What is not to love about a heaping warm bowl of delicious soup? It is like getting a hug from the inside out warming the soul. Hands down these are my favorite things to cook. One pot wonders with so many possibilities.
And like most good things they take time and shouldn’t be rushed. But these two soups do not take all day and can easily be made on a weeknight. Think of making soup like building a house. You can’t do it by just tossing all the nails, wood and shingles together. You need to build the flavors in stages, seasoning all along the way so the end product is well rounded and fantastic.
Buffalo Chicken Corn Chowder
I was so intrigued by this first soup when I saw a similar recipe on Pinterest that Smarty Cheryl sent to me. It had a good amount of bacon and cream in it making it something I would only want to make on a very special occasion. I am not a huge fan of fat laden soups anyway. They make me feel terrible after I eat them. So I lightened this one up.
The end product was pretty darn amazing. It is hearty yet light. The potatoes and corn add great texture. Make sure you add some of the blue cheese crumbles on top.
Recipe adapted from Host the toast
– 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs, cubed ( you can use cooked chicken breasts if you wanted and skip the cooking step in the directions)
– ~1/4 cup Frank’s hot sauce, divided ( or more if you would like it spicy)
– 2 tablespoons butter
– ½ yellow onion, chopped
– 2 stalks celery, diced
– 2 carrots, diced
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
– 1 small bag frozen corn
– 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced small
– 1 cup milk
– 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
– Salt and pepper, taste
– Chopped green onions, for topping
– Fresh cilantro, for topping
– Blue cheese crumbles, for topping
– Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a sauté pot on medium hight heat and sear the chicken on all sides.
– Pour in 2 tablespoons of the hot sauce and cook the chicken until it has absorbed most of the sauce. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside.
– Add the onions, celery, and carrots to the pot and saute until the onions are almost translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped potato and saute another 5 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, and a pinch of salt and pepper and saute until the garlic becomes fragrant, about one more minute.
– Add the corn to the pot and mix it well with the other ingredients. Cook for 5 more minutes. Add the chicken broth and milk and let warm. Slowly add in the hot sauce, mixing well, and taste testing as you add. Remember, it’s best to start with less and add more if necessary than to add too much right away and then have to try to cut the spice. When the mixture is slightly less spicy than you’d like (it will become spicier as it cooks), turn the mixture to a low simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
– Put the chicken back into the pot and cook for another 5 – 10 minutes to heat the chicken back up.
– Top the chowder with the bacon crumbles, fresh cilantro, chopped green onions and blue cheese crumbles, and serve.
Heavenly Butternut Squash Soup
This soup just begs to be served at your next dinner party as a first course. It is so smooth and lovely with subtle notes of apple and cinnamon without being overly sweet.
Recipe adapted from Just a Taste
– 1 medium carrot, chopped
– 1 medium onion, chopped
– ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
– ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
– ¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder
– 2 medium (about 3/4 pound) Yukon Gold potatoes
– 2 medium Granny Smith apples
– 4-5 Cups of diced Butternut squash ( you can buy it already diced in the produce department)
– 2 cups reduced sodium chicken stock
– 2 to 2 1/2 cups water
– Sour cream, for serving
– Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pot.
– Add the carrots and onions to the pot, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until softened but not brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and chili powder and cook, uncovered, stirring for 1 minute.
– While the vegetables are cooking, peel and coarsely chop the potatoes. Peel, core and coarsely chop one apple.
– Add the chopped potatoes, apple, butternut squash, stock, 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to the pot. Simmer the mixture, uncovered, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
– Purée the soup in four batches in a blender until smooth. ( or use an immersion blender) Return the puréed soup to the cleaned pot and thin it with an additional 1/2-cup of water, if necessary. Heat the soup over low heat until warmed throughout then season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
– Cut the remaining apple into matchsticks then spoon the soup into bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream, a few apple matchsticks, or just some parsley like I did here. You won’t be disappointed.