Archive for soup

Wild Rice & Chicken Soup

Posted in Cooking, Food, Home Cooked Food, recipe, soup with tags , , , , , , , on December 15, 2010 by helenphillips

From this.... (the raw condition)

Wild Rice (which is actually a grass) grows in abundance in Minnesota, so it is unsurprising that it is a favourite in local cuisine. I had my first taste several years ago when we first visited the Twin Cities as part relocation decision making process. We spent a day being taken around various residences by a Real Estate agent so that we could consider where we would like to be living, and importantly, what we needed to budget for. At lunch time, we were taken to Lucia’s in Uptown. Lucia’s is a small restaurant that changes it’s menu weekly in tune with seasonal produce. On this particular day I did not feel like a large lunch, and fortunately for me the Soup of the Day was Wild Rice Soup. Just delicious.

So, when we moved here, wild rice was one of the first store cupboard items I bought, but it’s taken me longer than planned to do anything with it. My husband likes to have soup to take to work for lunch, so I like to keep a stock of various flavours in the freezer – roasted tomato, lentil & tomato, chicken & sweetcorn.   The soup I had at Lucia’s was a creamy one, but here I have left out the cream. It makes a lovely chunky soup, so if you are feeling virtuous you can always omit the side of bread and still feel satisfied. This makes 2 portions suitable for lunch or even an evening meal appetizer.

  • 1/4 cup uncooked wild rice – this gives just under 2 cups when cooked
  • 1 chicken thigh, diced
  • 1 small onion (or large shallot) sliced
  • 5 mushroom – chopped into small pieces
  • 0.5L chicken stock
  • Seasoning

There are 2 ways you can go about this – cook the wild rice ahead, or bung it all in together. I went for the former, because having never cooked wild rice before, I didn’t really know exactly how much it would expand by. You need to use 4 x the amount of water, so in this case 1 cup. Slightly salt, bring to the boil and simmer for around 50 minutes until the rice is cooked and water is absorbed.

IMG_2323 this.... (cooked rice)

Using a non-stick pan, I cooked the chicken pieces over a medium heat until sealed. Next I added the onions, and cooked for a few minutes, before adding in the mushrooms. Once the vegetables were soft, I added seasoning, and then the stock. I briefly raised the temperature to bring the soup to the boil, and then reduced to a simmer before adding in the cooked rice. I left it simmering for about 20 minutes, before decanting into pots ready for my husband to pack away for his lunch.

IMG_2326 lunch (wild rice soup)



Bacon & Lentil Soup with a bit of Spice

Posted in Cooking, Dinner, Food, Home Cooked Food, recipe with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2009 by helenphillips

It’s back to work tomorrow, and with the weather being so cold at the moment, it’s nice to have something warming for lunch.  Soups are always so simple to make, simple to refreeze, and suitable for reheating as required.

Lentils are high in fibre, meaning that you feel full up for longer. The bacon of course can be omitted, but gives an extra ‘smoky’ flavour to the soup.

Garam Masala is a mixture of spices that can be bought pre-mixed. However, if you have the ingredients at home, you can do it yourself.  However, there are many variations, as it is a regional recipe (which may make it easier to find the recipe most suitable to you).

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 rashers of bacon (you could use 4 of streaky bacon if you wish)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (ground with mortar & pestle)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds (ground with mortar & pestle)
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 240g red lentils
  • 800 ml chicken stock (I keep a supply of home made stock in the freezer)

Finely chop the onion and bacon. Add the olive oil to a pan, heat and then saute the onion and bacon over a medium heat for a few minutes until softened. Add the spices, and the tomato puree. Stir well, and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the lentils, and the stock. Stir well, bring to the boil, and then simmer for around 20-25 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool, and then blend to a puree. If the texture is too thick, then some water can be added when reheated.