Monday, October 21, 2013

PF Chang's Chicken Soup

This past weekend Stephen came down with a bit of a cold, so of course I started scouring my Pinterest Boards for a delicious Chicken Noodle Soup recipe to hasten the healing process... But then I remembered how delicious the soup from PF Chang's is (and how well it clears out the sinuses) and decided that I would try to re-create it myself!  Luckily, we live near a HUGE Asian market so I was able to find ingredients like lemongrass quite easily (more on that later).  In the end, I learned a lot about what NOT to do in the soup (more on this later) but the final product tasted EXTREMELY similar to the real deal.  I hope you guys enjoy this as much as we did! (PS. Sorry for the poor picture quality, I took this with my iPhone )

What You Will Need:

  • 2 Cups Chicken Meat (I used a mixture of both dark and light meat)
  • 8 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 3 T. Fresh Ginger (I like to grate mine using a Zester, it's super easy and blends well!)
  • 8-12 Cloves Garlic 
  • 3 Stalks Lemongrass
  • Cheese Cloth
  • 1 T Red Curry Paste
  • 1 T Chili Oil
  • 1 T Soy Sauce
  • 1 Cup Shitake Mushrooms
  • 1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes
For Later....
  • 4 T Cilantro
  • 1/2 Lime
  • 1/2 Package Rice Noodles (These aren't the exact same as in the original recipe but they are pretty close!)

First, add the Chili Oil and Garlic to a saucepan. Once heated, add in Chicken and Sear for 2-3 minutes on all sides.  Then add the chicken to a large sized pot.  Before adding the rest of the ingredients (except for the Cilantro) dice the lemongrass and place inside the cheesecloth and tie off, this will infuse the soup with the flavor but save you the pain of straining the soup when you realize it's way too hard to eat (OOPS!) and cook for 30 min on medium low.  Once the Chicken is done, and the soup is heated through, add to serving bowl with a handful of Cherry Tomatoes and Cilantro. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Butternut Squash Soup

Photo Cred: Creme de la Crumb

First of all, let me say that I finally started my new job about a month a go and things are going well! Of course, with more time away from home I have had less time to take pictures and blog as much as I would like.  Thankfully, I had today off and was able to hit the kitchen and experiment!  After searching Pinterest, I decided that it was high time I made some Butternut Squash soup!  I have seen variations everywhere lately and wanted to put my own spin on it. Let me tell you, it was the perfect way to fulfill my "Fall comfort" craving.  It's based on the recipe I found here.  My only additions were extra apples (if you know me this is hardly surprising) and the use of Curry powder instead of Sage.  

Here is what you will need:

About 4lbs of Butternut Squash (I used two large Squash)
2 medium Granny Smith Apples
2 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
2 1/2 Cups Water
1 Medium Yellow Onion
1/3 Cup Heavy Cream
1-2 Tsp. Curry (to taste)
Salt/Pepper (to taste)

  • Preheat the oven to 425

TIP: Instead of peeling and dicing the squash I prefer to cut the squash in half, deseed, spread with 1 tbs. butter, season generously with salt and pepper, and then roast for about 50min to an hour.  It's faster, and doesn't take long to scrape the meat from the skins.
  • While the butternut squash is roasting, de-core and dice the apples as well as the yellow onion.  Add 1 tbs. butter to a sauce pan and toss in the apples and onion (season with salt and pepper) and let simmer for about 7 minutes or until tender.  Set aside.  
  • Once the squash is fork-tender, remove from oven and allow to cool.  Scrape the meat from the squash and add to the apple/onion mixture (discard skins).  
  • Then add the chicken broth and water along with the Curry powder.  Bring to a simmer and let sit for about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream.  
  • Add small batches of the mixture into a blender and pureĆ© until smooth.  Return to another pot on low heat and adjust seasoning to taste. 
  •  Serve with Parsley as a garnish or roasted pumpkin seeds.