"Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table." -William Shakespeare

Friday, July 22, 2011

Real Soup for Real Recipes for Real People

It's been a culture-shocking week. I'm in need of comfort food. Isaiah 'hates' Chicken Pot Pie, but he's been promised frsh popcorn for bedtime snack, and I guarantee he will end up eating more than a 'no-thank-you' helping. (He does every time.)

To start any self-respecting Midwestern comfort food, you usually begin by cracking open a can of Cream of X Soup. Right?

Well, here it is, the full, illustrated guide. Make it dairy-full or dairy-free, carnivorous or vegan. Fully customizable, and it only takes 7 minutes. Of course, that's at 8,000'. It might take a minute longer in Death Valley, or Kansas.

In any case, I got this dinner into the oven in 33 minutes, from walking into the kitchen to closing the oven door.

Start with 3 T fat. I'm using EVOO, but you can use butter, coconut oil, bacon drippings (just kidding... I mean you can but I don't think you should...). Top it with 3 T whole wheat flour. This is white whole wheat from Trader Joe's and it is pretty much perfect.

Cook over low to medium heat, stirring till well-mixed and bubbling. I'm using my nano-ceramic teflon-free non-stick pan. If I had a silicone whisk, I'd whisk this. If I was using a stainless pan, I'd use my regular whisk. Without a whisk, you need to work it together really carefully.

SLOWLY add 1 3/4 c water/ vegetable broth/ chicken broth/ milk/ etc. and whisk/ stir constantly. It should hold together, more or less. Keep stirring/ whisking till the consistency is uniformly thick, bubbly, and delicious. I added some pepper, salt, and garlic powder.

Let it simmer till it is as thick as you need it. Stir occasionally so it doesn't scorch.

That's it. You're done. You may now proceed to dinner- sour cream chicken enchiladas (O for the days!), brocolli soup, chicken pot pie, green bean casserole... you get the idea.

If you want to make Chicken Pot Pie, add your veggies now. I'm out of my organic mixed veggies (sniff, sniff, and sadly, Azure Standard, my bulk buying saving grace, doesn't deliver to New Mexico), so I'm just using a cup of peas. Then add your chicken, about 3-4 cups and a little extra water. Simmer till it's nice and thick and bubbly. Adjust your seasonings.

Dump in your casserole dish and top with whole wheat biscuits. Usually I use a heart-shaped or star-shaped cutter but they're currently MIA. The kids eat more when things are cut into pretty shapes....

Bake at 450 for 15 minutes then turn down to 350 and bake till golden brown, about another 15-20 minutes.

Voila! Dinner.

And everybody ate, a lot.

"If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself alone. A man should keep his friendships in constant repair."
~Samuel Johnson

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