katie said...

These look great! My family always does soup on Christmas eve and I've done my best to carry that tradition through to my family. We started a new tradition this year too. Every Christmas Eve from this last one and on forever, we'll get a new game and play it that evening. We don't do Christmas pajamas because my mother-in-law does and we can only get so many pairs!

the girls of gt said...

We love playing games, Katie. That's a great new tradition! And we do the pajamas thing too and I've got quite the collection of pj bottoms. I love having options! ;)