Monday, January 25, 2010

More Soups For You

Because my husband was just returning from a week long conference last Sunday, we skipped out on our Sunday Soup Session. (See others here and here.) But this week, we were back in full force! For this week, we have 2 of our favorite soup meals on the menu: Turkey Chili and Gumbo. So, here we go...

I'd never had Gumbo until I met my husband. His family is from Louisiana and like any good Cajun family, they make a mean Gumbo! It's one of those meals that take a little time to prepare you feel like you're going to turn into Gumbo before you can eat it all! I'd like to say that this is some super secret family recipe that's been passed down through the years...and I guess it kinda is...except for that whole super secret part (this one comes from the back of a Tony's Roux Mix canister!).

Chicken Gumbo
*1 green pepper, chopped
*1 onion, chopped
*3 ribs celery, chopped
*1/4 tsp. minced garlic
*10 cups water
*1 cup Tony's Roux Mix (You should be able to find this at your local Wal-Mart of grocery store...check the spice aisle or the ethnic section. You know, because when I think "ethnic" I think deep south :) )
*2-3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
*1 lb. sausage link, cut into rounds

1. Saute vegetables until very soft.
2. Make roux with 2 (or more) cups water in large stock pot.
3. Add rest of water.
4. Add meats and bring to boil.
5. Add vegetables and simmer until chicken is tender.

And we always have our Gumbo with these Seasoned Saltine Crackers. They're great with Gumbo, other soups or just as a snack.

Seasoned Crackers
*1 lb. Saltines (4 sleeves)
*1 1/4 cup cooking oil
*1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
*1/2 tsp. garlic powder
*1/2 tsp. black or white pepper
*1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
*1 pkg. ranch dressing dry mix

1. Mix all ingredients together, except saltines.
2. Place saltines in a sealable container (we use a gallon zip lock bag). Lay your crackers in the container so that, from the top, you only see the skinny side (edge) of the crackers.
3. Pour liquid mixture over crackers and seal bag or container.
4. Turn container over and over until mixture is absorbed. (We turn ours for about a day before we eat them.)

What would winter be without a big crock pot full of chili?!?! This lean version comes from a mailing from our local grocery store and is really tasty! Some cornbread muffins are the perfect addition to this meal..

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
*2 cups yellow onion, chopped
*2 cups green pepper, chopped
*1 cup celery, chopped
*1/2 cup olive oil
*2.5-3 lbs. ground turkey breast
*4 Tbsp. chili powder
*1 tsp. cumin
*1 tsp. salt
*1 tsp. cayenne pepper
*28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
*6 oz. can tomato paste
*4 Tbsp. cilantro
*4 tsp. jalapenos, minced
*4 tsp. minced garlic
*1 can great northern beans, drained
*1 can chili hot beans, drained
*6 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth
*shredded cheese and sour cream for serving

1. Chop onions, pepper, celery and jalapenos.
2. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
3. Add ground turkey and cook until browned. Stir in chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne pepper.
4. Transfer to large stock pot. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, cilantro, jalapenos and garlic. Cook at medium heat and stir well.
5. Mix in remaining ingredients. Increase heat to high and bring to a rolling boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook for 7 minutes, stirring frequently.
6. Transfer chili to a 6 quart crock pot. Cook chili on high heat, covered for 6 hours.
7. Serve hot with sour cream and cheese on top.

What kind of soups are you cooking up for these cold and rainy days?

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