Friday, January 24, 2014

southwestern chicken and vegetable soup

 It's really depressing when you're looking at the seven day weather forecast
online and all you see is snow, gusty winds, and below zero temperatures. The
high temp on Monday is supposed to be -3 to -7. That's without the wind
chill factor. I've seen this picture going around Facebook. Sums it all up.

We've been eating a lot of homemade soup this winter. It's hearty, easy to
make, warms you up, and is great for leftovers. This past Wednesday when
 Brian and I had that spontaneous day out and we had lunch at Al's Cafe, Brian
 had a cup of Southwestern Chicken soup that was delicious. I tried it, made a 
mental note of some of the ingredients in the soup, and said, "I can make that!" 
I'm proud to say that it was even better than the restaurant's soup and that Brian
 had three servings for dinner tonight!

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
4 stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 green, red, or yellow bell pepper (or any combination), diced
3 carrots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
64 oz. low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 – 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 – 15.5 oz. can kidney or red beans, drained and rinsed
1 small yellow squash, sliced into rounds, then sliced in half
1 c. cooked brown rice
4 c. cooked, cubed or shredded chicken
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
½ T. each cumin and chili powder
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a Dutch oven, heat extra-virgin olive oil, then add celery, onion,
peppers, and carrots. Saute for 8 minutes or until slightly tender.
Add minced garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add broth (yes, you
will need this much broth – the rice absorbs a lot of the broth) -
chicken, then add spices. Simmer on low for 1 hour.

Serve warm and savor ~

And what goes perfectly with this kind of soup than cornbread? I won't be sharing
this recipe with you because it was a new one I found by doing a simple Google
search, but it wasn't that great. My favorite cornbread recipes are made with
butter as one of the ingredients and I was all out of butter, so I searched for
recipes for cornbread using olive oil. It was "OK", but cornbread made with butter
tastes so much better.

 Enjoy your weekend and keep warm!


  1. Oh I burst out laughing at that snowman photo...I have a "Let it Snow" sign on our front porch, and I looked at it today, with disgust, thinking it HAS to go!! The soup looks delicious...pinning!

    1. Too funny, Linda because the other day I took down my collection of snowman plates that were in a plate rack on top of my fridge. Sure, they could've stayed up until the end of February, but ugh! So tired of snow stuff. Thanks for pinning the soup recipe!

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  3. Oh my! Who would have thought that a bunch of below freezing temps and a few snow storms would make COLD blooded murderers out of usually friendly North Americans?! Scary stuff, indeed! Maybe, if they had enjoyed a bowl or two of your delicious southwestern chicken and vegetable soup, they might have been able to battle these winter blues and blahs more, ahem, gracefully!;-D

    I hear you guys will be swirling around this Polar Vortex for a while, so you'd better stock up on that stock and keep the stove simmering with that scrumptious soup!


    1. Oh, out, this snow and cold is making us normally friendly people a bit deranged! I have a dish of baked oatmeal in the oven for a late breakfast. Think it'll warm me up enough to be able to go shopping at the dreaded Wal-Mart?!

  4. Your first photo made me lol! I feel it too, enough! That soup looks great, but even soup is getting old around here. This week may drive us all to the brink...think spring my friend! Love, Penny

    1. When I first read your comment, I read it as "This week may drive us all to drink"...maybe that's not such a bad idea either! lol What are you doing awake at 4:25 a.m.?!

  5. Melanie, the chicken veggie soup looks so good. Thanks for sharing your recipe! It is going onto my Soup board at Pinterest!

  6. Unlike you I don't mind the weather, cold, snowy and freezing days. I just don't! But like you I love soup and this one does sound good. Shhh.. I won't tell anyone about your dead body on your deck, maybe when the sun comes out it will hide all the evidence (I know you found the picture, but couldn't help myself) Stay warm, and I never shop at Walmart...hate it so.

    1. Deal on the dead snowman! I wish I didn't have to shop at Walmart...strict budget makes it a necessity.

  7. Hi Melanie;
    I always enjoy your posts, but do not comment often, just lazy I guess. But I really liked this post, I thought we had bad weather here in Northern Oh until I started to read your blog and realized you have much worse weather than we do. (I didn't think that was possible lol) Will make your soup it looks great. Stay warm my friend! Love and Hugs, Nana

    1. I'm glad you enjoy my posts, Nana! I'm sure other states have it worse than even us (northern IL) right now. Minnesota comes to mind. Hope you enjoy the soup!

  8. Warm soup sounds pretty good right now with the cold and wind. I have never heard of olive oil in cornbread -- vegetable oil, yes, but not olive. My favorite cornbread is made with Martha White cornmeal mix. I do love a skillet of cornbread with soup or chili.

    1. I won't use vegetable oil as it's not a healthy oil. I only use extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil. I love cornbread...might have something to do with my mother being Southern!

  9. Ooh! That soup looks good!! I'm in Wi so I totally agree iwth the photo!!! TRY to stay warm.

  10. Cold, and colder! Yikes-stay warm and oh your soup looks so yummy!

    1. I'm not venturing outside - I'm staying in until this severe cold weather passes. :-)

  11. Yum! The only good thing about cold weather is enjoying yummy hot soup!

  12. Mmmm, soup! We eat a lot of soup around here too. I could live on the stuff!

  13. Hi there .. just stopped by Robin's blog and saw you there and decided to swoop by from the Great White North (Canada eh!) ..
    Laughed so at the poor snowman ... but I feel that way too ? haha
    This recipe looks really good .. mental note to try this !
    Joy : )

    1. Hello, Joy from Canada! I was actually born in Etobicoke, to be exact. Some of my relatives and friends are there, too. Hope you try the soup recipe!

  14. Ooooooo, this looks fantastic. Stay warm, Melanie, and enjoy this wonderful home cooking!!!

  15. Love your snowman photo so much I pinned it and posted it to my Facebook (so it's tracked back to you)! It's my sentiments exactly today as the temp is supposed to go down to -24 tonight ... again! This winter has been awful and it's starting to really get to me so I needed that giggle today. Just found your blog yesterday and it's great.

    1. And I just now saw your comment after all this time...sorry about that! So glad you found my blog and like it.


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