Soup to nuts

Soup…

I have a new dinner obsession.  I tend to do this – fall into a dinner rotation that I love and stick with it through thick and thin.  Once we’ve had our fill it’s time to move on to a new rotation.  The changing of the seasons also helps to facilitate this – summer with its fresh produce, winter begging for warm and cozy dishes.

Currently, soup is the word.  I can’t seem to get enough of this warm meal that happens to go perfectly with a loaf of crusty bread, cheese, a tossed green salad, and perhaps a glass of red wine or beer {depending on the day…}  Soup is really the perfect meal.  Double the batch and it almost always freezes well.  {Who doesn’t love a dinner that is always ready to eat?}  It is also forgiving – baby needs to eat?  Turn down the heat and it will wait patiently.

{As a total side note – I swear that I read somewhere that a great way to stay healthy – beyond the obvious like sleep and water – was to eat plenty of chicken broth.  So not only are our soup dinners easy {leftovers!} and yummy, they are protecting us from H1N1.  Alex claims that this falls under the “Libby theory” category, but I remain confidant.}

My current favorites?  Homemade chicken noodle soup.  {So easy!}  Butternut squash soup with cider cream.  It’s so yummy – especially when served with grilled prosciutto, salami and cheese sandwiches.  And the newest addition to my soup repertoire: Zesty chicken soup.  A friend made this soup for us after William was born and I finally made it myself last week.  It has such a unique combination of flavors – Alex and I couldn’t decide if it was an Indian inspired soup?  Yet with the cilantro garnish it took on a Mexican flavoring.  Indi-mex?

{I don’t typically photograph our dinner before it’s served, but before eating Alex suggested a picture because it looked so good.}

Zesty Chicken Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 cup chopped onion

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon curry powder

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1 tsp. grated or minced ginger

1/4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes

28 ounces chicken broth

1 can {14 ounces} diced tomatoes, with their liquid

1 large Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled and coarsely chopped

1/2 c. orzo

3 tablespoons dried currants {dried cranberries and raisins can be substituted.}

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chopped cilantro for garnish

Plain yogurt or sour cream for garnish

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and saute until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes, then add garlic and saute 1 minute longer.  Stir in the curry and saute for 1 minute, then add the chicken, red pepper, ginger, and red pepper flakes and stir for 2 minutes.  Add the broth, tomatoes, and apple and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.  {The soup can be made a day ahead at this point; cover and refrigerate, then bring to a simmer before continuing.}

Add the orzo and currants to the soup and simmer until the orzo is tender, about 10 minutes.  Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper and ladle it into bowls.  Garnish with cilantro and a dollop of yogurt or sour cream.

{Yes, there is some “zest” but my boys still happily ate this soup and didn’t proclaim it to be “too spicy.”}

…to nuts.

Or why I’m nuts.

This weekend I spent Saturday in Seattle shopping with my mom and William. {I know, Alex is the best husband ever.}  While I was innocently paying for my purchase one of the sales gals {not the one helping me} smiled at me and said “What a cute mom outfit you have on!”  Good thing the other sales clerk had already taken the pen away from me.  What?! Had I not been shopping in Nordstrom I would have blacklisted the store forever, but we know that’s never going to happen.

Yes, I have three boys – which does make me a mom.  But doesn’t a “mom outfit” include something like “mom jeans?”  {For the record – I was not wearing mom jeans.  I was actually in the process of purchasing some new skivvies to replace those that had seen me through a pregnancy, or two…  And no, I don’t refer to my undergarments as skivvies, I’m just trying to avoid any weirdo google search people…}  I mean really.  A mom is one of those nuts that writes about soups…

I digress…does this look like a mom outfit to you?

Don’t answer that.

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8 thoughts on “Soup to nuts

  1. hahahahahahahahaha “mom outfit!” This is hilarious! Well, at least she called it cute! If she was a young, single, childless woman than she needs to be reprimanded severely. If, however, she was also carrying an infant and had spit-up on herself, or unwashed hair, was wearing pajama bottoms or any other thing a mother of an infant might do…welll then she gets a little slack. Then she could have just be observing that you, a fellow mom, looked so cute and that her own mom outfit was slightly less effective. But, given that she was a Nordstrom clerk makes me fearful that she needs a small ear twisting.

  2. Your outfit definitely looks like something my tween would be happy to wear! I think it’s very cute. And, by the way, my dad is a physician and he SWEARS by chicken soup!!

  3. Totally something I would wear- but I am a mom-LOL. No that is not a mom outfit unless the girl was 14 but I would think a 14 year old would look cute in that too! You look great!

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