Lydia's Winter Kitchen
Well, the Christmas tree is put away, presents have been played with, and the new semester is in full swing. A fun side note for you is that Scott, my deployed husband, is scheduled to be home this semester some time as well. The Lord has been so gracious to us during this deployment. One way that HE has been so gracious is through YOU, my church family! We will be forever grateful for how the body of Christ has walked with us during this season. We are forever indebted to you for your love, support, and prayers.
Now, let’s talk soups! In the dead of a cold winter, I want to cook all the soups. I mean don’t they just warm your insides? I can just envision cooking a big stock pot of creamy chicken rice soup, listening to music, while still wearing my fuzzy Christmas socks.
These recipes are pretty easy, and one of them is even a Crock-Pot recipe! I mean hip hip hooray for an easy meal! Hope y’all enjoy these as much as I have. The creamy chicken rice soup freezes well. I have not tried to freeze the cheesy hamburger one, but it seems like it would be fine to freeze as well.
Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
½ cup diced carrots
½ cup diced celery
1 medium onion, diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
32 oz chicken stock
2 cups water
2 cups milk, divided
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded or diced
½ cup all-purpose flour
A 7-ounce box of Zatarain's Long Grain and Wild Rice with seasoning
Heat the oil in a 6-quart pot over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onion. Let them cook for 10 minutes or until the onions are tender.
Add the garlic cloves, chicken stock, water, and 1 cup of milk to the vegetable mixture and stir.
Add the dried oregano, bay leaf, and chicken. Stir until combined. Allow the soup to simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes.
Whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk with the ½ cup flour until smooth. Place into the soup mixture and stir until combined.
Place the long grain and wild rice with seasoning into the soup and mix until combined. Allow the soup to simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.
Crock-Pot Cheeseburger Soup
4 small potatoes, peeled and diced
1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
3 cups chicken broth
1 pound lean ground beef
3 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk ( I use 2%)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (16 oz.) package Velveeta processed cheese, cubed
OR 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Place potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, dried basil and parsley in a large Crock-Pot. Pour chicken broth over vegetables. Cover with lid. Cook on low heat 6 to 8 hours OR on high heat 4 to 5 hours or until potatoes are tender.
About 45 minutes before serving, cook and crumble ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain any grease. Pour cooked ground beef into Crock-Pot.
Carefully wipe out hot skillet with a paper towel then add butter. When butter is melted whisk in flour and cook until golden brown and bubbly (about 1 minute.)
Whisk in the milk, salt, and pepper. Pour mixture into the Crock-Pot and stir to combine everything.
Add the cubed Velveeta cheese or shredded cheese to Crock-Pot. Stir again. Cover with lid and cook another 30 minutes or until cheese is melted.