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Houston, TX
Just your atypical hispanic male living in the big city

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chicken Potato Soup - Round 1

It's sometimes hard to come up with different ideas for soup from your head. Sometimes though, I all of a sudden have ideas and make do with what I have in the pantry (as it is most of the time in our kitchen). 

I have been adding many different types of soups since its the season for it. This is one of the last ones as Winter is coming to a close and I wanted to share something that is hearty yet rather good for you (with the exception of adding some cheese and sour cream....I know...bad).


2 large chicken breasts
1 tsp olive oil
3 celery stalks
1 cup carrots
4 small onions (or 1 medium onion)
1 16 oz chicken broth
 2 large potatoes
1 16 oz vegetable broth
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp herb of provence
1 dash of  sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper

First, start by dicing the chicken. Notice that I have the chicken in cubes. This will yield alot of chicken for this soup.
After you have diced the chicken start by adding olive oil to the pot. Once the oil has been fairly heated, add the chicken to the pot.

While that is cooking in the pot, start to dice the veggies and place off to the side.


Check to make sure the chicken is cooked thru. Take the chicken out of the pot. Add the veggies to the pot. Notice that you might need to add a teaspoon of olive oil.

Cook the vegetables until it starts to get somewhat soft and translucent. Add the garlic. Stir the vegetables. Add some chicken broth.

Start to deglaze the pot scraping the pot all of the chicken drippings and the cooking vegetables. Make sure you get all of the drippings. Notice that the stock has turned a little brown. That is ok, unless you are purist and want to have a creamy white soup. That recipe will be for another time.

Add the rest of the chicken broth. Allow to cook for at least 10 minutes. While that is cooking, dice the potatoes. For this recipe, I am not adding the skin. Make sure you peel and dice the potatoes. Add to the pot.

Increase the heat to the pot. Add another amount of broth. For this go around, I am adding vegetable broth. Stir in the broth and bring up the mixture to a boil.

While the vegetables are cooking, start to add the spices. I am only adding a dash of salt. As the broth has enough sodium, I am really watching what I add to the soup in regards to salt intake.


Continue to cook the mixture until the potatoes are fork tender. Take off the heat.

Puree the mixture a little at a time. Remember that this will be a hot. You need to vent the mixture while this is pureeing in the blender. If you don't, you will notice that the mixture will blow all over the place.


Once everything is completely pureed, take the pot back to the stove. Bring the heat back up and add the chicken to the soup.

As can be noticed, this was cooked much earlier. I have reheated the soup and added some spinach to the soup. Since I thawed this from the freezer, I also added some more chicken broth to the soup. Continue to cook this until you get the spinach limp. This is a great way to add some greens to the soup other than the celery. You can add cheese and sour cream if you like.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fish Soup Round 1

Well, I do love soup. There are so many varieties of soup out there that its hard to post which one is the best. This dish is Asian inspired as I am using many different spices that are found in Asian cuisine. I have a couple of recipes up my sleeve in regards to Fish Soup and it all started with my grandmother's recipe. Again, I try to make do with what I have in my pantry, hence, this entry.

Since it's "Lent Season", I had to improvise. We were busy with a garage sale for a local charity and I didn't have the time or the luxury to cook some good food for our first Friday of Lent. So, I opted to cook something that was quick and easy. This recipe just literally "came out of my head" because I really didn't know what I wanted to make. In the end, MC really loved it. He has never had Fish Soup and before he never thought it would taste great. Not bad for a good review! <<brushing off my shoulders>>


1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
5 stalks of celery
4 small onions
1 cup of carrot sticks
1 tbsp fish sauce (2 if you don't have fish stock)
1 tsp Worcestershire
1 quart of water (or fish stock)
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ginger
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp tumeric
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 lemon
1 16 oz bag of frozen fish
3 pieces of of frozen tilapia

Start with dicing the celery and onions. Coarsely shop the veggies as you want them not too finely diced. Personally, I prefer it this way because when you continue to cook the veggies, you don't want them to dissipate.
Get a large enough soup pot. Start to heat the pot. Add the olive oil. Give it a minute and add the butter to the pot.

Add the veggies. Notice that I am using carrot sticks. You can use regular carrots, but for me, I opted to make use with what I have in my refrigerator.


Allow the veggies to cook until you notice that either the carrot sticks are limp or the onions/celery are becoming translucent. Add the garlic to the mixture. Continue to cook as you want the garlic to cook well with the veggies. Cook for about a minute.

Once you notice the veggies are translucent, add the water or fish stock. Add the fish sauce and Worcestershire. Since I didn't have fish stock, I had added some more fish sauce. Please notice that there is going to be a slight odor. In the end, all that is added will be very flavorful. Bring this to a boil.


After 10 minutes, start to add all of the spices to the pot. Stir in all of the spices. Finally, add the soy to the pot. I did not add any salt to this as you are working with both the fish sauce and soy. These two items have enough sodium. Lately, we have been trying to watch all the salt that we intake.


Continue to bring to a boil. Once you have brought to a boil, lower it to a simmer allowing it to continue to cook the contents for about 1 hour.

Taste the soup. Squeeze the lemon juice over the pot allowing the juice to go into it. Continue to cook for another 30 minutes.

After that, add the shrimp and fish. Dice the fish into nice sized chunks. Place the pieces into the pot. Notice that I am using frozen seafood. I want to make it as simple as possible. Allow this to cook for another 30 minutes.

Check to make sure the shrimp and fish are fully cooked. I don't like my seafood to be too rubbery. You could have it with white or jasmine rice. I opted to not cook rice as I was too tired from all that garage sale madness.