When the coldest day of the year comes around I will usually make us a nice warm chicken noodle soup and it always hits the spot.

But don't take my word for it, try it yourself.

You'll Need

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion, chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 pound cooked chicken, chopped
  • 48 ounces chicken broth
  • 14 ounces vegetable broth
  • 6 ounces egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

You'll Then

You will then get busy and cook up a nice meal the whole family will love. The directions are so simple:

  • In a large pot, begin to melt the butter on medium heat.
  • Add the garlic and onions, sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Toss in the green onions, celery, and carrots.
  • Continue to cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the chicken and egg noodles.
  • Pour in the chicken and vegetable broth, add all spices.
  • Combine Ingredients and bring to a boil.
  • Continue to stir and simmer for 20 minutes on med/low heat.
  • Serve hot and you’re good to go!
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I tried a cream soup yesterday, and well, I was short on cream. But I did have half and half in the frig. And while I will admit, fat free half and half is not cream in any way (I am not even sure that it is even food after this) I decided to give it a go.

What I am about to say may surprise you. Don't use it to cook.

I would say it's never a good idea to add anything pretending to be cream without containing any fat. Half and half has a tendency to separate in soups and sauces, especially fat free half and half, which has a lot of additives to make up for the lost fat content.

Honestly, I would have used straight heavy cream had I had any since I am not overly health conscience.

If you keep the fat content down in other areas of the meal and forgo heavy starches, it's really not that bad for you. I add my cream at the very end of cooking, and heat it just long enough for it to warm.

You can also try tempering the next time you cook with cream, especially if you want to keep working with fat free half and half. In tempering, you put the cream in a separate bowl, and slowly add a small amount of hot soup whisking constantly. This brings the cream up to temp. When you add the cream/soup mixture back into the pot, it's less likely to break because it's closer to the temperature of the liquid in the pot.

And while I know people fear fat. People assume fat = weight gain when that is not the case. That is why you find most everything in diary claiming to be fat free, low fat, reduced fat etc etc are popular because of this.

My soup was okay, though it wasn't as yummy as I wanted. But I should have expected it, low fat creams have a tendency to do that, especially at higher temperatures. I'd recommend either using a cream with a higher fat content (you can get away with using a lot less of it in soups that low/no-fat creams so the impact won't be huge), or be very careful with the temperature and only add low-fat cream to finish or while the soup is on a low simmer. Once it's incorporated it's usually safe to heat a little higher but it will split if it gets too close to boiling.

Next time I will just use milk instead.

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I like cauliflower bacon soup, chicken (or beef) enchilada, and broccli cheese. None of them have a ton of veggies.

Of those three my favorite is probably the cauliflower bacon.

  • 1/2 pound bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium (2 1/2 pound) cauliflower, cored and chopped into florets
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

I know your said not a ton of veggies and this one is cauliflower based, but personally I do not taste the cauliflower in it over the bacon, onion, and cheese (topping). It is blended so veggie texture is not there either.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon pieces until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside. Pour off bacon drippings, reserving 2 tablespoons in the pan.

Add chopped onion to saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat until softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Turn up the heat, add cauliflower and chicken stock and stir, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When liquid comes to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until cauliflower is tender enough to mash, 15-20 minutes.

Add the cream cheese and mash and stir the cauliflower and cream cheese with a potato masher.

Stir in the heavy cream. If you would like a smooth soup, puree to desired consistency in the pot with an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender (then return to pot).

Stir in 3/4 of the reserved bacon pieces (save the extra for garnish) and 1 tablespoon of chopped chives.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve hot soup garnished with shredded cheddar cheese, bacon pieces, and chopped chives.

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We're basically addicted to soups. I personally could eat soup everyday, and we actually eat a number of them every week.

Sometimes though I want a soup, but don't have the time or energy, take your pick. So when I'm feeling lazy, I just do this:

  • Whatever vegetables that are in my fridge
  • potatoe or cauliflower.
  • onion and garlic.
  • vegetable broth
  • cream - if wanted.
  • lentils

I basically sautée the onion and garlic.

Then add veggies. Then add broth. Let it simmer. Purree it. Add seasoning. (Salt pepper, chili, vinegar, sugar...) Add some cream later in my bowl.

It works for every single veggie that I have tried.

You can add also tomatoe or tomatoe paste, lentils. Anything really. Whatever your fridge offers at that moment.

It is basically a lentil soup! I made this one the other day:

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 1/2 cups water

I served this with black pepper and fresh lemon juice. It was so good!

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I made it twice in the last month and learned a few things. I think veal stock is traditional but I have no idea where you'd get veal bones unless you buy from a farm or a butcher.

Virtually all French Onion Soup recipes call for Thyme and Bay Leaf as the main herbs, done as a bouquet garni: Tied up, thrown in, then pulled out before serving.

Before you get started, I will say that the key is to slowly cook the onions. It took about 45 minutes. Here's how I did it:

  1. Melt some butter in a little olive oil on a lowish heat.
  2. Slice up some onions.
    1. I used about seven medium ones.

  • Put the onions in the pan, add a shake of dried sage.
    1. Cover and fry gently until soft (about 10 minutes). Stir regularly - you don't want them to colour.
  • Chop up some garlic.
    1. I settled on three cloves because I love garlic. Add this to the pot.
  • Add a heaped tablespoon of sugar (I used dark muscovado sugar).
    1. Turn up the heat a little, stir, allow the onions to slowly turn golden and caramelise. Another 10 minutes or so. Don't allow them to catch.
  • Stir in a shake of flour.
    1. This will help thicken the soup.
  • Slowly add some beef stock.
    1. I used about three cups. Add a little, stir, repeat.
  • Add a splash of balsamic vinegar.
    1. This helps to enrich the soup.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
    1. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • With a few minutes to go, chop up some French bread.
    1. Toast it. Then sprinkle some cheese on top and put it in the oven to melt.
  • Serve the soop in bowls, finish off with a little freshly chopped parsley.
  • Hadley
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    My tree in the front yard fell down three weeks ago and since that date I have been unable to open my garage door. Only the side door is functional.

    We have 2 cars and one of them is stuck in the garage.

    It is a single lane driveway with no street parking. It's been a pain in the rear, parking in our yard, parking down the street, at a school across the street, coordinating with the contractor so he can get access with his vehicles and trailers, etc. Our adjuster is national, so getting hold of him takes 2 days for every communication because of the hurricanes.

    It's a pain all around.

    I'm starting to get excited though... upgrading to vinyl/aluminum wrapped everything (virtually zero maintenance), new shingles for the entire roof, an insulated door with a window (the previous was neither of those), gutter runs along both sides of the garage (only had one side before), and a jackshaft garage opener.

    The only thing I wish I had asked them to do was put some bracing in so that I could install a basketball hoop.

    Fallen tree