Thursday, October 2, 2008


I made two soups recently that were pretty great. Especially now that it's beginning to cool off, soup just seems like the coziest meal to come home to. Both of these soups are fairly light—filling and hearty, but not heavy or rich.

The first one was inspired by this amazing aioli/dip at The Ravenous Pig, an awesome restaurant in my hometown, Winter Park, Florida. They have this fried okra that's pretty much heavenly, and the creamy tomato-dill condiment they serve alongside i
t is addictive. I always think tomato-basil...rarely tomato-dill. But dill is my all-time favorite herb, and though it's usually associated with summery foods, it's a great way to freshen anything year-round. This soup is lovely in its simplicity. It was so good I ate two bowls.

Tomato-Dill Chicken Soup
serves 2 with leftovers for lunch

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 cups chicken broth
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 boneless, skinless chicken thigh, diced
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
Garnish: chopped fresh dill

In a stockpot or large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add water or more oil as needed if the pan looks dry. Add garlic, and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and tender, about 1 minute.

Lower heat to medium; add tomato sauce, sugar, broth, and dill, and stir to combine. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Add chicken, and cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Garnish with fresh dill, if desired.

Soup number two was inspired by a conversation I had weeks ago when my friend Jessica at work told me her mom made white chicken chili. This sounded intriguing to me—white chili? There's this strange thing here in Birmingham called white barbeque sauce...have you heard of this? I've never had it, because it just sounds wrong. But white chili...well that sounded delicious. Of course it wouldn't be real chili, I knew, but it just seemed like something Jason and I would like.

So I looked for a white chicken chili recipe to see what this was all about, and the best-looking one I found was from Cooking Light. I used to cook from CL all the time, and haven't in a good long while. But now I'll be looking to its recipes a lot more. This was great and low-fat, low-cal...and just yummy! I made a lot of changes, but the general recipe is pretty solidly based upon Cooking Light's version, so I will link the original recipe and then give you my edited verion below.

White Chicken Chili
serves 2 with leftovers for lunch

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 finely chopped onion
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, undrained
1 (15.5-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

In a stockpot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add some liquid from the can of green chiles to moisten pan. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and tender, about 1 minute. Add cumin, coriander, and chipotle powder, and stir to combine. Add more liquid from the chopped green chiles to moisten pan as needed. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes more.

Lower heat to medium; add the chiles and any remaining liquid, beans, and broth, and simmer for 8 minutes. Add chicken, and stir. Cook for 8 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Turn off heat and let cool for 2 minutes. Add cheese, and stir well to melt and incorporate thoroughly into soup. Add cilantro, and serve.

1 comment:

Colleen said...

Both of these look delicious! I love making soups and stews in the fall and winter - so cozy!