We had a special guest for dinner last night. It was just something I felt I should do knowing that his wife was out of town and he was living the bachelor's life for awhile, Saturday, we invited him to join us for Sunday dinner. When I invited him, I didn't know what I was going to make for dinner, and I didn't know that Sunday was his BIRTHDAY. I found that out bright and early Sunday morning on facebook (good ol' facebook).
We started in on the birthday cake. That was easy. It was the figuring out what to make for dinner that was a little more tricky.
I decided that I'd make the bread bowls and a soup. I found a recipe online, but didn't have all that it asked for, so I did my own thing. As I made it, I realized that the base of this soup can really be used with any ingredients, so here's what I did, but you can throw in anything you want.
Throw the following into a crockpot:
1 large bag frozen vegetables--I used a Tuscan mix--peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, etc.
You can use fresh veggies too, but if you do, saute them in a pan first until they're tender, but not soggy.
cooked meat--I used chicken that I chopped and shredded, but you could use browned ground beef, or probably some chopped up pork (I'm not sure about beef, but what do you have to lose? Give it a shot.)
spices--I used thyme and paprika
salt and pepper to taste
you could probably also throw in some onion or garlic for flavor
Now, for the yummy part:
Make a cream sauce with equal parts butter and flour--I used (for our large group) 1 C. of each, but a more practical amount would be 1/4 C. of each.
Gradually pour in chicken broth. I used four cans, and I threw in a can of cream of chicken soup to boot, but if you do 1/4 C. of butter and flour, use 1 C. chicken broth. The cream of chicken is completely optional.
Stir this sauce into the veggies and meat.
If you'd like, grate some cheese into it or do it before you serve it.
You can also throw in some pasta, but cook it slightly before you do, or throw cooked pasta in right before you serve it. I think the second option is the one I'd choose. I always seem to end up with soggy, nasty pasta if I cook it in my crockpot.
Let the soup cook on low for about three hours.
I highly recommend this soup served in the bread bowls. We served this with a Caesar salad. It seemed to be just right for a Sunday night. By the way, we have afternoon church, and we get out at 4pm, so I made the bread bowls around 12:30pm and let them rise while we were at church and set the soup to cook at that time too. It was all ready to go when we got home.
Hope you try it and hope you love it. If you try some good combinations, let me know. I'd like to try your creations too. Enjoy!
Monday, October 31, 2011