ll Cibo é L'essenza Della Vita....

"The rooms that you use on a daily basis are the rooms people will always want to sit in, because they have soul." --Bunny Williams


"If you want to live forever and ever, drink wine and eat maccheroni." ~~~Sicilian Proverb

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Creamy Chicken Vegetable Soup

It's Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum! AND Food on Fridays at Ann Kroeker!! Gotta love FridaysOne of our favorite days of the week! Of course, since this is a family that LOVES to eat, we love any event that revolves around food. And being Italian, that pretty much encompasses any event in our lives. I've been on a bit of a mission lately. After many years of cooking for family and friends, teaching nutrition classes in my job as a trainer/nutritionist, and now teaching cooking and technique classes, I have collected and developed a BAJILLION (borrowing a word from my 11 year old here) recipes. This translates into a BAJILLION scraps of paper, scribbled-on restaurant napkins, magazine tear sheets, etc. So I got the bright idea that I would take a little time and organize and consolidate. Right. 7 weeks later I have 14 binders (divided by course) and Lord-knows-how-many recipes in folders on my laptop. And I still can't find what I want when I want it. S-i-g-h.......But now when friends come over I can point to my color matched binders with the silver titles written on the covers and listen to them oooh and aaaah at my brilliant organization. And then I can distract them with some savory offering and hope they won't ask for the recipe. I won't be able to find it 

Ginger cookies. One down, 3 to go. It's 7 a.m. Coffee and laptop at hand. 

Bread dough mixed. Check. LOVE that warm, yeasty smell

Ready to rise. I need more coffee

Looks pretty good, doesn't it? Nice clean counters and lovely, formed loaves. Maybe I should have let my husband take pictures when the I dropped a bowl full of sugar and then realized (after I had already set the dough to rise) that I had forgotten to add the starter and frantically tried to mix it into an already stiff dough. All because my beautiful, wonderful, brilliant children who are capable of completely reformatting a computer or setting world records on any video game are completely and utterly clueless when it comes to making their own lunch. Making bread while slicing cucumbers and trying to remember which child gets sliced tomato on their sandwich and which child will gag uncontrollably if he sees even a smidgen of lettuce results in nothing short of chaos. Reality wasn't pretty Good thing I didn't give him the camera

While the bread bakes, we  gather the goodies for a very special chicken soup. So glad I have one last bag of homemade stock in the freezer. Note to self: Making chicken stock goes on Saturday's "to do" list. Fresh herbs and grated ginger will make this a soul soothing meal in a bowl. 

Bread is done. Life is good.

Mmmmmmm....can you smell it?

Chop the veggies and smash the garlic. That's real butter there. Good things are about to happen here

Do you see it? Oh my...

Can you see the magic happening?

You know what comes next don't you?

Sssshhhhh. It's a secret. Pick one. Any one.

Croutons anyone? Parmesan makes anything better

Soup and bread. Sometimes the simplest things in life are simply the best. 

 Monkey Bread. By special request

of a special little monkey.

Creamy Chicken Vegetable Soup
(these measurements are approximate-I don't usually measure this:) )

in 1 stick of unsalted butter, saute 1 1/2-2 chopped onions, 3 diced stalks of celery, 3-4 diced carrots, 1 pkg sliced or quartered mushrooms (any kind you like). When the vegetables are translucent, add 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely minced and 3-4 diced potatoes (preferably red). saute till slightly caramelized. Sprinkle with app. 1/2 cup of flour and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes.
    Stir in about 1/4-1/3 cup of white wine (pour a glass for yourself too), 2 1/2-3 quarts chicken stock (I much prefer homemade, but canned or boxed is fine), and 1 can creamed corn. Season with salt, pepper, about 1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme, and some finely grated ginger. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir in any or all of the following: frozen corn kernels, frozen peas, or some finely shredded spinach Stir in about 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice. heat slowly and serve with crusty bread or croutons. 

Puff Pastry Croutons
adapted from a recipe I found in an old Cuisine Magazine

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg mixed with a little water
fresh parmesan cheese
fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roll out puff pastry on lightly floured board. brush with egg wash and sprinkle with parmesan and pepper. Using pizza cutter, cut into small 1 1/2 inch squares. Put on baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for 10-15 minutes till puffed and golden

Thank you so much for spending some time with us. We love your company. A huge thank you to our Foodie Friday gracious hostess, Michael at Designs by Gollum. Head over there to find some drool-worthy culinary inspirations. While you're there, make sure to check out her son's new food blog Cooking with Bandwidth-he learned from the best!
Thanks also to Ann-we just found her blog and look forward to trying some new recipes!
                        xoxo Allie and Pattie


  1. I tell ya, the best meals are the ones that are made from scratch, start to finish!


  2. I think I might be able to make the croutons! It all looks delicious. And your morning sounds like mind, only I have dogs and cats causing all of the chaos!

  3. Hi girls, Thanks for stopping by my blog. Oh my, this is dinner for next week! I will post a link to your site when I feature this on my Menu Plan for the week on Monday. Yummy! We love soup, and bread and croutons and monkey bread!!!!!!! Wonderful post.

    You are doing great for being a new blogger- I have been blogging for 4 months now, and the learning gets easier and easier. Thanks for following!


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