Friday, November 5, 2010

Food For Thought

The air is crisp, the trees are losing their leaves, there is the smell of wood-smoke in the air, the throw blankets are in full use, periodically I catch a whiff of dust burning off the heaters, and my mug is perpetually filled with tea ... must be Fall!

This morning, the baby girls and I headed outside to enjoy some of this fleeting, glorious, golden sunshine.  I sat on the back patio, soaking in some Vitamin D.  The girls cooked.  They were a flurry of activity recalling to mind the opening scene from "The Tale of Despereaux."  They were preparing ingredients and running back and forth between their little kitchen and the plastic table.  There was periodic squabbling and more than one dish ended up on the ground.  Finally the meal was finished (I think Lydia might have actually tested it for flavor) and Ashley presented me with ... Soy Soup.  She obligingly shared her recipe with me:  butter, sugar, dirt, rocks and some grass.  Yum.

Mmmmm .... tasty.
Lydia is bussing tables :)

This Food For Thought is all about soup ... that you can actually eat!  Hope this post inspires you to pull out your crock-pot (again) and enjoy some easy, home-made hearty soups.  You might find that you already have most of the ingredients in your pantry! :)

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
(This recipe originated from a dear friend in Greeley ... thanks, Deanne, for sharing!)

Simple ingredients ...
1 whole chicken (I have also used two bone-in chicken breasts in a pinch.)
1 bay leaf
Poultry seasoning
Seasoning salt
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped celery
1 small package of egg noodles

Simple goodness!
Cook the chicken with the spices in a pot of water until the meat falls off the bone.  Pull the bird out of the pot and let it cool a bit.  Be sure to save the water ... this is your broth for the soup.  When you can handle the meat, break it up into little pieces.  Use your hands for this to make sure that no bones end up back in the pot.  Toss the skin and bones and put the cooked chicken back into the pot (or a crock-pot, if you want).  Add the chopped carrots and celery to the chicken and broth and let it cook for the next several hours on low.  About 30 minutes before serving, pour in about 3 cups of egg noodles and stir.  These noodles will absorb the broth, so you might need to add a can of broth to the soup if it gets too thick.  That's it!

Chicken Tortilla Chowder
(I'm not sure where this recipe came from, but it's one of our favorites.  The kids ask for it regularly!)

1 can chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of potato soup
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups frozen corn
2 cups shredded chicken*
1 small can green chilies
1/4 cup chopped green onions
4 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
*Boil two chicken breasts until they are cooked through and then shred the meat with your fingers.

Chopping the "noodles".
Combine the broth, soups, milk, corn, chicken and green chilies in the crockpot.  Let it cook all afternoon.  When you are about 30 minutes from dinner, add the green onions and cheddar cheese.  Take the tortillas and cut them in thirds and then into 1/2 inch strips.  These will serve as your noodles.  Add the tortillas strips to the soup and let them soften.  Serve with a chips.  Don't plan on having any left-overs! :)

Creamy and hearty ... and quick to be devoured!

Homemade Tomato Soup
(This recipe is from Taste Of Home ... with a few modifications.)

Fresh ingredients
1 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes
1 can chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, minced
1 t. sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
2 cups prepared rice

So much better than out of a can!
Pour the tomatoes and broth into a large pot.  Bring this to a boil and then let simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add the basil (you can use several shakes of dried basil, if necessary), sugar, evaporated milk and rice.  Heat through and eat.  We love this alongside grilled cheese sandwiches.  Great for dipping the crusts!

(This recipe is jotted down as follows on an index card in my recipe box.  It doesn't get much more simple that this!)
All brown and crispy
2 can hominy (drained)
Pork chunks (browned)

Green chilies (x2)
Cook all day.

Yep ... that's pretty much what I do!

You can find hominy in the Mexican food aisle - it's a large white corn.  I browned the pork the night before and seasoned it with salt, garlic, cumin and cayenne pepper.  I tossed the hominy, pork and chilies in the crock-pot this morning, put the lid on it and let it cook.  The pork will get more tender and all the flavors will mingle.  We serve this with a dollop of sour cream, a slice or two of avocado and a tortilla on the side.  Delicioso!

Posole with avocado and quesadillas on the side ... yum!


Here's a little something new this week ... hope you like it!  I'm trying this site out - something I saw on another blog.  (There might be a few kinks to work out, so bear with me!)  These soup recipes are available to be downloaded or printed from Scribd.  Simply click on your recipe of choice below and you will be able to save them to your own computer or print them as is.  Let me know what you think!  You can vote below ... Yay! or Nay!  If you like it and it's helpful, I'll do it again next week.  :)  If not, well ... then you're on your own! :)


  1. Yum!! I love soup! Something yummy I have tried with Posole...cut up cubes of cream cheese and put them in the bottom of the bowl. Then ladle the Posole on top. Yummmm! :-)

  2. Sounds good! I love the chicken chowder recipe, I may have to make the others soon including that one! Now if it would only get colder here... (no, not really!) I've always wanted the tomato soup recipe-is that the one your Mom does? It is delicious! Thanks!

  3. Yummy Chicken Tortilla soup, I'm adding it to my Crockpot cookbook so I don't have to keep looking it up when I make it. My kids love this straight out of the crockpot! Thanks, Morgan.

  4. What an honor to be in your Crock-pot cookbook. :) We're having this on Friday night ... a meal the kids are guaranteed to eat for the babysitter!

  5. That chicken tortilla chowder looks amazing and I love that it's a crock pot recipe!


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