#Sicilian Chicken Soup

One of our favorite date night spots is Carrabba’s Italian Grill. Unfortunately, being parents & NOT being made of money, date nights don’t happen as often as I’d like. Yesterday, I felt like doing a little experimenting in the kitchen & after doing a little searching, I ran across a copycat recipe for one of our favorite Carrabba’s recipes Sicilian Chicken Soup from A Dash of Sanity. Dinner idea? Yes please! Now before I share the recipe, I have a little confession to make. I am extremely OCD. Anyways, after hours of waiting for the soup to be ready, smelling the delicious aromas, I may have had a meltdown when it didn’t turn out right, dump the whole pot into the garbage disposal, & head to Wal-Mart (aka hell on Earth) at 10:30 at night to re-buy the ingredients & try again. Not one of my proudest moments, crying over soup… my significant other & best friend might now think I need counseling lol… but I am pleased to say the 2nd attempt was a wonderful success & everyone gobbled it up! Don’t worry; I know where I went wrong & will pass the knowledge on so you will not make the same mistake & end up with delicious soup the FIRST time!

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Sicilian Chicken Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (4 to 5lbs)
  • 1 yellow onion (chopped)
  • 4 celery stalks (diced)
  • 3 carrots (peeled & diced)
  • 2 red bell peppers (diced)
  • 2 medium potatoes (peeled & cut into chunks)
  • 1 – 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup fresh Italian parsley
  • 5 garlic cloves (minced or squished with garlic press)
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ lb. ditalini pasta
  • 1 T. of cayenne pepper (my addition)
  • chicken broth or water (about 64 ounces)

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Directions

  • In a large soup pot place whole chicken, onion, red peppers, celery, carrots, potatoes, diced tomatoes with their juices and then add enough cold water or broth to cover chicken. Over high heat bring to a boil.
  • Then add parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper & cayenne pepper.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially with a lid. Let it simmer for 2 hours, or until chicken is falling off the bone.
  • Remove chicken and let it cool, for 30 minutes or until cool to the touch.
  • Reduce heat to low and let the soup continue to simmer.
  • Remove all the meat from the chicken and shred the chicken into large pieces. Discard the skin and bones.
  • Using a potato masher, mash the soup around a few times.
  • Add the shredded chicken to the pot.
  • In a medium sauce pan cook pasta as directed on box. Drain well and set aside in a bowl.
  • Original recipe says to add noodles at this time… I made 2 mistakes here. First I thought we’d like a few extra noodles & made a whole box. Secondly I put them into the hot soup & they swelled up like nobody’s business soaking up most of the delicious broth & turning into complete mush. Please learn from my mistakes & wait until you are to serve! The 2nd attempt I made the soup but didn’t add the noodles to the pot instead I scooped some noodles into the individual soup bowls & added the soup on top, worked like a charm! The 1/2 lb was plenty as well!

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I served our soup with some homemade cheddar biscuits. I definitely will be adding this recipe to our family favorites, especially when we haven’t gotten a date night in in awhile! As for failing, it’s part of cooking & life in general! All we can do is realize we aren’t perfect, grab a spoon, & TRY AGAIN! Hope you give this one a shot! 🙂

 

 

#Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Happy fall ya’ll! I say “fall”, but, as usual, Florida still hasn’t gotten the memo. We had a little nice weather teaser before it shot back up to the high 80s again! I’ve got my pumpkin scented candles burning & am doing everything possible to wish “fall” into existence! I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I’ve made broccoli soup & figured maybe, just maybe some warm soup might remind the weather what month it is. I couldn’t find the usual recipe I use so after finding a couple decent looking & sounding ones on Pinterest, squishing them together, adding things, skipping things, & basically completely butchering them so bad that I don’t even have to give those sites credit (lol), I came up with this…

broccoli cheddar soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups regular cream (half & half can also be used)
  • 3 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1/2 cup celery (diced)
  • 5 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 3 cups of shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar for garnish (optional)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Saute the onion & garlic with 2 tablespoons of butter and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, whisk together remaining butter & flour over medium heat for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Slowly whisk in the cream & chicken broth and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. Add broccoli, carrots, onions, and celery. Let them simmer on medium for about 25 minutes until the veggies are tender, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add salt, pepper, & shredded cheese.
  6. Allow the cheese to melt then serve. Top individual bowls with remaining shredded cheese if desired.

I actually used about 4 times the veggies the other recipes called for, but honestly it turned out perfectly balanced. I feel that one cup of broccoli does not a broccoli soup make. I also used way more cheese as well, but who doesn’t love cheese?! Anyways, hopefully “fall” will get here soon & I can try out some more cool weather recipes! Hope you enjoy this recipe! If you are anything like me & have to change up recipes you find online, I’d love to hear what variations you made! Have a favorite fall dish? Let me know so I can give it a try!

#Best Potato Soup Ever

Lately trying to decide what to make for dinner has become something that I dread! Finding something everyone likes is a challenge since the oldest child in the family (aka the dad) is a bit of a picky eater & pretty much eats no veggies & very little fruits. Lately my menu consists of the same couple of favorite recipes over & over. I mean everyone loves them, but how many times can you eat chicken enchiladas, baked ziti, meatloaf, or anything for that matter in a month before it gets extremely old! So this week I decided to start trying a new recipe every week to attempt revive my love of cooking & add a little flavor & excitement back into family dinner time. My significant other mentioned liking potato soup so I decided to start there even though it isn’t really the weather for it, hot as hell! According to the calendar it is now fall, but Florida hasn’t got that memo yet! After doing some Pinterest research, I came across a recipe for Disneyland’s Loaded Potato Soup from Six Sisters’ Stuff. It was a huge success!! Everyone, especially the picky one, loved it! I did run the onions, celery, & carrots through the blender so there were no offensive veggie chunks floating in there for him to find. LOL While it was absolutely delectable, I think when I make it again (and I definitely will) I will try substituting half & half for the heavy whipping cream to cut down the fat & richness a bit. If you are in need of a fresh & delicious recipe, give this one a try! I personally  am going to check this website again next week for other ideas!best potato soup