Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cream of Chicken & Asparagus Soup - Tutorial

Back again, back again...with yet another soup! The weather, here in CO, just calls for it and I enjoy them so much that I hardly go a day without having a bowl! This soup could be easily become vegetarian as well; just omit the chicken and use vegetable stock/broth instead.


350 gr Green Asparagus
2 tbsp Butter
1 Chopped onion
4 tbsp Rice (I use Arborio rice)
4 cups of Chicken Stock (I use water and a heaping tbsp of my homemade bouillon)
1 Bay leaf
2/3 cup of Milk Cream (I had sour cream so I used it)
170 gr of Chicken (cooked and cubed)
Salt & Pepper

Here are all of the ingredients, lined up and ready to go. The jar behind the sour cream is my homemade chicken bouillon. I always use it as my base for soups instead of buying broth. It's super cheap and easy to do. Find the recipe here

In a stockpot I sauteed the onions, in a bit of butter and extra virgin olive oil, until translucent.

While I was waiting for the onions to cook, at medium-low for 3-4 minutes, I washed the asparagus and cut off about 2 inches from the bottom (discard this part as it is too woody). I then sliced off the tips and put them in a small pan, with a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, to sauté until tenter (a good 15-20 minutes on low heat). 

While the asparagus and the onions were sautéing, I quickly chopped the remaining asparagus stems in small chunks. I added the asparagus, the rice, some salt and the bay leaf to the stockpot. I stirred and cooked for 2-3 more minutes.

I then added 4 cups of water and 1 heaping tbsp of chicken bouillon and brought to a boil. I lowered the heat and simmered the soup, covered, for about 30-35 minutes.

While the soup was simmering, I checked on the tips and removed them from heat when done.  

I then proceeded to chop the chicken. I used thighs that I had seared the night before in some EVOO with some rosemary, salt and pepper. Tip: you can use leftover turkey as well. This is a great recycling recipe after the holidays, when the remnants of the celebratory dinner are ready and sitting in the fridge!

When the soup was ready, I removed the bay leaf. Don't forget this step or you'll have crunchy soup ;)

I then used my immersion blender to get the soup to a creamy consistency.

I added the sour cream (milk cream, heavy cream or half & half all work equally great) and incorporated it well.

I returned the soup to low heat and added the asparagus tips...

...and the chicken chunks...

...I gently stirred all ingredients together and adjusted with salt and pepper.

I then served it in pre-heated soup plates and used some asparagus tips and chicken cubes as a garnish.

This is a super delicious soup that lasts well for a few days in the fridge. I hope you enjoy! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Spicy Bruxelles Sprouts & Kale Soup

I know most people steer clear of Bruxelles Sprouts, but they are very nutritious and high in protein, vitamin A, folacin, potassium and calcium. They are also relatively cheap, a bag of nearly one kilogram runs roughly $3.50 at Costco. So they are a staple in my fridge, especially during the winter months. I usually just sauté them as a side dish, but I also like them in soups. So here is a cream of sprouts that I make with those little cruciferous gems.


600 gr Bruxelles Sprouts halved
100 gr Kale chopped
1 large potato (or 2 small ones) cubed
1 onion chopped
1 TBSP organic bullion 
Chilly pepper flakes
Chopped walnuts (or pecans) to garnish
Extra Virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Here are all my ingredients ready to go. I had Costco's frozen chopped Kale in the freezer so, I used a full coffee mug of it instead of fresh kale. My homemade organic chicken bouillon (recipe here) is missing in the photo. I forgot to get it out until I needed it. But you get the idea; this is an easy soup that requires only a hand full of ingredients. 

I washed and cleaned the sprouts; removing any ugly/spotted leaves and cutting a little of the stem off. I then sliced them in half. I peeled, washed and chopped the potatoes. I then chopped the onion and sauteed it in some olive oil until translucent (7-8 minutes, at low heat to avoid browning).

Next I added the sprouts, the kale, the potatoes and the chilly flakes. I used 1tsp of flakes, but you can use more if you can take more heat. 

I stirred the ingredients, and cooked them for about 5 more minutes on medium-low heat.

I added 1 liter of water and a TBSP of my bouillon (stock will work just as well). I brought the soup to a boil, lowered the heat, covered, and cooked for 20 more minutes.

I then removed some of the sprouts with a colander and set them aside for garnish.

I waited a few minutes for the soup to cool off, and then used an immersion blender for a smooth and creamy consistency.

I returned the soup to heat, warmed it back up, and adjusted it with salt and pepper. I then served it topping it with some halved sprouts, chopped nuts and a sprinkling of red chilly flakes. 

If I have stale bread I chop it up roughly, and then line the bowls with it before I pour the soup in. Before serving, I always add some freshly grated Grana Padano (or Parmigiano Reggiano) for flavor. The secret with Bruxelles Sprouts is to cook them long enough to be al dente, but not allowing the glucosinolates to release sulfur as they cook. That is what causes the 'rotten egg' smell that people dislike about sprouts.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and give this wonderful veggie another try :)