Wednesday, October 6, 2010

No Soup for You!

The Soup Nazi I am not! I love soup. A few years ago, I was the Executive Chef at a college and ran the college cafe. We served 3 soups daily, one was an asian soup made by my Chinese cooks. The other two I made first thing in the morning when I got in. Since the college was a Health Professions school, the students and faculty wanted healthy food. I tried to make one of the soups a vegetarian or vegan soup. The other was basically whatever we could create.  Cleaning out the walk-in cooler with leftover veggies or meats from lunch the day before was the best way to avoid waste and really have some fun. Figuring out new ways to make cream soups without cream utilized my culinary education. It was fun, creative and tasty. I think the comptroller appreciated the fact it was a low food cost item to sell in the cafe. Better for my budget. Now that the weather is getting cooler, I want to make a large pot of soup every week. Nutritious and easy on the budget, its perfect for the season. Tonites soup is Roasted Chicken with Brown Rice. I did alot of the prep work on sunday so all I would have to do is throw it together today. On sunday, I roasted 2 whole chicken breasts with the bone. I placed sliced shallots and sage leaves under the skin. Sprinkled with salt and pepper, and laid the breasts on top of chopped onion, carrots and celery (mire poix). I baked the breasts for about 50 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool and remove meat from bones. I also chopped my mire poix ( a mixture of onions, carrots and celery for sauces, soups and stocks ) on sunday and stored it in the refrigerator. I used 2 cups of diced carrots, 3 large parsnips, 3 leeks, 4 stalks of celery with the leaves (all medium diced). If no leeks are available use 3 onions instead. I also had about 2 cups of brown rice left over from monday nites dinner that I saved.
Roasted Chicken with Brown Rice Soup:
2 whole chicken breasts with bone ( prepared as above )
mire poix ( prepared as above )
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups cooked rice
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Sweat MirePoix in large stock pot with 4 tbs of olive or canola oil. Add 5 quarts of chicken broth or stock. Add the cooked brown rice ( or whichever rice you prefer ). Add the shredded cooked chicken, 2 bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste, and 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley. Cook for a few hours on low heat. Serve with Hot crusty bread or a side salad! I am serving mine with a small grilled chicken caesar salad with homemade croutons and shaved parmesan cheese. Yumm!!! and Remember: Life is full of Tasty Morsels!
PS sorry guys, for some reason the pics came out horrible. Flash wasnt working and pics are yellow and orange. Next time!

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