Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Too Good Not To Share

So, we are on a new eating plan, which I plan to write about soon.  I had said I wouldn't commit to anything new regarding my diet this summer, but my health demands that I do my best to remove all food toxins, including the plant toxins that I know I have issues with but hadn't eliminated completely.

Anyway (because that really is a different post), I needed to make dinner tonight, and while the chicken noodle soup that I had planned for this evening is very healthy, it didn't quite have the nutritional profile I was looking for (not enough fat and vegetables, mostly), so I decided to make a different soup, a chowder, just riffing off recipes I've made in the past and stored in my head.  I wrote out a recipe I thought would work and got cooking.

Oh my yumminess!  Seriously, this was an amazing soup.  Papa ate it up and had a second (half) serving.  The boys had homemade chicken noodle soup; I'd made them try a new dish last night and eating something new two nights in a row is pushing it.  But T-Guy did try the chowder and declared it very good, although not as thick as he likes it.

Chicken Vegetable Chowder (Serves 6 - 8)

2 T. bacon fat -or- butter -or- coconut oil -or- extra virgin olive oil (I like to give people a choice)
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 large zucchini, diced
1 medium carrot, diced -or- 10 baby carrots, sliced (in case you want to make it easy)
Salt and Pepper
2. C cooked, shredded (or diced) chicken  (I do this in bulk and freeze it)
2 C. potatoes, diced -or- 2. C plain frozen cubed hash brown potatoes (fresh is better in terms of thickening the chowder, but sometimes you have to hurry)
4 C. chicken broth (I use homemade, but I won't judge anyone who doesn't, and you can use water easily)
1 C. heavy cream
Optional: potato starch

Saute onion in fat for 2 minutes, add zucchini and carrots and saute until onion is translucent, approximately 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add chicken, potatoes, and chicken broth, bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer until potatoes are soft.  Add cream and simmer until soup is as thick as you want it.

Note:  If you want a thicker chowder combine 4 T. of water and 2 T. of potato starch and add to boiling soup.  Cook until it reaches desired thickness and then remove from heat.

I did the food analysis and when divided into 6 portions this soup comes in at 350 calories a (generous) serving, with 19g carbohydrate, 21g protein, and 22g fat.

This is my very simple homemade chicken soup, a dish I can make almost any night since I keep the stock and shredded chicken in the freezer, noodles in the pantry, and almost always have carrots in the fridge.

Homemade Chicken Soup (Serves 4 - 6)

6 C. homemade chicken broth
20 baby carrots sliced
2 C. cooked, shredded chicken
4 - 8 oz. rice noodles
Salt to taste (we use Real Salt)

Heat broth to boiling, add carrots and cooked chicken, return to boiling, then turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add salt to taste, then add noodles and cook another 8 minutes or so until noodles are soft.

Note: To make chicken and rice soup instead I add 1 - 2 cups of cooked rice to the broth instead of noodles.

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