November 11, 2010
Who doesn't love chicken soup? Okay, if you don't, you'll probably want to move on now. Because this post is all about chicken soup, cheater chicken soup to be precise. Whenever anyone in our family starts feelin' poorly with ailments like black plague, carbuncles or the vapors, I go to the pantry and whip out my cheater chicken soup mix ...
Bear Creek Country Kitchens Soup Mix. Now I know it says just add water, but I like to doctor it up with other ingredients. This is a great way to use up stuff in the freezer and pantry and jazz up your soup. I really like Rachael Ray's word "Stoup" which is a combination of soup and stew because once I start adding meat and noodles and veggies, it becomes more than just soup.
When I'm really feeling all powerful and witch doctory in the kitchen is when I'm wearing my Nana bracelet, which is what the Granddaughter calls me. She made me this rockin' bracelet with glow in the dark beads. A girl can never have enough jewelry, especially the kind made with love.
But back to the soup. The package directions say to bring 8 cups of water to a rolling boil, then whisk in the soup mix, reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can do this and it's pretty darn good. However, with lots of experimentation, I've found this Cheater Chicken Soup to be just a little bit better.
First, put 8 cups of water in a large measuring cup in the microwave to heat -- I usually set it for 10 minutes. Chop a couple of boneless, skinless chicken breasts into small pieces. Heat a tablespoon of cooking oil in the bottom of a dutch kettle. Saute the chopped chicken breasts, stirring to brown all sides.
When the chicken pieces are beginning to brown, sprinkle the dry soup mix over the chicken, stir and let it toast for a minute or two. It will absorb the oil and chicken juice.
Then pour the 8 cups of heated water in and stir. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer and put the lid on.
Now the fun begins. This time I added what I had left of a package of frozen mixed vegetables. Frozen corn is always good. So are frozen peas although I've been accused of trying to kill everyone with too much green added. I'll let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Then add additional noodles if you'd like and let simmer for another 10 minutes. Don't leave it much longer than this once the noodles are added because they will get mushy which just doesn't taste as good.
Dish it up and wait for the mmmmmms and ahhhhhhhs and compliments. We always serve crackers and buttered rolls with soup.
Bear Creek also has other wonderful soup mixes. I keep them on the shelf all year 'round. Their Darn Good Chili and Vegetable Beef are personal favorites. I load them up with ground beef or beef stew meat and always add extra veggies and noodles, prepared in the same way as the chicken soup. Yum!
I am not being compensated in any way for this product review. I just happen to love the Bear Creek Soup Mixes and think you will too. Cheater soup is great soup!