Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chicken Vegetable Soup; Herbed Cornbread Muffins & Parmesan Butter

I froze my bun-buns off at work yesterday and all I could think of was making a nice hot soup, wrapping up in a blankie and getting warm. I started out wanting a homemade chicken noodle soup and ended up making a chicken vegetable soup. The muffins were an afterthought but I ended up baking cornbread muffins mixed with fresh rosemary, chives, and sage. Then I mixed 1/2 cup of butter with the same fresh herbs and added grated Parmesan cheese. The whole dinner took about an hour and a half. So worth the effort because this comforting soup makes enough for leftovers. Talking about leftovers means the soup was delicious =D! BTW, I still want chicken noodle soup. Homemade noodles sounds so good right now. The noodles are not hard to make but tend to be more of a weekend adventure because the noodles need a little drying time before they can be cooked. There is nothing like fresh pasta. . .Great, now I want to go make noodles NOW. Saturday is just around the corner though.

I am going to tell on myself about another great thing that I did. I stopped at a Goodwill (second-hand clothing and paraphernalia store) to look for cookbooks and found 6 awesome ones. Each cookbook was hard cover and in great shape. Not new looking "but" definitely not beat up looking either. After tax, we spend $24.00. I do not need anymore cookbooks but I couldn't pass this up either. I actually had a blast looking through the selection, which took up 4 full shelves.

Now on to the dinner:

Chicken Vegetable Soup
4 (1-pound) bone-in chicken
8 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cups peeled, sliced carrots
2 cups chopped celery
2 (14.5 ounce) cans fire-roasted tomatoes
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon seasoned salt, such as Lawry's
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
4 cups chopped new potatoes
2 (15.5 ounce) cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed

Place chicken in a large stockpot. Add 8 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from broth; set aside to cool. Strain broth and reserve.

Return stockpot to hear. Add olive oil. Add garlic and onion and cook over medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes, or until translucent. Add carrots and celery and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, seasoned salt, and Creole seasoning, stirring well to combine.

Add chicken stock and reserved chicken broth. Stir well. Add potatoes and bring soup to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until potatoes are fork tender.

While potatoes are cooking, remove chicken from bone, shredding into bite-size pieces. Add chicken to soup. Add peas to soup and simmer for 3 minutes.

Herbed Cornbread Muffins
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as Rosemary, chives, and sage

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and black pepper, stirring well. Add beaten eggs, milk, and vegetable oil to cornmeal mixture, stirring to combine. Add fresh herbs to batter, stirring gently. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Parmesan Butter
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
Garnish: Fresh herbs

Pour 3/4 cups of grated Parmesan cheese into bowl. Add butter and black pepper, mixing to combine. Add olive oil and fresh herbs. Mix until combines; garnish with fresh herbs.

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