Sundays with Friends: Kelli and her Crawfish Soup

Crawfish soup

I’ve had this one in my back pocket for a long time now, and frankly, I have my usual story about being incredibly busy in life.  However, I’ve also been waiting for colder months.  A very dear friend of The Onyx Plate sent in this recipe back in June, and I couldn’t wait for it to get a little colder to share it.  It’s finally cooler, and I’m finally sharing your recipe, Kelli!  Thank you so much for your patience, and I love the story attached.  It’s all about improvising and making a dish your own!  You are one cool foodie in my book!  :)

Don’t forget to follow The Onyx Plate on Facebook as well….. https://www.facebook.com/TheOnyxPlate

Take it away, Kelli!

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About a month ago, I bought this massive amount of live crawfish and did a crawfish boil just for my family. My extended family all seemed to be busy and couldn’t make it so it ended up just being my mom, my two kids, and me, so there were plenty of leftovers. I knew they would never get eaten before they went bad and that it would be blasphemous to allow such a delicious crustacean to go to waste, so I froze them.

Thursday evening, I decided to thaw some out for dinner but I couldn’t decide how I wanted to make them. I threw suggestions at my 6-year-old daughter and she got excited about the soup suggestion. She just adores soup, you see. So, I naturally headed over to Pinterest.

First, I looked through my soup board and found a Crawfish and Corn Soup recipe but I didn’t have everything for it. I left it open for reference but went back to the main Pinterest page and typed in “crawfish soup.” I found many recipes for Crawfish and Corn Soup. I looked at a couple more of them and they were all quite similar but a few had different ingredients. Either way you sliced it, I didn’t have all the ingredients. So I kept looking. Then, out of nowhere, there’s this different crawfish soup called Crawfish Broccoli Cheese Soup. Broccoli Cheese soup is one of my favorites and adding crawfish just sounded like heaven. Unfortunately, I didn’t have all the ingredients.

I refused to go to the store so I improvised. I sort of combined the two recipes and added my own flair.

First, since my crawfish were already cooked and frozen, I thawed them out and had to shell them. I have a raw spot on Crawfish soupmy thumb where shelling that many crawfish ripped skin off. I would recommend purchasing live ones and boiling them in Swampfire, but only if you like yours a little spicy. If you can’t get or don’t have swampfire, crab boil will work. I steamed broccoli and chopped it up, reheated leftover corn, then gathered these things around my soup pot.

First, I put in a can of broccoli cheddar soup with a can of milk. Then, in went a can of cream of asparagus soup with a can of milk. (I know some people don’t use condensed soup and I’m sure this soup would be better with homemade broccoli cheese and cream of asparagus soup but I didn’t have the ingredients for those so canned it was!) I added another cup of milk and whisked it. Then I dumped in the crawfish, corn, and broccoli and turned on the stove. After that, I had no idea what I was going to put in it but I knew it needed something else.

While the stove was warming up and I stirred the ingredients into the soup base, inspiration struck. I wanted this to be oh-so-creamy and cheesy so, I had my little helper (my daughter) go get a block of cream cheese from the refrigerator. After cutting that up, I put each little piece in and pushed them down to the bottom to help them melt. I threw in some spices and some shredded cheese (because, let’s face it, what’s a cheesy soup without cheese stringing cheese?) When I was throwing in the spices, I realized I had forgotten to sauté the onions so I just threw in some onion powder. I let it simmer for a few minutes then served it. As an afterthought, it would be good with some sliced carrots in it, as well.

My mom added salt and pepper to hers. My kids and I decided it needed a little shredded cheese on top. My son doesn’t usually care for soup but he ate two bowls, my daughter had her usual amount, and my mother ate 3 bowls and wanted a fourth but her stomach was exploding so she stopped. My son thanked everyone who had taken part in the production of the soup because it was so good. I win!

Crawfish Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of cooked crawfish tails, shelled (add more if you want)
  • 16 oz of broccoli florets, steamed and roughly chopped
  • 4-5 cups of warm buttered yellow corn
  • 1 can of condensed broccoli cheese soup
  • 1 can of condensed cream of asparagus soup
  • 2 cans of milk + 1-2 cup(s) of milk
  • 8 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese, cubed
  • 2-3 cups of fiesta blend shredded cheese
  • 1 yellow onion, sautéed (or onion powder, to taste)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, to taste
  • Fiesta blend shredded cheese, to taste

Directions:

1.   Clean your live crawfish, boil them in swampfire (or crab boil if you want it less spicy). Then shell them once they’ve cooled.

2.   Steam the broccoli then roughly chop it.

3.   Heat your corn with butter.

4.   Get a soup pot, put in the can of broccoli cheese soup and a can of milk.

5.   Add the cream of asparagus soup and a can of milk.

6.   Measure a cup or two of milk, add it, and whisk.

7.   Add the crawfish, broccoli, and corn and stir.

8.   Turn the eye on to high and let the soup warm up a bit.

9.   Add the cubed cream cheese and stir.

10. Lower the temperature to medium-low and push the bits of cheese to the bottom.

11.  Stir frequently.

12.  Add shredded cheese and stir.

13.  Add spices (and onion if you went that route) and stir.

14.  Reduce heat and cover to simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Serve with your favorite warm bread. Enjoy!

Sundays with Friends: St. Louis Country Chicken Soup with Lynda

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

Today’s Sundays with Friends comes from a fellow Weight Watchers friend, Lynda. This recipe looks amazing, and it certainly seems like it should be more than 6 points for this serving of soup. *smiles* I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I plan on enjoying it when I make it this Winter. Welcome to Sundays with Friends, Lynda!

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I got this recipe over 20 years ago when I was visiting St. Louis, Missouri, as part of a volunteer leadership team. We went there to assist a large Presbyterian church with their four day renewal event. Every evening, the ladies of the church served a light supper to the team members…this soup was one of those dinners.

I really liked the flavors of the soup they served us, but found it a little ‘thin’ for my liking. I’d never had chicken soup with apples and cloves in it so I started playing with the recipe and found this version to be more to my taste. I haven’t changed the ingredients in the original recipe, just adjusted the amounts…guess playing with your food can pay off!

According to the Weight Watchers Recipe Builder, one serving is 6 points…I add 4-5 saltines and another point.

St. Louis Country Chicken Soup

  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced or diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 small bell pepper, diced (I prefer red or yellow)
  • 1 medium leek, diced (white portion only)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 bone-in chicken breasts, roasted, meat diced or pulled apart
  • 2 large apples, cored and peeled, then diced (I prefer one tart apple and one sweet apple)
  • ¼ C. all purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ tsp. curry powder
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/3 C. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 C. diced tomatoes
  • 4 C. chicken broth
  • 2 ½ C. 1% milk

Sauté carrots, celery, pepper and leeks in olive oil until veggies are softened; stir often. Add chicken and all other ingredients, except parsley and milk.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Uncover; add parsley and simmer 3-4 minutes.

Add milk and simmer just long enough for milk to heat; do not boil.

Makes six servings.

Hot and Sour Soup soothes the soul…

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This one will be short and sweet, or hot and sour, depending on how you look at it. *smiles* I’ve been sitting here the past few days coughing my head off, attempting to nurse myself back to health, and at my wits end with a Rudolph nose. A good friend suggested to me that I should have some Hot and Sour Soup. They said it’s always helped them when they were sick and should do the same for me.

So, on to the easy Hot and Sour Soup recipe hunt I went.

I don’t normally have to go far for an easy recipe. I go to my Smart Phone App or online to All Recipes, and type in “easy hot and sour soup”. A few different ones came up, and I thumbed through them to make sure I had all of the needed ingredients. In the end, the one I found was quite easy and quite good. Next time you’re feeling under the weather, try this recipe…it just might help.

I didn’t do the recipe below to specs, because I didn’t have bamboo shoots and mushrooms. I also opted not to use chicken to have more of a broth, so I eliminated all of the steps and ingredients relating to the chicken prep. I also ended up putting quite a bit more red chili flakes in it than it called for, because I like it hot!

Hot and Sour Chicken Soup

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup sliced bamboo shoots, drained
  • 3 slices fresh ginger root (I grated mine fresh over the pot)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I ended up using about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 green onions, chopped (I keep green onion diced and frozen in a bag for times like this when I need some)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional) (This was just for garnish, so I didn’t mind not having any)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (I only had Apple Cider Vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 egg, beaten

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, combine the chicken broth, water, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and hot pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Place the chicken slices into a bowl and toss with the sesame oil to coat. In a separate bowl, stir together the cornstarch and vinegar, and set aside.
  3. Increase the heat under the broth to medium-high, and return to a rolling boil. Add the chicken slices. Return to a boil, and then drizzle in the egg while stirring slowly to create long strands of egg. Stir in the vinegar and cornstarch. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and the broth has thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. Serve garnished with green onions (I put the green onions in the soup broth while it was boiling) and cilantro.

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Chicken Noodling around…

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Nothing soothes the soul better than good ol’ Chicken Noodle Soup…wait…what did you say?  Someone already made that publicly known?….with a book?  Darn, I thought I was on to something…oh well…a book doesn’t taste this good though…*smiles*

I have been feeling a bit under the weather the past couple of days, maybe more so today than any other day lately.  I determined it was time to try my pot at homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.  Nope, never made it.  Nope, not going by a recipe.  In this instance, this was perfectly fine, because the end product was so delicious.  It was easy and made my throat feel so much smoother.  Do give it a try!

Doesn’t Chicken Noodle Soup remind you of Mom?  It gives you another warm and fuzzy moment to make you feel better.

Chicken Noodling Soup for the Soul

  • 3 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless, cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 can of sliced carrots
  • 5 celery stalks (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 2 tbls minced garlic or 5 garlic cloves chopped finely
  • 1 shallot, chopped or half of a medium yellow onion, chopped (I could have used more shallot, but this worked out ok for this time.)
  • 2 tbls of EVOO
  • 2 cups dry Rigatoni noodles
  • 2 cartons of Fat-Free, Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth (each carton is 32 ounces)
  • Seasonings to taste (I used Smoked Paprika, Red and Black Pepper, Cayenne, and Sea Salt.)

Directions

  1. Sauté chicken, celery, shallot, and EVOO together until the chicken is cooked throughout.
  2. Add the carrots.
  3. Next, pour in the two containers of broth and bring to a boil.
  4. Once the soup is boiling, add the noodles and continue to boil until the noodles are cooked al dente, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  5. Serve with your favorite bread (I served ours with Flax Seed Whole Grain Bread slathered with Brummel and Brown, a little garlic powder and parmesan cheese).  Enjoy!  

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Taco Soup for Dummies…

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No, I’m not calling you guys dummies.  I am simply using this as a reference to say that I think this is one of the easiest soups I have ever put together.  I can’t begin to even tell you how easy it is to make.  Let’s just put it this way….EASY!  You can adjust the spices to your palate.  If you want it spicier, make it spicier.  If you want it more mild, by all means, make it milder.  You are in control of the outcome of this soup.

 

Taco Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of Rotel (I use Original, you can use Mild if you want)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 pack of Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 1 pack of Taco Seasoning
  • 1 lb. ground beef, ground turkey, or cubed boneless, skinless chicken breast (your choice of meat)

Directions:

  1. Brown your meat with the onion in a pan on the stove.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours.  Granted, temperatures can vary from different slow cookers.  So, use the best setting you feel…all the ingredients are cooked when they are combined.  Your goal is to get it simmering on the edges and for all of the flavors to meld. 
  3. Serve in a bowl with cheese and sour cream for topping and tortilla chips for dipping!  Yum!

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Potato Soup Bar…

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Let’s face it people, you can’t beat a good homemade Potato Soup!  It’s an easy to personalize soup for each individual.  Every family makes theirs different with their own special touch.  But, basically it’s the same base: cream or milk (I use 2% low-fat milk), potatoes, butter, and salt and pepper to taste.

I’m all about the ease, so I have found that canned diced potatoes work out just fine as well.  It allows me to throw together a low-maintenance and quick potato soup.  Now that we have established that, most potato soup recipes are generic, let me remind you of the personalization part of it. 

In our household, we enjoy bacon and cheese on ours.  Fortunately, I still had some Tillamook Aged White Cheddar Cheese in my refrigerator.  I am telling you, again, you must must must must must try this cheese!  If you don’t have it local, order it through their website here…..Tastes better, because it’s made better.™  Along with the marvelous cheese, I had some fresh green onions on hand, portabella mushrooms waiting, and real bacon pieces.  This was definitely going to be a perfect Potato Soup Bar.

It was great!  I was a little skeptical about the mushrooms being added at first, but they turned out to be a nice “meaty” addition.  I decided to use a hand masher to break the potatoes up a bit, and this worked out nicely.  Just as with the Southern Biscuits post, I am not providing a recipe for Potato Soup.  Once again, I encourage you to explore your heritage and ask your elders for their Potato Soup recipe.  We all need to open our lines of communications with our older generations.

It’s Potato Soup and your palate…get creative with it!

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A Warm and Fuzzy Moment

We all have that longing for childhood memories to come bounding back into our lives with full abrupt force to shake us to our core and remind us we are still breathing.  It helps to come home to a wonderful moment of clarity when warming up a homemade treat from a parent or grandparent.  My moment was last night.  I was able to hold a warm bowl of soup close to me and feel the warm steam float up to kiss my skin.  It’s not just any soup that I was having, it’s Maw-Maw Soup…you know what kind I am talking about.  That special bowl of soup that came out of the special large soup pot that was stirred with the special long-handled wooden spoon.  The soup that awakens your soul when you walk into the preparers house to collect your portions to take back to your own home for leftovers.  The soup that Maw-Maw spent all day preparing…or should we say all year gathering for.  The soup that EVERYTHING goes into (within reason of course).  A bit of leftover corn here from a meal, a bit of leftover roast there from a meal a few months ago, leftover peas from a while back, and all preserved lovingly by the large freezer in preparation for this delight. 

No, I don’t know her recipe yet.  My Mom and I were supposed to join her for this preparation, but unfortunately life happens, and Maw-Maw was craving it too bad for us to make her wait any longer than she already had.  But, no complaints, I do have 3 quarts in the freezer now.  These 3 quarts will get me through some rough winter days coming up.  Work will pick up, the bone-chilling cold will set in, and I will get to come home and put a pot on the stove, throw the Maw-Maw Soup in it, and wait for my childhood memory to shake me back to life……