Sunday, November 15, 2009

Carrot and Coriander Soup and Cacciatore Chicken

So I went a bit crazy and bought 10 lbs. of carrots a few weeks back. Which I suppose is quite a bit for only two people to eat... I just couldn't restrain myself. They were $3.99... so that explains the abundance of carrot soup recipes I've been making lately. Luckily, I've yet to hear complaint from my husband about the lack of variety of vegetables lately.

This soup freezes well, though you may have to run it through the blender again with a bit of stock once it has thawed. Be sure that the carrots are cooked enough before blending, otherwise it won't blend into a nice purée. Also, you can substitute vegetable stock for a vegetarian version. Don't make the mistake of using ground coriander instead of fresh, as it is not at all the same thing. I used a ground lemon peel bought in the spice aisle of the grocery store instead of fresh lemon peel, as I rarely have fresh lemons around and that worked well.

Carrot and Coriander Soup

1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. carrots, peeled and chopped
3 3/4 C chicken stock
few sprigs fresh coriander
1 tsp. lemon rind
2 tbsp. lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

1. Soften the onion in a large pot. Add chopped carrots, chicken stock, coriander leaves, lemon rind, lemon juice and seasoning to taste.

2. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, occasionally checking that there is enough liquid. When the carrots are really tender, blend or liquidize and return to pot, then check seasoning.

3. Heat thoroughly again and sprinkle with chopped coriander before serving.

Chicken Cacciatore

This is recipe that I used to make whenever I had people over for dinner in undergrad. It used to be my 'fancy' meal, as I was really just learning to cook. I rarely make it anymore, but it's a good recipe and freezes well. I usually use boneless skinless chicken breast, though I'm sure you could use other cuts of chicken as well.

1/3 C all-purpose flour (or whole-wheat)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 lbs. chicken pieces
1/4 C margarine (butter browns too fast)
1 C chopped onion
1 small green pepper, chopped
10 oz. (284 mL) sliced mushrooms, drained
7 1/2 oz. (213 mL) tomato sauce
14 oz. (398 mL) canned tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. basil
grated parmesan cheese, sprinkle

1. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag.

2. Put 2 or 3 pieces of chicken at a time. Shake to coat. Brown margarine in frying pan or large heavy Dutch oven. Remove chicken as it is browned.

3. Add onion and green pepper to pan. Sauté until soft. Add more margarine if needed.

4. Measure in next 9 ingredients and stir.

5. Add chicken. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Cover and simmer slowly for about 35 to 40 minutes until tender.

Serves 4 to 5 (though I find it makes much more).

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