That means soup and stew season is on!
Of course, here in Houston it’s still in the 80′s and everyone is wearing shorts and t-shirts/tank tops….
But it’s the spirit of the season that’s important!!
Heck, if all else fails, I can still turn my air conditioner way down and pretend it’s cold outside, so I can make hot soups and stews. That’s just the kind of commitment I have as a food blogger. Electric bill be damned!
So if you’re ready to get on the ball with fall/winter soups and stews, and want to warm your bones on those chilly fall evenings (or at least pretend you need to) here’s a great one to try out.
I found this in my Jamie Olive cookbook, Jamie’s Dinners. It’s a hardy stew full of sausage, tomatoes, spinach, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), a little ham, diced onion, celery, and garlic all in chicken stock. The interesting addition to this stew, however, is crumbled hard-boiled egg. It sounds strange, but it really goes well in the soup.
Spanish Chorizo and Chickpea Stew
(serves 4 – 6)
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 5 1/2 oz. chorizo sausage, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 lb. fresh spinach, chopped
- 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (14 oz.) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
- 5 c. chicken broth
- 1/2 c. diced ham
- 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and crumbled
- Add oil and sausage to a large pot over medium heat. Cook until sausage starts to brown, 3 – 4 minutes.
- Add onion, celery, and garlic. Turn heat down to medium-low, cover the pot, and let it gently cook without coloring for about 15 minutes.
- Remove lid and add spinach, tomatoes, chickpeas, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer for about 40 minutes.
- Turn off heat and stir in ham and crumbled boiled egg. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
I have a confession.
Stir-fries make me a little nervous.
Why you ask?
All that heat!
You have to cook everything very quickly, and at a really really high temperature.
smoke detector going off,
At least, that’s pretty much how it goes in my head.
In reality it’s not quite as dramatic. It’s more like I just get really busy flinging everything in the skillet, stirring it around, trying to avoid any spitting oil (okay, that part is true), and not being able to hear anything my husband is saying because the vent for our stove is so ridiculously loud.
So, I honestly don’t make all that many stir-fries. Plus, I have an electric stove, and I think you really need a gas stove and a wok to make really good stir-fries, but that’s just my opinion.
I decided to try out this stir-fry recipe from Jamie Oliver, however, because it sounded interesting yet yummy, is really fast, and quite simple, really.
I wondered if such a simple and fast recipe could be really good or not, so I tried it out.
And it was really good!
It’s called Chicken Goujons with Noodles, but I call it Five Spice Chicken and Noodle Stir-fry. Whatever you call it, it’s definitely tasty, but not your average stir-fry. If you have a really busy night coming up, give this a try. The five spice powder gives it an intriguing flavor that’s delicious with the chicken. Did I mention it’s fast?
Five Spice Chicken and Noodle Stir-fry
- 8 oz. dried flat egg noodles
- 3 Tbsp. peanut or canola oil (or any high heat cooking oil)
- 2 medium chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp. dried red chili
- 2 tsp. five spice powder
- 5 – 6 green onions, sliced
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- large handful of cilantro, washed and roughly chopped
- Cook noodles according to package instructions (typically these only need to cook for a few minutes).
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken, ginger, and chili. Stir around quickly, then add the five spice powder.
- Once the chicken is browned, add the green onions, soy sauce, and honey, and mix everything.
- Add the drained noodles and cilantro to the skillet. Toss everything together, adjust the seasoning to taste (add more soy sauce, honey, or five spice powder as desired), and serve.
recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Goujons with Noodles
I love fish chowder.
When I was a kid, it was my favorite dish that my mom’s cooking. I even found my old diary from elementary school, and in the beginning it had a fill in the blank section where you listed your favorite things, and for favorite food I wrote, “Mom’s fish chowder”. Incidentally, one of my brother’s hated this soup as a kid, but only because he hated carrots (he still hates carrots as a matter of fact…).
It’s a a very simple soup, but really good. The secret is the seasoning. You use one package of the Ranch Buttermilk Salad Dressing spice mix as the seasoning of the soup. If this sounds odd, trust me, it’s not. It doesn’t make the soup taste like ranch dressing either. It just gives it great flavor.
And it goes great with plain scones (made the same as my dark chocolate chip walnut scones, just without the chocolate and walnuts) with honey and butter on them. That’s how my mom always served it. Ah, memories!
To start, chop up a whole onion, a few carrots, and a few potatoes, and saute them in some butter or olive oil in a large pot for about 8 – 10 minutes.
Add as much fish as you want, but on average use 15 – 16 oz. boneless skinless white fish fillets. Saute them in a skillet with some butter or olive oil until slightly browned, then flip them and cook them on the other side until cooked through and flaky.
Add two cups of water and the fish to the vegetables. Break up the fish into chunks with your spoon, and turn up the heat. Bring the soup to a boil then turn down the heat so it’s just simmering, cover the pot, and let it summer until the vegetables are tender, about 5 – 8 minutes.
Whisk together two cups of milk (or 1 1/2 cups milk and 1/2 cup cream or half and half) with the contents of one package of Ranch Buttermilk Dressing mix. Pour the mixture into the soup, mix well, adjust the seasoning to taste, and then heat the soup through before serving.
(serves 4 – 6)
- 3 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 large russet potatoes, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- About 16 oz. boneless skinless white fish fillets
- 2 c. water
- 2 c. milk (or substitute 1/2 c. of the milk with cream or half and half)
- 1 package Ranch Buttermilk Dressing mix
- Saute onion, potatoes, and carrots with 2 Tbsp. butter in a large pot over medium heat for 8 – 10 minutes.
- Saute fish fillets with 1 Tbsp. butter in a skillet over medium heat until fish has slightly browned on one side. Flip the fillets and cook on the other side until cooked through and flaky.
- Add water and fish fillets to the pot with the vegetables and turn up the heat. When mixture starts to boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, 5 – 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Whisk together milk (and cream/half and half if using) and dressing mix in a small bowl. Pour mixture into the soup, mixing evenly, and then return soup to heat and cook until heated through. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve.