Chicken Tomato Soup w/ Gorganzola

Oh right, I forgot about you.

It’s again been way too long since I’ve last blogged about all of the fabulous things I’m cooking up.  Life has been crazy with the Holidays, moving, New Years, Stella, and just all around too busy for blogging (and even sometimes too busy for cooking!).

Last night, I came home from work and was determined to put something together that was easy enough to share with you.

I turned to my handy dandy cookbooks of recipes I’ve saved to try, and picked out this soup recipe from an old Cooking Light magazine.  It’s rare that I follow recipes word for word, but for this recipe I did- just another reason it’s so easy.

Chicken Tomato Soup w/ Gorganzola

Original from:  Cooking Light 

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon Olive Oil

1 teaspoon Minced Garlic

1 cup Celery, diced

1 teaspoon (ish) Crushed Red Pepper

3/4 lb (I used 2 Breasts) Shredded Cooked Chicken**

1 can Diced Tomatoes, undrained

14 oz Fat Free Low Sodium Chicken Broth

1/2 cup Gorganzola Cheese, crumbled

Directions:

1.  Heat Olive Oil in a large non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add Garlic and saute for one minute.  

2.  Add Celery, Crushed Red Pepper, and Cooked/Shredded chicken.  Cook for 6 minutes stirring until it’s heated through.  

3.  Add tomatoes and broth.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes.  Serve and sprinkle with Gorganzola.

**I wanted to mention that this recipe is super simple but it does ask for pre-cooked chicken.  I didn’t see this and had to turn off the oil/garlic while I cooked my chicken real quick.  I wanted to make sure you noticed this!**

Yummy Hunk O Blue Cheese!

Yummy Hunk O Blue Cheese!

This soup was great for leftovers too!

This soup was great for leftovers too!

 

So, the soup was surprisingly awesome.  I was skeptical at first, thinking it was too simple, but the broth is REALLY good!  I couldn’t believe I didn’t need any other seasonings besides the red pepper.  The only thing I’d say is that this took no time to cook- so be hungry when you get started!  I also would add more Gorganzola next time (I think I WAY underestimated!).  YUM!

I hope you all had a very happy new year, and I can’t wait to get my life together so I can bring more recipes and restaurant reviews to you!

Here are some other recipes you may like:

Creamy Tomato Balsamic Soup

Creamy Tomato Balsamic Soup

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

Spinach, Pasta, and Pea Soup

Spinach, Pasta, and Pea Soup

Sandy & Salsa Soup

WHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It’s been a while.

Things have been absolutely crazy for a little while over here.  Hurricane Sandy (that bitch!) tore apart most of the East Coast this week, including Philly and my home away from home- Atlantic City.  Us North-East-Coasters always watch these weather events go down far away down south, in Florida, the Caribbean, New Orleans, etc.  Wow, was it crazy to see it happening in OUR HOME!

Besides my original cheer (and dance around the house) when I found out my work (who NEVER EVER closes) was not going to open on monday, things were pretty scary.  It rained and rained and got windier as the night went on.  I had to take little Stelly outside on a leash- I was afriad she’d blow away!  Somehow, despite a few flickerings, our electricity stayed on- which it never does.  We were very lucky!

No word yet on the shore house.  The people who live upstairs in our house evacuated Ventnor before the storm, and if you’ve EVER watched the news this week, you will know that you can’t exactly get back to the Jersey Shore right now.  I am hoping for the best, and our house is on the 3rd block from the beach… so crossing our fingers on that one.

Here’s a little bit of what you’ve missed while I was MIA/without internet/Sandy-fied:

1.  Dave bought me an AWESOME cookbook including tons of recipes from famous restaurants and Philly Chefs… don’t know what to make first!

2.  Some great pics from Philly pre-Sandy!  On the right is Eastern State Penitentiary, the haunted prison in Philly where we we did the Halloween Tour this past weekend… spooky-scary!

Took some great pics in the city… on the left we have City Hall and the right is the ominous Eastern State Penitentiary

3.  Love these Instagrams!  Had to share.

Check out these Insta-Gems: On the left is Marty, the cutest puppy ever… checking himself out in the mirror and on the right is a great “TBT” of my sister and I!

4.  Dad and I made home-roasted Poblano Peppers for a recipe I’ll share with you soon!  My Dad is a PRO at roasting peppers and he helped me out big time.

Roasted Poblanos were great… definitely going to be doing this more often!

5.  Started my new diet at work for M-F, drinking this awesome healthy protein shake for lunch now.  Spiced Chai?  Cappuccino?  Yes please!  Made Tilapia, those yummy peppers, and enjoyed take-out from my fav. Thai place, Silk Cuisine!

All the good food …

6.  We had more than enough cuddle time with our little Stella May who was afraid of the windy storm!  

Stelly-Bear 🙂

7.  Last week while I had to drive Dave to hockey practice for THE LAST TIME (yes- he got his boot off and can DRIVE!), I ran via the Schuylkill River Trail all the way to our new apt… and back to the trail… and to the Art Museum and back to Penn!  5.5 miles, and the farthest I’ve ever ran alone.  🙂  And also wanted to share my newest find on Pandora, remixes from Daft Punk’s TRON soundtrack.  WHOA.  Great running tunes!

Map My Run! And sharing with you one of my favorite Pandora Discoveries… amazing workout stuff.

8.  Dave’s sister Rachel is housing a homeless Poodle named Ellie during the storm!  She works at a Vet and they are very close to finding this sweetie a home.  I couldn’t stop petting her 🙂

Ellie is soooooooo sweet and adorable!!!

 

Finally, one of the recipes I tried out during this week was this Cooking Light Spicy Tomato & White Bean Soup.  Soup seemed to be the perfect choice for the rainy day!

Spicy Tomato & White Bean Soup

aka Salsa Soup

Recipe slightly adapted from:  Cooking Light

Ingredients:

1 (14-ounce) can Fat Free, Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
2 teaspoons Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 (16-ounce) can Canenelli Beans
1 medium Poblano Chile, halved and seeded
1/2 Onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
1 pint Grape Tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped Fresh Cilantro
2 Tablespoons fresh Lime Juice
1 Tablespoon EVOO
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Cilantro sprigs (optional) 

Directions:

  1. Combine 1 cup broth, chili powder, cumin, and beans in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Combine remaining broth, poblano, and onion in a food processor; pulse until vegetables are chopped. Add onion mixture to pot.
  2. Add tomatoes and cilantro to food processor, and process until coarsely chopped. Add tomato mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat; stir in juice, olive oil, and salt. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.

My thoughts on this soup:  um… hello… this is SALSA!  While I was making this soup, Dave was keeping me company.  We kept on talking about how it smelled just like our favorite fresh salsa.  Dave took a glance at my chopped veggies… looks just like salsa.  I picked up the recipe and took a glance over it at the ingredients… and YES IT IS SALSA.  

Although it was a little strange to be eating super chopped up hot salsa, it was really tasty and take a look, it’s really healthy too.  I ate this at work the next day for lunch and it was really filling too.  

Looks like salsa, right?

 

The white beans add texture and make it more filling!

 

 

I hope you all have power and fared well during Hurricane Sandy!  

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

 

 

 

Lunchtime Tuesday Week 5

It’s boot weather in Philly!  That means take out your scarves and pumpkins too!

This Sunday, temperatures dropped to like, 50 degrees and I couldn’t be happier.  I guarantee this will only exist for another month or so, before I become the most miserable person ever when there’s frost on my car in the morning.  But for now… yay for boots, scarves and pumpkins.

My other favorite fall happening would be the beginning of soup season.  Soup is awesome.  Yay for soup.  Here are a few of the soups I’ve made since I’ve had the blog:

Corn & Potato Chowder

Creamy Tomato Balsamic Soup

 

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

 

During my typical Lunchtime Tuesday, I try to have a healthy but super protein packed or filling meal, as I workout for 3 hours or so at night.  Today, I was contracted for my second job (Driving my boyfriend Dave around with his broken ankle) and am not going to be able to workout.  Sadface.  But, in terms of eating, that meant that I didn’t have to worry and I could just do something quick!

SO, if you haven’t heard about this yet, I think it’s pretty interesting and I’m going to share with you.  Apparently, Campbells Soup isn’t doing so hot (ha, get it) and in order to pick up business from a younger crowd, they started making two new lines of soups.  What are they inspired by?  Food Trucks.  Their new soups are easier to make and are inspired by ethnic ingredients and recipes.  Read about it here.

I’ve tried the “Go” line which I loved:  the Chicken Quinoa with Poblano Chiles.  It was spicy, healthy, and so easy to eat at work… you microwave the whole thing in the bag!  MMM!

Today for my lunch, I tried out the Butternut Squash variety from their Gourmet Bisque collection.  It is soooo yummy!  It’s low in calories and fat, super filling, and delish.  I ate it in my Stella mug today for lunch along with some Reduced Fat Triscuits.  Perfect!

 

 

Corn & Potato Soup

Now that I’ve already divulged the decadent dessert we made for my Dad’s Birthday last week, I’ll show you what we made for dinner.  I have been still in soup-mode after my boyfriend Dave had some dental problems recently.  This recipe should have been a chowder, but i chose to replace Half-and-Half with the Fat Free version, losing out on the thickness of a typical chowder.  Instead, we ended up with a “soupier” broth… creamy but definitely soupier than you’d expect from a chowder.

Corn & Potato Soup

Recipe adapted from:  Corn & Potato Chowder, Cooking Light 
Serves:  4 Dinner-Portions
Ingredients:
1 Green Bell Pepper, finely chopped
1 Cup Green Onions, finely chopped and divided, separating 2 Tablespoons
3 Slices Bacon, cooked and chopped.  Reserve a few pieces for garnish.
2 Cups Frozen Corn Kernels
3 Cups Water
1 teaspoon Old Bay (or other seafood seasoning)
1/2 teaspoon Dried Thyme
Pinch Ground Cayenne Pepper
1 lb Baking Potatoes, skin-on, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 Cup Fat-Free Half and Half
1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 cup Shredded Reduced-Fat Cheddar Cheese
Directions:
1.  Spray a large pot and warm over medium-high heat.  Add bell pepper and most of the green onions.  Saute for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
2.  Raise heat to high.  Add bacon, corn, water, Old Bay, Thyme, Red Pepper, and potatoes.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and let simmer for 10 minutes.  Check a potato to make sure they’re cooked (stick a fork in it… literally.  If it goes in easily they’re done!).  Lower heat to medium-low and stir in half-and-half, parsley, salt, and pepper.
3.  Let cook until you’re ready to serve or the soup boils down to your desired consistency.  I had mine cook about 15 minutes longer over med-low heat.
4.  Ladle into 4 bowls and garnish with green onions, cheddar cheese, and a few crumbles of bacon.

Results:  We all really enjoyed this soup- but I should make a few recommendations for you.  If you aren’t watching your weight, use full-fat half and half.  You’ll be happier with the consistency.  Also, this soup was a little too spicy, even for ME!  It had a kick that lasted long after you were done your spoonful.  Start with just the old bay, and taste it.  Add some cayenne later on if you feel like it needs it.  Otherwise, the soup was awesome and everyone was happy with it!

Nutrition:  One serving of this soup contains just under 300 calories and 7.5 grams of fat… pretty good for a creamy soup, right?

French Onion Soup

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  Where has the week gone?  I’ve been crazy with birthdays, dinners, Phillies, and working out like crazy.  Let me also mention that this Saturday morning, I took Dave to an emergency root canal!  Ouch.  Dave is a man’s man and a hockey player, so it is normal for him to ignore pain… any pain apparently.  He had been having terrible tooth pain for weeks, ignoring it and deciding to deal with it, as any “man” should… well this weekend the pain became unbearable and it turns out he needed a root canal.  😦

The only thing Dave wants to eat for a while now is soup!  Although it’s been 80-90 degrees, which is ridiculous for April in Philly, I couldn’t be happier to have an excuse to make some more soups.

Since the soup-making was for Dave… I of COURSE just HAD to make him his all-time favorite soup:  French Onion.  I typically steer away from this stuff, because let’s face it… it’s deadly.  The croutons… the CHEESE… it’s a nightmare for dieters, because it’s just so darn good!  Well I was certainly not going to deny Dave of his favorite soup because of some silly little diet… so here we have it:  my version of French Onion Soup.

French Onion Soup

Recipe from:  It’s Good to be the Cook
Serves 3 (or 4!)
Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 Large Sweet Onions
1/4 teaspoon Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
4 Cups Beef Broth
Pinch Dried Thyme
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
2 Cups French Bread, sliced into cubes
1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan-Reggiano Cheese
6 Slices (2 per cup) Reduced-Fat Sargento Swiss Cheese
Directions:
1.  Slice the onion first in half, and then in thin vertical slices making 1/2 rings.  Slice them as thinly as possible, but be careful!
2.  Heat olive oil in a large pot.  Add onions and saute over medium-high heat for 5-8 minutes or until tender.  Add sugar, salt, pepper and mix.  Saute, stirring often over medium heat for about 20 minutes.  Increase heat to medium-high and saute another 5-10 minutes until onion turns golden brown.
3.  Meanwhile, prepare your broiler.  Cover a baking sheet with foil and spread the bread cubes evenly.  Broil on the top rack of your oven for 1 minute, then flip each piece and broil for another minute.  Watch this, it WILL BURN!
4.  Stir in beef broth, vinegar, worcestershire sauce, and thyme.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium.  Stirring occasionally, simmer for 10-15 minutes.  For better flavor, if you have the time… simmer for 1-2 hours covered.  I did not do this and it turned out perfectly!
5.  Place 3-4 oven-safe bowls or ramekins in a baking dish or jelly-roll pan.  Fill 3/4 of the way with soup.  Add 5-6 hunks of the toasted bread, then the Parmesan cheese, then finally the Swiss slices.  Carefully place them in the oven and broil for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and just starting to brown.  I repeat… watch this, it WILL BURN!
Enjoy but be careful, it will be really hot!

I was very proud of my onion-slicing abilities. Or you can use a food processor. lol.

Homemade "croutons"... so easy. What a nice touch.

Say CHEESE! Loved using my new Ramekins!

The Finished Product! Please excuse the papertowels... these babies were hot hot hot!

Ours turned out fabulous!  What a nice treat.  I was able to sneak some reduced-fat cheese in there so this recipe isn’t as terrible as one you’d get in a restaurant.  I also was in a rush so I didn’t let the soup cook together for as long as it should, but it still turned out delish.

The only thing I’d change, is per Dave’s request:  use less bread since it soaks up all the soup.

Spinach, Pasta, and Pea Soup

Although Philly has had its mildest winter in my memory… I still am craving SOUP.  Two weeks ago, I took a stab at Tomato Balsamic Soup which turned out to be fantastic.  This week, I decided to make a chicken broth based soup to keep things on the lighter side.

Spinach, Pasta, and Pea Soup

Recipe modified from:  Cooking Light

Makes 4 Servings , <300 Calories per serving

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon EVOO

3 cloves Garlic

2 thinly sliced Green Onions

4 cups Fat-Free Chicken Broth (Better than Bouillon)

2 cups Water (depending on how much broth you like!  I added another cup)

¾ cups uncooked Orzo

1 Tablespoon Grated Lemon Rind

1 (15oz) can Low-Salt Chickpeas, drained

1 Tablespoon chopped Italian Parsley (fresh)

1 Tablespoon chopped Cilantro (Fresh)

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

½ teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper

1/8 teaspoon Salt (don’t use if you use regular chicken broth)

1 (6oz) package Fresh Baby Spinach

1 Tablespoon Grated Romano Cheese (or parmesan)

Directions:

1.  Heat olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add garlic and green onions, sauté for 30 seconds while stirring.  Add chicken broth and water; bring to a boil.

2.  Add orzo, lemon rind, and chickpeas.  Cover and cook 10 minutes or until orzo is done.

3.  Stir in parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, pepper, salt, and spinch (everything else but the cheese!)

4.  Ladle 1 ¾ cups soup into 4 bowls.  Top each serving with a sprinkle of cheese.

This soup was awesome!  I enjoyed the flavor of the lemon with the chicken broth.  If I make When I make this next, I will use less orzo.  I am a broth-kinda-girl and prefer my soups to be more soupy than hearty.  I received no complaints so everything else I’d probably keep the same!  Sidenote:  I think this is the first recipe I’ve ever cooked that Dave didn’t feel the need to add hot sauce or cayenne pepper.  SUCCESS!!

We ended up eating smaller portions of the soup so I could save some for lunches, and made a delicious Hoisin-Glazed Salmon with Steamed Asparagus to go along.

I used salt&pepper, garlic, black sesame seeds, hoisin sauce, and Wegman's Asian Garlic Sauce then baked the salmon in the oven. Voila!

What a great meal!

Creamy Tomato Balsamic Soup

Soup.  That’s all I could think of when I realized I’d be spending a chilly & windy Saturday night at home alone with my dogs.  With so many recipes, it was hard to pick, but this “5-Star” rated Cooking Light recipe from 2005 caught my eye and I’m so glad it did!

 

Creamy Tomato Balsamic Soup adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients:

1 cup Chicken Broth, divided (I use Better Than Bouillon)

1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Low-Sodium Soy Sauce

1 cup Onion, coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons Minced Garlic

2 (28 oz) cans Whole Tomatoes, drained

¾ cup Half-and-Half

Garnish: Cracked Black Pepper & Balsamic Vinegar

 

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 500.

2.  Combine ½ cup broth, sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce in a small bowl.

3.  Place onion, garlic, and tomatoes in a 13×9 inch baking pan coated with cooking spray.

4.  Pour broth mixture over the tomato mixture and bake at 500 for 50 minutes.

5.  Place the entire tomato mixture in a blender or food processor.  Add remaining ½ cup broth and half-and-half.  *Process until smooth.  Garnish with a few drops of balsamic and black pepper if desired.

*Make sure you leave the center lid off of the processor to allow steam to escape.  You may want to put a paper towel lightly on the top instead to avoid splattering.

 

a shot of the tomatoes and onions ready to be bathed by the balsamic sauce...

Nothin' beats a bowl of soup on a cold night!

This soup was fantastic!  I finished a bowl already while writing my post about it.  Whoops.  I do have to mention that the second I put the last half of the broth into my food processor, the entire thing overflowed all over the place.  No one’s perfect, right?