Well friends, it happened again…seemingly overnight…fall has arrived! It seems like only yesterday the thermometer read 80*, and yet when I woke up this morning, it was a frigid 37*! I am forever amazed by the quick passing of time–and seasons. Much as I may enjoy the warmth of summer, there is something cozy and comforting about a fluffy sweater, a good book and a steaming cup of soup!
I love turning on the stove and oven at this time of year…why turn up the furnace if you can take the chill off and reap the benefits of baked goods at the same time! With the bounty of fall veggies and fruits, I can’t wait to smell the hypnotic aroma of homemade soup on the stove and a fresh apple pie in the oven. As I love to do, I always cook a lot more than one meal’s worth of anything so that I can freeze some for another day. One of the best advantages of preparing large batches is that the longer anything sits, the better the infusion of flavors. What tastes good today will be even better after those flavors have mingled!
I lovingly refer to many of my soups as “everything but the kitchen sink concoctions” as I put just about everything I can find into the pot! Whether you start with a broth, such as chicken or beef, or really start from scratch with a pot of water and a few bones or veggies, the bulk of your flavors will come from what you add to the liquid. I like to look through the cooler and merely grab whatever I find…leftovers from last night’s dinner, veggies that may be a little past their prime, pan drippings from a chicken or pot roast…you name it! Some of my best soups started out as leftovers!
By definition, a stew is thicker and chunkier, while a soup is usually more broth than solids, but I tend to overload my soups. As Rachel Ray likes to call them, mine tend to be more “stoup” because I put so much stuff in the broth! It is important to remember when making soup that if you are adding raw veggies or meats to the broth they will need seasoning (such as salt, pepper and herbs), and will absorb what you add during the cooking process. If, however, you are “repurposing” your leftovers, remember that that food has already been seasoned during the first cooking, so it won’t be necessary to add as much (if any) additional seasoning. Taste before your shake is my mantra!
With cooler weather in the forecast, I suggest you start a pot of soup, grab a book and a blanket and curl up for an afternoon…Enjoy!!
Stuffed Chicken Breast Soup
- 2 stuffed chicken breasts (fully cooked)
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup gravy
- ¼ t thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix chicken broth with gravy; bring to a simmer.
Coarsely chop stuffed chicken breasts, add to broth.
Simmer, stirring occasionally until chicken is heated through.
Add thyme (and salt and pepper if necessary).
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