Saturday, October 22, 2011

soup and such

every fall (for the past 3 years) some of my friends and i have had, what is now our "traditional", annual soup night. i don't really know what it was that inspired me to launch this tradition, but i am so thankful that i did.
this years' soup night was this past wednesday evening. the weather couldn't have been more perfect for soup eating. it was rainy, 58 degrees, and windy. and i don't think that it could be argued that this year was by far our best-ever year for deliciousness! and as always a fun time to catch up with friends that we seem to see far too infrequently.

our friend katie recently moved back to greenville and this was her soup night inauguration. :)  

our friends baird and zach, armed with their muffin tins.
 i forget where i got this idea, but muffin tins have proven to be the perfect vessel for soup sampling. 

tara and her sweet little girl masha getting their soup.

owen and katie all decked out in their halloween attire.

masha just didn't know what to think about topher. 

everyone enjoying their soup

 our first soup night as a married couple. :)

 owen opted out of soup and had a lunchable... well, actually, he had an oreo. 
and he was a big fan of the M&M's. 

this is what my muffin tin ended up looking like.

this year's menu : 
sour cream corn bread {tara}
italian pasta and white bean soup {katie t}
chicken and wild rice soup {baird}
'fire breathing dragon' taco soup {katie l}
spicy white chicken chili {nora, *that's me}

 2 weeks ago my friends christina and john had me over for dinner while topher (my hard-working husband) was sleeping (he works nights, which makes our hours together somewhat limited).they made me some pretty amazing white chicken chili. sadly,  i couldn't find the recipe that they used, so i combined 3 different white chicken chili recipes to make mine.

nora's white chicken chili recipe:
 (or at least pretty close)

3 large chicken breasts, baked and shredded
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, diced
4 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed and diced finely
3 large cloves garlic
1- 4oz. can green chilies (undrained)
2 tsps. cumin
2 tsps. oregano
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
6 cups chicken broth
3 cans white beans (undrained)
1/2 c. diced cilantro
3 Tbsp. lime juice
sliced green onion
shredded monterey jack cheese

first of all, there were so many things that i experimented with in this recipe that i probably should have had a back-up plan... but fortunately it was edible and i actually really liked it.

i accidentally bought chicken thighs instead of breasts, so despite being nauseated after deboning those, the chicken thigh meat was a lot more tender than chicken breasts. if you are limiting fat in your diet, the chicken breast is a much better option.

1. begin by sauteing the onion in the olive oil. after about 2 minutes add the garlic, jalapenos, and chilies. place a lid on your pan to sweat the onions and peppers. i let mine go for about 3 minutes. then add the cumin, oregano, garlic powder, cayenne, black pepper, and nutmeg (which does seem like a strange thing to have in chili, but it gives it a little bit of a smokey flavor). let that cook for about a minute.

2. then add the chicken broth and white beans and let heat through. next add the chicken. let everything simmer for 10-15 minutes. i left my soup on low heat for about an hour at this point, but you don't have to.

3. about 10 minutes before serving the chili add the cilantro and lime juice. 

4. serve with green onion and shredded cheese ( i personally liked it better without the cheese)

the white chicken chili is on the bottom right. so yummy!!!

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