Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

A hearty chicken soup that will warm your belly on a cold day. Rich and creamy, loaded with nutty wild rice, tender chunks of chicken and veggies – the PERFECT meal for a cold day, or any day for that matter!
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Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This Broccoli Cheddar soup is rich, creamy, and cheesy. My three favorite food groups.

 

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Broccoli Cheddar Soup is a classic soup, and it is classic for a reason. It is absolutely delicious! Even people who don’t like broccoli, love this soup. So creamy and cheesy, it really hits the spot on a chilly day. If this isn’t comfort- food at its finest, I don’t know what is!

Tips:

  • For the best texture, grate the cheese yourself. That shredded cheese that comes out of a bag is coated with starch that prevents it from clumping together, so it does not melt well.
  • For the best cheesy flavor, use really sharp cheddar cheese. That is the only kind of cheese I ever buy. The sharpest cheeses have the most character, so more bang for your buck.
  • If you would like to make this a little lighter, you can replace the heavy cream with milk mixed with a bit of cornstarch. It won’t be quite as creamy, but it will still be delicious. For cornstarch to really thicken, it has to gently boil for a couple of minutes. Make sure you are continually stirring while it is boiling, to prevent it from burning. If you are using heavy cream, do not boil.
  • If you would like to use the stalks of the broccoli as well as the florets, make sure you peel the tough outer layer and dice finely.
  • You can blend this if you prefer a creamier texture. I don’t really like to use the blender when I am pureeing hot soups, because it is dangerous and also makes a big mess. I highly recommend using an immersion blender. If you do use a blender, let the soup cool slightly, only do small batches at a time, and remove the middle piece out of the lid and cover loosely with a clean dish towel (this will prevent the hot steam from building up inside the blender).
  • Have the soup on very low heat when adding the cheese. If the temperature is too high, the soup could end up being grainy or could cause it to separate. If this happens, I would definitely recommend blending the soup.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Recipe Source: Vintage Vibes

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated (about 1 cup)
  • 2 ribs of celery, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup  flour
  • 3 to 4 cups broccoli florets, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 4 cups of  heated stock, chicken or vegetable,
  • 1 cup of heavy cream (or 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 cup of milk)
  • 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onion, carrot, and celery until softened, about 5 minutes. Add flour and continue cooking an additional 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the hot chicken stock. Stir well, to avoid any lumps. Add broccoli.
  2. Bring soup to a gentle boil. Stir well,  cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until broccoli is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir often.
  3. Add cream. Cook until the cream is heated, 2 to 3 minutes. Do not boil. * If using milk and cornstarch, bring to a gentle boil and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring the entire time. Then reduce heat to low before adding the cheese. Add cheese, a small handful at a time, continually stirring until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Yields: 4 to 6 servings

You might like these recipes:

One-Pan Mediterranean Chicken Pasta

Jalapeno Popper Loaded Potato Soup

Italian Sausage Meatball Minestrone Soup

French Onion Turkey Burgers

Chicken and Bacon Corn Chowder

Greek Quinoa Salad

Spinach and Feta Quiche

 

Italian Sausage Meatball Minestrone Soup

There is nothing more comforting to me on a cold day than a delicious bowl of homemade soup.  In the winter, I probably make a pot of homemade soup at least several times a week. I just love it!  It truly is the ultimate comfort food.

 



I think the best thing about making soup is how easy it is to customize to your own preference. If you have veggies in your fridge that need to be used up, go ahead and throw them in. The more, the merrier. This is more about the method than following the recipe correctly.

Options:

  • For a vegetarian version:  omit the meatballs and chicken stock. Add a can of rinsed and drained beans,( chickpeas, kidney beans, cannellini beans, etc.) Replace chicken stock with vegetable stock and use vegetarian Worcestershire.
  • For a gluten-free version: Make meatballs with GF Italian sausage and crushed rice crackers, GF chicken stock, Worcestershire, and pasta.

Tip: If you have leftover parmesan rinds, they add a great flavor to the soup. Just add and simmer with the rest of the ingredients. Remove before serving.

 

Italian Sausage Meatball Minestrone Soup

Recipe Source: Vintage Vibes

Meatballs:
  • 3/4 lb. hot Italian sausage meat
  • 1/3 cup finely ground cracker crumbs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 F. Mix together sausage and cracker crumbs. Roll into small meatballs. Bake on a lightly greased pan until cooked through. Set aside.

Soup:
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • one medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. chili flakes, or to taste
  • 1 large roasted red pepper, finely chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • leftover Parmesan rinds, optional
  • 1/2 cup uncooked, small pasta shells
  • 1 small bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
  • freshly grated Parmesan
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • chopped fresh basil

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook onion and celery until softened. Add the garlic and chili flakes and cook one minute longer. Add roasted pepper, stock, Worcestershire, and tomatoes and Parmesan rinds. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour.
  2. Add pasta and kale and simmer until pasta is cooked. Add fresh basil, cooked meatballs and salt, and pepper to taste. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan. Yields: 6 to 8 servings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs


 


 

Beef short ribs are a tough, relatively inexpensive cut of meat that is transformed into the most tender, melt-in-your-mouth, crazy, out-of-this-world, delicious bites of food you will ever experience. The secret is to braise the short ribs in a flavorful broth and to simmer for hours until they are so tender you won’t even need a knife. I like to cook these the day before serving, as they taste even better the next day.

 

 

 

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
Recipe Source: Vintage Vibes

Serves 4

  • Ingredients:
  • olive oil
  • 4 large or 8 small, bone-in  beef short ribs
  • flour for dredging the short ribs
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled and seeded, or 1 small can tomatoes
  • 1 whole head garlic, peeled and separated
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire
  • dry red wine, about 1/2 the bottle
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pan, heat a little oil over medium heat. Add carrot, onion, and celery. Cook until well caramelized, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium/high heat. Lightly dredge the short rib pieces with flour, shaking off excess. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Brown the short ribs in small batches. De-glaze pan with a bit of wine, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add all ingredients to the Dutch oven. Add just enough wine to almost cover the short ribs. When the sauce has come to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours or until very tender.
  3. Let cool and refrigerate overnight. The next day, skim off any fat that has risen to the top. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Heat over low heat until ribs are thoroughly heated. Puree sauce, if desired. I served this with browned butter mashed potatoes and glazed carrots.