Category Archives: Soups & Stews

White Bean Chicken Soup

Was this the best soup I’ve ever had, no.  Was it the worst, no.  But, I will tell you what it was – perfect for a quick, cold evening, where all you wanted was a warm bowl of soup.  Fall (or what I used to call winter in Vancouver) has officially hit in Toronto and the temperatures seemed to have fallen quickly.  As I walked home from work tonight, I wished I had my scarf.  Luckily, one quick stop at the store, and I had what I needed for tonight’s dinner – and my recipe swap recipe.

Simple ingredients, simple steps and simple flavours.  That’s all that’s to this soup.  Feel free to play around with the ingredients too – I did.  I added an extra yellow pepper, some carrots, celery and even some Sriracha, to kick up the heat even more.  I also opted to do my own “taco” spice mix, and I added some thin noodles to make it more “soupy”.  We served this along with a fresh baguette and it was a perfect weeknight meal – thanks to the blog Seven Ate Nine!  BTW – I renamed it soup because I added more liquid than the original recipe called for, therefore making it more soupy – which we didn’t mind!

Enjoy!


White Bean Chicken Soup

Yields:  4 Servings
Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • handful of baby carrots, diced
  • 2 bell peppers (any color!), diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced
  • 1 carton of chicken stock (783ml)
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 TBSP sriracha
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • fresh cilantro (about a handful), chopped
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt, for garnish

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat for a minute or two.  Add the chicken to the pan and saute for 5 – 10 minutes, until no longer pink.

Add the onions, carrots, celery and peppers to the pan.  Continue to cook over medium heat for an additional 10 minutes.  Add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.

Once the vegetables have softened, add the spices (basil, chili powder etc.) to the pan.  Stir to mix.   Then, add the kidney beans and chicken stock to the pot.

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.  Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 10 – 15 minutes.

Season with S&P, and serve!  Top with cilantro and yogurt, if so desired.

Enjoy!

Recipe Adapted From Seven Ate Nine

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Summer Tomato Soup with Basil

In my opinion, there is no better way to enjoy the best of the season than with this simple soup that requires no cooking.  This is basically the French version of a traditional Gazpacho (which I cannot pronounce to save my life and it is the running joke with my two Spanish friends here in France…I swear, every time we go for tapas, they make me say it!).

This soup was one of the easiest things I’ve prepared in a long time, except for the slight problem I encountered, given that I don’t have my handheld stick blender in France and the 6 euro food mill I bought just didn’t do the trick to purée the soup.  Oh well, it was just a little chunkier than called for, but I didn’t mind.

Even without cooking, the flavours of this soup are absolutely incredible.  It is light and fresh, with a slight kick (which you can control with the addition of the cayenne pepper). It is absolutely perfect for a summer day, and it comes with the bonus that you don’t have to heat the stove to prepare it.

CH and I enjoyed this soup with a fresh baguette the first night and the next day I prepare some pasta and tossed it with the leftover soup, which made for a delicious pasta salad that we took to the park with us.

Although simple and easy to prepare, don’t be fooled. It is an absolutely gorgeous soup that presents as though a lot of work has gone into preparing it (and it tastes like it too!)

Sometimes it’s the simplest of things in life that we enjoy the most.

Enjoy.

Summer Tomato and Basil Soup

Yield:  4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes (and overnight in the fridge)
Cook Time: 0

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs (900 g) very ripe, summer fresh tomatoes, quartered, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup (250ml) vegetable stock or tomato juice
  • 16 basil leaves, julienned
  • S&P
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Honey (optional – depending on how acidic your tomatoes are)
  • 1/4 cup croutons (store bought or homemade)

Directions:

In a large bowl (preferably one with a lid), toss together the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, red pepper, garlic, breadcrumbs, red wine vinegar and 12 basil leaves.  Stir the mixture well until evenly coated.

Cover the mixture (with a tight fitting lid or with plastic wrap) and place in the fridge overnight, or for a minimum of 8 – 10 hours (the longer the better).

The next day, remove the mixture from the fridge and using your handheld blender or a food processor, purée the soup until smooth.

Add in a dash of cayenne pepper and taste.  Adjust seasonings to your liking.  You may also need to add a teaspoon of honey (or sugar), depending on how acidic your tomatoes were.

Serve cold with the remaining basil leaves and croutons.

Enjoy!

Recipe Adapted From Laura Calder – French Food At Home

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Chicken Pot Pie: Oh My!

Simply put, this was delicious.  Friday night was here and I was finally wanting to be back in the kitchen.  I hadn’t been grocery shopping all week, but I knew that I had some staples in the pantry/freezer.  I wanted something warm and comforting as Spring hasn’t official “sprung” here in Ontario yet (but France is awaiting me with 22 degree weather!).  The idea of a chicken pot pie came to me and away I went without a recipe, inspired by my glee to be back in the kitchen.

Let me tell you… it was perfect.  A delicious, healthy balance of comforting flavours that just wrap you up like a blanket.  CH called it a cross-over between chicken noodle soup and chicken stew, but better.

I used no cream or milk in this recipe but it was still thick and creamy from the potatoes and I loved the pop of color and spring feel the peas gave!  Feel free to throw in any vegetables you have on hand… I imagine this would taste delicious with asparagus and corn added in too!

I chose to serve this dish in individual serving bowls, topped with homemade pie crust.  Don’t feel the need to make pie crust if you don’t have some in the freezer like I did from making my Tourtiere a few weeks back.  Feel free to use puff pastry or phyllo dough – whichever you prefer.  Thinking about it now, I would have preferred puff pastry actually, but CH loved the pie crust topping, so it’s definitely a matter of personal preference.

This is definitely a great meal for a cool Spring evening and makes enough to have leftovers in the freezer too!  Don’t be afraid by the length of the recipe, it is a lot of little steps but trust me, it is worth it.

Enjoy!

JBean’s Chicken Pot Pie

Yield:  6 servings
Prep Time:  30 minutes
Cook Time:  1.5 hours

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 7 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 7 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 5 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cups of carrots, diced
  • 2 cups of green peas
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp sriracha hot sauce
  • S&P
  • 1/4 batch of pie crust (or 1 package of puff pastry)
    • 1 egg, slightly beaten (to brush top of pastry with)

Directions:

In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Season the chicken thighs generously with S&P.  Add the chicken thighs to the pan and cook thoroughly, ensuring a nice golden crust on both sides (about 15 minutes).

Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the pan and set aside to cool.

Place the pan back on the heat and add the 1-cup of white wine to deglaze the pan.  Allow the alcohol to cook off and scrape the pan with the back of your wooden spoon – you definitely want all of those yummy bits of chicken flavour.  Once the liquid has reduce by half, remove from heat and place the juices in a bowl until you are ready to use below.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, place the potatoes in the pot and cover with cold water.  Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat and cook until fork-tender.  Be careful to ensure you do not overcook the potatoes, you want them to retain their shape in the pie!  It’s better to undercook them, then to overcook them! Once the potatoes are cooked, remove from the heat and drain immediately.  Place back in the pot and allow to cool.

In a large stock-pot or dutch-oven, heat the butter over medium heat until sizzling.  Add the onion, carrots and celery to the pot and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally.

Add the flour and mustard powder to the onion, carrot and celery mixture.  Stir well to ensure even distribution.  Cook the flour mixture for 2 – 3 minutes.

Increase the heat to high and add 2 cups of chicken stock to the flour/vegetable mixture, whisking constantly as you add it in.  Allow the mixture to come to a boil and continue whisking until thickened.

Add the remaining chicken stock, reserved chicken pan juices (above), hot sauce, bay leaves, thyme and a generous amount of S&P.

Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

At this point, preheat your oven to 375.

While the sauce is simmering, dice your potatoes and cooked chicken into 1-inch pieces.

Once the sauce has been simmering for 30 minutes, add the chicken, potatoes and peas to the pot.  Stir well to incorporate.  Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings to your liking.

Distribute the chicken goodness evenly among 6 bowls or alternatively, in one very large casserole dish.   Top each serving bowl with pie dough, ensuring that you pinch the edges well.  Slice the top of each piecrust with a knife to allow steam to escape.

Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.  After about 15 minutes of baking, brush the top of each piecrust with egg wash to get a nice, golden brown crust.

Enjoy!

An Original JBean Cuisine Recipe

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Filed under Healthy, Mains, Soups & Stews