Creamy chicken soup for the soul

After a long day- curling up with this soup and my family is perfect. I can throw it together quickly- I often do it at nap time and then just let it sit at low on the stove or at 200 degrees in the oven till it is time to eat. If you don’t eat meat use vegetable broth and omit the chicken. This is a great dish to take a friend who is sick or just needs a pick me up! It is so easy to transport and tastes even better the next day. Enjoy!

Creamy chicken soup

5 slices of bacon cut into small chunks- optional                                                               1 tablespoon olive oil                                                                                                                 1 1/2 tablespoons butter                                                                                                           2 chicken breasts cut into small bite size chunks                                                               2 1/2 teaspoons salt- divided                                                                                                   2 teaspoons pepper- divided                                                                                                   1 1/2 teaspoons paprika- divided                                                                                           3 teaspoons Mrs. Dash garlic and herb seasoning- divided                                             4 small yellow potatoes peeled and cubed                                                                           3 carrots chopped                                                                                                                     1 medium yellow onion chopped                                                                                             1 celery stalk chopped                                                                                                               2 cloves garlic minced                                                                                                               3 tablespoons flour                                                                                                                 1/4 cup vermouth or other white wine                                                                                 4 cups or 1 cup chicken stock                                                                                             3/4 cup half & half

– In a large pot cook the bacon if using it. Cook till crispy- set aside.

– Take bacon grease out of pan. Add 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon of the butter. Add the chicken. Season with 1 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash seasoning. Cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes on medium- high heat till they get a little brown.

– Add the vegetables except the garlic. Put the remaining olive oil and butter in and stir the pot. Add one more teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash seasoning. Cook on medium- high heat for three minutes. You aren’t looking for everything to be cooked just to be some brown on the veggies for flavor.

– Turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic. Cook for 2 minutes.

– Add the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly.

– Add the vermouth and let it cook away.

– Add the chicken stock and remaining seasonings. Bring to a boil.

– Once boiling add the bacon back in. Simmer for 30-40 minutes. Add the half & half before serving and season to taste.

The yummy soup!
The yummy soup!

Serves 4-6. Serve with crescent rolls.

I recommend using Kitchen Basics stock with this recipe. It is such a yummy stock! Hope you love it =) Tune in tomorrow for chopped salad with gorgonzola and avocado!

Cinco de Mayo Dinner- Fresh Mexican Salad

With two children under three I am constantly cooking dinner in under 30 minutes, and with a child screaming at me. It sometimes has to be a quick, simple dinner. Of course there are special dinners- I love cooking those! The children are sleeping or being entertained by husband, and I can cook in peace. That is a treat. But on those ordinary days fresh mexican salad is an easy, yummy meal that my husband and I love!

Fresh Mexican Salad

For the dressing:                                                                                                                   1/2 cup salsa                                                                                                                               2 teaspoons red wine vinegar                                                                                             3/4 teaspoon sugar                                                                                                           Juice of 1/2 a lime divided                                                                                                       2 tablespoons olive oil                                                                                                         1/4 teaspoon salt                                                                                                                   1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the salad:                                                                                                                          3 cups lettuce- a combination of romaine and iceberg                                                 1/4 of a red onion chopped                                                                                                     1/2 cup corn frozen corn defrosted                                                                                   1/4 cup chopped fresh pineapple                                                                                       1/4 cup canned black beans drained                                                                                     1  avacado chopped                                                                                                           Juice of 1/2 a lime                                                                                                       optional 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro                                                                                 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese                                                                                     1/2 cup tortilla chips crunched

– Combine all of the salad ingredients with the dressing. Toss and serve.

Dinner is complete!
Dinner is complete!

It doesn’t get much easier than that! Here are some add in ideas: BBQ or saute chicken that is sprinkled with paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Right after cooked top with some lime juice. Or you could add a different cheese- colby jack or cotija would be yummy. Also I love to grill the corn instead of using frozen corn. It takes longer but is so good. Put olive oil, salt and pepper on a husked corn ear. Grill till brown. Cut the corn from the cob and viola. It gives the corn a sweetness that is so good. You could also grill the pineapple.

This meal is so easy- it is great for weekday lunches, those essential quick meals or part of a delicious Cinco de Mayo feast. Hope you enjoy!