I like a soup that’s substantial enough to be served as an entrée. Black beans, corn and shredded chicken transform pumpkin soup into a nourishing meal – almost a pumpkin chili.
½ onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon coriander
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
4 cups chicken broth
1 can pumpkin puree
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies (such as Rotel)
1 ½ cups shredded rotisserie chicken
15 oz. can black beans, drained
½ cup frozen corn kernels
½ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
Sauté onion, celery and red bell pepper in a large saucepan until softened. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, coriander and nutmeg until fragrant. Add chicken stock, pumpkin puree, and diced tomatoes and green chilies. Simmer for 45 minutes until vegetables are soft.
Add chicken, black beans and corn. Heat through for 10 minutes. Stir in half the cilantro and season with salt. Garnish with remaining cilantro.
My friend, Chris, accuses me of going into hibernation every year from the Autumn equinox until Spring. I’d protest these accusations, if they weren’t spot on. I’m a Nester by nature and, when the weather chills and the days shorten, my inclination is early evening PJ’s, a fire in the fireplace, sleeping kitties on my lap, a blanket and a tummy-warming bowl of satisfying soup for dinner. This chowder, my first soup of the season, is the precise tool for the job. See you again in March!
You can replace the canned salmon with fresh cooked salmon if you prefer.
3 strips bacon, chopped
½ onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 potato, peeled and diced
¾ teaspoon dried dill weed
2 cups frozen corn
2 cups whole milk (or cream)
1 can (14-3/4 ounces) salmon, drained, flaked, bones and skin removed
1 teaspoon (or to taste) hot sauce, such as Tapatio
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Cook bacon in large saucepan until crisp. Remove bacon and reserve. Add onion, celery, and bell pepper to bacon fat in pan and sauté until softened. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add chicken broth, potato and dill weed, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Stir in corn, milk, and salmon. Simmer for 10 minutes until heated through. Season with hot sauce, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with reserved bacon.
I’ve been practicing my staring technique. Staring at a blinking cursor on a blank screen; staring at a cooling mug of coffee; staring at raindrops traveling down the kitchen window; staring at the television.
“I should bake,” I think, but can’t even manage that.
I’m lingering before a crossroads, staring at divergent paths mere steps ahead. I cannot walk towards any one direction, on a road to any outcome. I’m weary. I want to rest a while, here in the center of the road, and just stare towards an unknown.
In a large pot, saute onion, carrots and celery until beginning to soften. Add green beans and saute 5 minutes longer. Add garlic, oregano and sage and sauce for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and broth, and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 45-60 minutes until beans are almost tender.
Add zucchini, cabbage and beans and cook another 15 minutes or until cabbage has softened and green beans are tender. Add peas and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.
It’s Sunday, and confronting the evening’s silence is not unlike staring at this blank screen while gripped by writer’s block. A house with noiseless, sleeping cats and only the purr of the fridge surround a glowing white page anxious for a flash of creativity. She has recipes ready to post, and ingredients for another, if she requires that distraction. Photos, edited, too, are waiting on her desktop. It’s the words, the words that are buried deep inside her, not ready to come out – The silence of a single girl’s home.
She’s in the twilight of her 40’s, never married, never close, really. If love arrived today, is she simply too accomplished at singleness to make coupledom work?
Versatility of leftovers is key when eating solo. Posole hits the mark; with a spoonful more broth, it’s a soup; with less broth, a stew. Drain the broth and add to scrambled eggs for breakfast – or pile it on a roll with mayo and avocado for a warm torta sandwich.
Combine cumin, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub spices over pork. Brown pork in a soup pot over high heat on all sides. Remove pork and set aside. Add onion and sauté until beginning to brown.
Add broth, scraping up any browned bits. Add tomatoes, hominy, and pinto beans. Return pork to pot. Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook 2 – 2 ½ until pork is very tender.
Shred the pork using 2 forks and mix into the cooking liquid. Adjust seasoning.
To serve, top with cilantro and a squeeze of lime.