Brrrr. Much of the country is under the influence of the Great Polar Vortex of 2019. I am in Chicago, which seems to be getting the brunt of winter storm Jayden, and like much of the region, we are home for the next few days. I decided this was the perfect time to make (again) and write about my new favorite Chicken Noodle Soup recipe. It is taken from the Farmhouse Chicken Noodle Soup recipe from America’s Test Kitchen – one of my favorite cooking shows. Sometime in early January, I was watching a recorded episode, and almost passed it over. I mean, it’s Chicken Noodle Soup, not exactly something novel. Since they made it in a pressure cooker, it did pique my interest, and since I happened to have all of the ingredients, I made it. WOW. Seriously, it is the best Chicken Noodle Soup I have ever made – and I make a lot.
This Instant Pot® Vegetable Chowder is loaded with summery vegetables – zucchini, squash, and corn, just begging for a glass of sauvignon blanc and a crusty loaf of bread. It isn’t summer, though, and I am all out of wine. What I do have a crisper full of vegetables that I bought intending to grill, and a weekend full of cold, rainy, weather, with no grilling in sight. What is a girl to do? Make soup, of course! I adapted another one of my recipes that calls for bacon. While I love bacon, I try to make my soups mostly vegetarian-friendly, because it is a meal that my kids will all eat. To replace some of the bacon-y goodness, I added in smoked paprika. This kept the soup meat-free, but added a hint of smokiness that would have come from the bacon. I also call for either water or vegetable stock. Feel free to use chicken stock, if it is what you have.
Two years ago today, I shared this blog with the world. It has been really fun being a part of this whole Instant Pot® craze, creating delicious recipes, and sharing them with my readers. To honor this anniversary, I could have come up with something flashier, but instead, I am sharing a recipe that speaks to me and my family – minestrone. For whatever reason, this is a no-complaint dinner. It’s comforting, humble, and budget-friendly. We love it and think you will too. It is so versatile – make it vegan by omitting the Parmesan cheese. Use chicken or vegetable stock, in place of water. Use whatever beans you have in the cabinet. Add extra vegetables. I usually serve this with warm, crusty bread.
Split Pea Soup is a humble soup, and definitely a hard sell in my family. Thick, green, obviously full of vegetables, everyone seems to turn their nose up at it. I love it, though, and usually, make it a couple of times a year to satisfy my craving. I really think you should, too! If I happen to have a leftover ham bone, I make it with that, but if not, I don’t let that hold me back. This recipe is vegan and gluten-free and equally yummy. Split pea soup is also easy on your wallet if you need to stretch your food budget. I love using the Instant Pot® for this recipe because the soup cooks really fast.
This Creamy Squash Soup made in the Instant Pot® is the perfect autumn soup. It is slightly more interesting than a butternut squash soup, because of the addition of cauliflower, potato, and sweet potato. The ginger and allspice also add a hint of warmth. I love creamy vegetable soups this time of year, and this soup fits the bill. Plus it uses a lot of produce, so it is great if you have veggies that are a little past their prime. This soup is easily made vegan by omitting the honey and cream. Substitute what you enjoy most.
I have been on a soup kick lately. At this time of year, the days can be cool, and like today, they can be a bit hot. Mexican Chicken Soup is perfect for both warm or cool days and a great end-to summer/start-to-fall entree. Mexican Chicken Soup prepared in an Instant Pot® quick and easy to put together and can be on the table in about 30 minutes, so it is great for a busy weeknight – my favorite! My kids love when I have a bowl of tortilla chips on the table – they just crush them and add to their soup bowls.
Jambalaya is a creole dish usually made with andouille sausage and chicken. The delicious addition of peppers, onions, and celery (the holy trinity of Creole and Cajun cooking) make for a flavorful, savory stew, which is often served over rice. It is also a great dish for those following a paleo or low-carb diet. The heat can be adjusted with the addition of cayenne powder. I also serve it with hot sauce, for those who like it extra hot.
There are a few foods that conjure up childhood memories for me – tomato soup is one of them. I remember having a bowl of warm, creamy, tomato soup any time of year. My favorite way to enjoy it was to dip in saltines. A close second was the grilled cheese accompaniment. Even my husband, who was raised in a different country remembers his dad making him tomato soup. My kids have *gasp* never had the condensed soup of my childhood, but they all like this version that I prepare in theInstant Pot®, especially when I make grilled cheese on the side.
With the exception of Macaroni and Cheese, Chicken and Dumplings is the perfect comfort food. Today was one of those days. It was cold and dreary and after spending the day stuck inside with my toddler who A) cut up multiple sheets of paper into tiny bits of confetti, and B) used marker to cover her entire face and hands, all before 11 am, I needed some major comfort. Since alcohol before noon is typically frowned upon, Chicken and Dumplings in the Instant Pot® to the rescue. We had a yummy and comforting lunch, and I was able to get through the rest of the day relatively unscathed.
We have had the most glorious spring. After an unseasonably mild winter, spring came early. It’s been warm and sunny and we have been grilling out more often than not. Today it’s a seasonably appropriate dreary April day. My newly planted grass seed could certainly use the drink, and my husband could use a break from grill duty. I decided that I had a taste for my Easy Lentil Soup, but I was out of green lentils. However, I did have a bag of red lentils, so I created a new lentil soup recipe. This red lentil soup is just as easy to make as my other recipe. If you have never used red lentils before, they do not hold their shape like other lentils. They become creamy and delicious as they cook down. One of my favorite lentil soups uses sumac to add brightness and a little bit of sour flavor. I never have sumac, so I used fresh lemon juice after cooking the soup in the Instant Pot®. If you do have sumac, feel free to stir in a teaspoon before cooking the soup.