Good for the Soul: Homemade Chicken Soup
Most of us growing up when we were sick, soup was what we ate. And the top choice was some form of chicken soup. Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup from a can was in our cupboard growing up. While my Mom was a good cook and did make soup, I don’t remember her ever making a chicken soup. I do make a couple of soups such as Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Rice Soup, but never the traditional chicken soup.
Not that this recipe is very traditional. I’ve made it with some healthy flu fighting ingredients such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, fresh herbs, and orzo pasta. It is a step-up from canned soups. This is a quick and simple recipe. There are the traditional ingredients of onion, celery, carrots, chicken, and chicken broth, but the addition of the garlic, ginger along with fresh rosemary and thyme kicks it up with a more complex flavor.
Now if you are sick with cold, flu, or stomach bug, a more complex flavor may not be what you are going for, but instead something warm and liquid to fill your belly. And that’s fine, but just because you are sick doesn’t mean your taste buds should suffer or the people you share meals with.
Make a big pot of this homemade chicken soup with orzo pasta, it will become a family favorite.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2-3 large carrots, thinly sliced
- 2-3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric)
- 6-8 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 teaspoon freshly chopped rosemary
- 1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme, stems removed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup small pasta
- 2/3 cup frozen peas
- - Place a large dutch oven over medium high heat and add in oil. Once oil is hot, add in garlic, onion, carrots and celery; cook for a few minutes until onion becomes translucent.
- - Next add in grated ginger and turmeric. Sauté for to let the spices cook a bit for about 30 seconds, then add in chicken broth, chicken breast, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.
- - Bring soup to a boil, then stir in pasta. Chicken should be covered with broth.
- - Reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.
- - Once chicken is cooked, remove then shred the chicken with two forks. Add chicken back to pot then stir in frozen peas. If the soup is too thick then add more broth.
Delicious Coconut Cilantro Curry Grilled Chicken
Can’t say we had the best spring this year. Rainy, windy, and cold made me look for food from warmer places as our neck of the woods starts to come to alive. Often I ask myself when I’m planning a meal: where do I want to go? With spices and sauces, I can travel around the world. Lots of good ways to do that with spices and cooking techniques. So we started the grilling season off with a flavorful coconut cilantro curry marinade for chicken.
It just makes sense to blend spices, lime juice, coconut milk, cilantro, and salt. A blender or food processor comes in handy to have. Today I used it 3 times for different recipes. While I love kitchen gadgets. There are a couple of appliances I must have in the kitchen: slow cooker, electric tea kettle, Kitchen Aid Mixer, and the food processor. During the summer the food processor is used more to make sauces, dressings, and marinade. Pour the Coconut Cilantro Curry marinade into a Ziploc bag with the chicken. Best to let sit in the fridge for 2 or more hours for the flavors t to blend. If you are short on time then 60 minutes will do.
The outcome is fresh, light flavorful Coconut Cilantro Curry Grilled Chicken. It was moist. Almost melted in the mouth.
You can pair it with anything really. I had a cabbage in the fridge and made fried Indian cabbage and peas. It was a perfect combination. Using the food processor, the cabbage was sliced thin and when cooked it gave the texture of fried rice.
Coconut Cilantro Curry Grilled Chicken
- 4 to 6 chicken breasts
- 1 can regular or light coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp curry powder
- 3 Tbsp lime juice (2-3 limes)
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- pepper to taste
- Place chicken breast filets into a large Ziploc bag.
- Add all marinade ingredients into a blender or food processor blending until smooth, then pour over the chicken and seal the bag.
- Keep bag in the fridge at least 2 hours before serving so the chicken has a chance to soak in the flavors.
- Place chicken filets on grill and discard excess marinade.
- Grill chicken over medium high heat until each side has nice grill marks and chicken is thoroughly cooked which is about 12 minutes.
Spicy Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Rice Soup
This Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Rice Soup recipe comes with a warning. If you are not careful with the brand of Thai red curry paste then it will knock your socks off after one sip. How do I know this? I made this soup for friends. They had just got off a transatlantic flight and nothing is better than a nice bowl of soup. Usually this is the case. We were all crying from the spice. Even my son who can drink hot sauce was like, “Mom, holy cow this is hot.”
Let’s sort out the whole red curry paste situation. Due to the amounts of curry I made, I buy my curry pastes at the Asian grocery store. It is cheaper and much larger than the tiny bottles of Taste of Thai Red Curry Paste in the grocery store. And that’s where the fault in the recipe presents. Depending on what brand of curry paste you use, it is going to change the quantity. The original recipe which I have a feeling was designed for Taste of Thai brand calls for 3 tablespoons. That is a brand adapted to American tastes. When you add 3 tablespoons of Thai red curry purchased in a huge tube at the Asian store, it makes the soup uneatable except to those who have no taste buds. So if you are using Asian store curry paste, then 1/2 to 1 teaspoon will be enough. Trust me on this.
Once the level of spice is correct, this is an amazingly yummy soup. As in it becomes a soup that causes cravings. It is super good. Perfect for winter. There is nothing fancy about this soup outside of the curry paste. It is chicken, carrots, butternut squash, onions, fresh ginger, brown sugar, fish sauce, veggie broth, and wild rice.
Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Rice Soup
- - 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- - 4 carrots chopped
- - 4 cups butternut squash cubed
- - 2 small onions diced
- - 2 tablespoons fresh ginger minced
- - 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (see note)
- - 3 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar
- - 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- - 2/3 cup wild rice or wild rice blend blend used in photos
- - 4 cups vegetable stock
- - 2 cans coconut milk
- - 1 tablespoon lime juice
- NOTE: If using Taste of Thai brand then 3 tablespoons is OK, but if using Asian grocery store purchased red curry paste then decrease to 1/2-1 teaspoons. Trust me on this.
- - Combine all ingredients except the coconut milk
- - Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours
- - Stir coconut milk and lime juice in cooking for 10 minutes
- - Shred the chicken
- - Serve with lime wedges and cilantro
One-Pot Chicken Dinner?
Looking for a one-pot dinner to serve on a cold winter’s night? Braised Chicken Tomato Red Lentils fits the bill. It is a healthy and hearty. And an easy dish to make within 45 mins. Doable on a busy weekday.
Since moving to Newport, Rhode Island, I have been focusing on my business which facilitated me to make sure my pantry and freezer are stocked fully for easy meals. I always have different kinds of onions, lentils, broth, spices, and chicken handy. Chicken defrosts in no time if you put in a bowl of cold water, so it is good to have it in the freezer as well as pork tenderloin, ground turkey, and fish/shrimp. And let us not forget about frozen veg.
What I like about this recipe is its simplicity. While ten ingredients may seem like a lot; it isn’t. Outside of the tomatoes, all are pantry items.
Enjoy this dish, Braised Chicken Tomato Lentils.
Braised Chicken Tomato Red Lentils
- 4 skinless chicken breasts
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1½ tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
- 2. Heat an ovenproof fry pan (or cast iron casserole) over medium/high heat adding a generous splash of olive oil.
- 3. Dry chicken breasts on both sides to remove excess moisture to ensure proper sear.
- 4. Season generously with salt and pepper on both sides and add to the pan. Don't overfill the pan or the chicken will steam not sear.
- 5. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on both sides or until golden brown. Remove pieces and set aside.
- 6. Add onions, garlic, smoked paprika, and cumin. Stir for 3 to 5 minutes or until onions become transparent, but not browned.
- 7. Add lentils, stock, tomatoes, bay leaves, chili flakes, and chicken pieces. Bring to a boil.
- 8. Put into oven and bake without lid for 25 mins.
Simple and Tasty Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
This recipe of slow cooker butter chicken has become a staple in our house when we fancy an Indian curry meal. It is simple and tasty. And it is good enough to serve to company.
In fact, that is what I served recently. We were having a gathering of twelve for dinner at our house to celebrate my son’s birthday. What to cook to feed a crowd of foodies? And is not going to exhaust me in the process? We had a mix of meat lovers and vegetarians. Indian food was the answer. It is an excellent choice. To add to the meal, how about trying, Quick Vegetarian Cauliflower Chickpea Curry.
Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Recipe
Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized chunks
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- Heat olive oil over medium-hight heat.
- Brown chicken on all sides in batches, about 2 minutes. Once browned, remove chicken to slow cooker.
- Cook onions until soft.
- Add garlic, garam masala, curry powder, turmeric, ginger and salt cooking for another minute.
- Add onion and garlic to slow cooker.
- In a large bowl, whisk together tomato paste, yogurt, coconut milk and sugar.
- Pour coconut milk mixture over chicken and onions.
- Cook for 5-6 hours over low heat.
Tandoori Chicken Without the Oven
Tandoori chicken was added to my slow cooker butter chickpeas and potatoes for dinner. I’ve been getting some pushback from my guys regarding all vegetarian dinners most evenings. It was requested that they would like more meat. Indian cuisine is flexible enough to satisfy vegetarians, vegans, and meat eaters. A good choice for everyone and everyone is happy can the end of the meal.
I am not a huge fan of commercial spice mixes; however, a few years ago I came across Arora Creations spice mixes at a Harris Teeter in Delaware. It was a winner. Their chicken and fish spice mixes are very good. I buy their chicken tikka masala mix in bulk from Amazon and don’t even bother mixing my own even though I have all of the spices in my pantry. The favors are tasty and the preparation is easy.
I would suggest exploring this spice mix line if you are interesting in Indian cooking, but do not wish to invest in the spices like I have until you know preparing Indian is what you like. (Remember that photo only shows one half of my shelf of my spices.) It is also helpful it is available online in case you do not live near an Asian grocery store. I noticed on Amazon that they offer a variety pack that would be good starter pack.
You can serve this chicken with other Indian dishes such as butternut squash spinach chickpea curry, eggplant chickpea curry, aloo gobi, vegetable korma, and/or rice. This chicken will go nicely with fresh salads especially during the summertime if the chicken is coming off the grill. Pair it with sides that you enjoy.
* The links to Amazon are affiliate links.
Tandoori Chicken Recipe
- 1 whole chicken cut into pieces or chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1 package Arora Creations Tandoori Chicken spice blend
- Combine yogurt, oil, vinegar, and spice blend.
- Slice shallow slits into the chicken.
- Dip chicken into marinate and place in a shallow baking dish.
- Pour remaining marinate unto the chicken.
- Cover and refrigerate minimum one hour and up to 24 hours. More is better.
- Cook chicken by preferred method: roasting, frying, or grilling.