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french onion soup

Lazy Girl French Onion Soup

This year April weather = drunk weather. It was hot and Spring-like for about five minutes and then boom back to the 40s. Hellooooooo, April, you are no March. Go home. Last week it got cold again. Like bring your newly potted plants inside so the frost doesn’t kill them cold. The silver lining? This lazy girl French onion soup. We’ve already established that I love soup with an undying passion, so when the high dipped below 60 degrees the Soupstress came back out for one last hurrah before it warms up for good.

french onion soup

Where are my French onion lovers? Anyone get super excited when you see it on a menu? Me me me!! The bread covered with melty cheese, sitting atop the most flavorful oniony broth mixture. Pure magic. But…

Sometimes you gotta stay iiiin…

…and you know where we liiiive…

Welcome to my house. We can’t even slow down. We don’t like to go-o out… (thumbs up)

Did you kind of sing that as you read it? If so then – congrats! – we’re bound to be besties. You know those songs that you only know about two lines? That’s it for me, and I drive Andy nutso singing it over and over and over and over. I mean, it’s a catchy little tune, amiright? This song basically describes our relationship with going out to eat. Why go out and spend $$$ when we can make it better and healthier at home for $? Sorry this was such an unnecessary tangent. I don’t even know what’s going on here. Back on track and in your face with 1-2-3 melty cheese strands…

french onion soup

While you know I’m into recipes that take a long time, I am NOT into recipes that take a lot of hands on time. Who is? Here’s what makes this “lazy” French onion soup: onions cook on the stove-top, then in the oven and, finally, it all simmers together with minimal stirring. We rarely made French onion soup before I found the method of cooking the onions in the oven. It takes out an hour of time that you would otherwise have to pretty consistently stir the onions to get them to brown. I mean – just look at that perfect golden goodness that was done completely in the oven. Genius!

french onion soupfrench onion soup

There are three “active” times: slicing eight onions, stirring while the flour and wine incorporate and assembly. The only “slaving over the stove” bit is one 10-minute stretch where you need to constantly stir the onions with the flour and wine. I actually really like this part – add the wine to the pot, pour a little for yourself and just slowly stir and watch the mixture thicken before adding the remaining ingredients. It’s actually really relaxing or Zen-like (?). I have no clue what constitutes “Zen” in cooking, but I imagine it’s something like this.

french onion soup

Assembly here is also a little different than you’re probably used to. My favorite part of this soup is the cheesy bread on top, but I’m always left a little unsatisfied when I run out of said goodness. My answer? Are you ready for this? We make a layer of cheesy bread on the bottom, melt it, add the soup and the final layer of bread and cheese and finish in the oven. The bottom layer of bread bumps standard French onion soup up to a whole new level. It’s almost like a French onion stuffed grilled cheese when it’s all said and done. Behold, the evolution of my lazy girl French onion soup in three, two…

french onion soupfrench onion soupfrench onion soupfrench onion soupfrench onion soupfrench onion soup

You may not have time to do this on a week night, but you can make the soup over the weekend and just reheat it when you’re ready to assemble during the week. Any leftovers (minus cheese and bread, obv) freeze really well, too. Go ahead and plan on making it this weekend, then – fine, twist my arm – I’ll come over and help you eat it 🙂 One more shot for drool factor, then the recipe. Enjoy!

french onion soup

Calories are based on the soup alone because the amount of bread and cheese is totally up to you! I generally use about 2 oz bread and 4 tbsp shredded cheese per bowl, bringing the calorie count up to 434. <—Perfect dinner.

Serves 8 – 190 calories

Ingredients:

4 tbsp butter
7-8 yellow onions – sliced thin
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup red wine (I use Merlot)
8 cups beef broth
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Sliced French baguette
Shredded mozzarella and/or Swiss

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-low heat and add the onions. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Place pot in the oven with the lid ajar and cook for one hour, stirring 3-4 times.
  4. Remove the pot from the oven and place back on the stove over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the wine and cook for another 10 minutes to reduce (it will become very thick).
  5. Add the broth, bay leaves and thyme and simmer for 30-45 more minutes.
  6. Set oven to broil.
  7. Cover the bottom of oven-safe bowls with sliced baguette, and top with 2-3 tbsp shredded cheese. Place in oven just until the cheese melts.
  8. Ladle the soup into the oven-safe bowls, top with another layer of baguette slices and shredded cheese, then broil until the cheese melts.
  9. Enjoy!
pulled pork shoulder

Pulled Pork Shoulder

I’m absolutely giddy with excitement about today’s post. Giddy giddy giddy. Let the floodgates open because after today I will be coming to you regularly with recipes for how to use your pulled pork shoulder (or butt). Friends, once you break into the “I smoke/roast/whatever my own pork shoulder” club, the possibilities are endless. Pulled pork Cubans, pulled pork quesadillas, pulled pork burrito bowls, pulled pork sweet potato skins, pulled pork barbecue salad, pulled pork loaded potatoes, pulled pork nachos, pulled pork pizza and of course, duh, pulled pork sandwiches with barbecue sauce. Byeeee guyzz, Miss Foodie Two Shoes is gone, and pork freak has taken over.

pulled pork shoulder

I probably shouldn’t say this – being from NC and all – but I’m really not much of a “barbecue” kinda girl. I’m a “pulled pork” girl *winks*. Please don’t kick me out! Thankfully this is my blog, and I get to make the rules around here, so…this recipe isn’t for your standard barbecue with sauce. Sure, you can add sauce in any way, but this is the building block for so many other things you can do – plenty of which involve sauce – but this is just the base. The star here is the dry rub. It’s got just enough cayenne pepper to be able to call it spicy without it being so overwhelming that kids can’t eat it. You can cut the recipe in half for just one shoulder, but I usually just make the amount given and have one less step the next time we’re ready to make one (<–lazy girl life hack right there, friends).

pulled pork shoulder

Whether you cook this outside/inside or completely inside, pork shoulders (or butts) are great for feeding a crowd or for stocking your freezer. We probably make about 3-4 per year that we eat ourselves. I simply freeze it in heaping two-cup portions, and we’ll pull a bag out as the protein for a variety of dinners (see exhibit A above). I usually get 6-8 bags for the freezer, and each bag gives us dinner and lunch for Andy the next day. Yes, you need time for this one, but when you get that many meals out of it, I think it’s worth it. Most recently we made a pork shoulder for a family birthday party for Anna Ruth. We did sliders with traditional sauce and slaw, and had a few other sides. We fed 15 people and had plenty of left overs.

pulled pork shoulder

There are two main ways (in my book) that you can go about doing this:

  1. Start the pork on a charcoal grill with woodchips of your choice then finish in the oven.
  2. Sear the pork on the stove then cook completely in the oven.

pulled pork shoulder

Both options come out really good, and TBH if I’m the one cooking I’m 100% oven girl because I’m just not comfortable grilling. Andy, however, loves any opportunity to use charcoal and woodchips because the bulk of our grilling happens on our gas grill. The main difference is that cooking over woodchips gives you a smoky flavor, which is key for some people when they imagine pulled pork. Either way, you can’t go wrong, so just do what feels right. However you cook it, the shredding process is the same. I found these meat claws on Amazon last year, and bought them for Andy and my father-in-law as stocking stuffers for Christmas. At first I just thought they were hilarious, so obviously worth the $8.80, but they actually work really well! Forks get the job done, too, but then you miss out on shredding like a bear would. Need a guy to shred a ton of meat? Give him these claws and let him go to town.

pulled pork shoulderpulled pork shoulder

I need to comment on the “optional” apple juice mixture you’ll see below in the ingredient list and cooking instructions. My fil introduced us to the method of injecting the juice into the pork last summer, and we can’t go back. It’s more or less a brine from the inside out. If you don’t have an injector, don’t worry – this will still turn out really good. The juice just adds even more juiciness to the finished product.

pulled pork shoulder

One note on the cook time: it will vary depending on how big your cut is. The key here is to make sure the pork gets to 190-195 degrees. Yes, people generally say pork needs to get to 160, and while this is true, it will not shred the way you want it to until it has reached that 190-195 mark. Trust me on this. I did the research several years ago when we had a shoulder that was several pounds over what was called for in the recipe I was using.

pulled pork shoulder

I’m including cooking instructions for both starting on the grill (smoking) and starting on the stovetop, but the pictures are from the grilling method. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

5-7 lbs bone-in pork shoulder (or 4-6 lbs boneless)
Injection Mix (optional):

  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp EACH: soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce

Dry Rub*:

  • 2 tbsp EACH: cumin, brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic powder

Directions:

  1. The night before you plan to make this, combine the dry rub ingredients, and rub all over the pork. Place in a baking dish, cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.
  2. Remove pork from the refrigerator and allow to rest at room temp for one hour.
  3. (Optional) using an injector, inject the apple juice all throughout the pork. You won’t use the entire amount. You’ll know you’ve done enough when the juice starts to run back out.
  4. Prepare the grill: soak the wood chips in water for 20-30 minutes. Heat charcoal.
  5. Grill over indirect heat (coals on one side, meat on the other) for 3 hours, turning every hour.
  6. Wrap the shoulder in foil and finish cooking in the oven at 250 degrees for 1.5-2 hours, or until it reaches 195 degrees.
  7. Once out of the oven, allow to rest for about an hour then use meat claws to shred the pork. Serve with barbeque sauce or use in any other way you choose! Enjoy!

**Indoor cooking instructions**

  1. Follow steps 1-2 and 4 above.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  3. In a large dutch oven* or frying pan heat two tbsp vegetable or canola oil and sear the pork on all sides over high heat. Turn the heat down if it starts to smoke a lot.
  4. Wrap the shoulder in foil and place in an oven safe dish.
  5. Bake for four hours, or until it reaches 195 degrees.
  6. Same as above – let rest then use meat claws to shred the pork and enjoy!

*I generally use about half of the dry rub, and keep the rest in a mason jar until we’re ready to make another shoulder.

tea for two birthday party

Tea for Two Birthday Party + Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Scones

This past weekend we celebrated Anna Ruth’s second birthday with a Tea for Two party. The original plan did not involve a theme, but then I saw the idea on Pinterest and knew I wanted to run with it. Being a small child’s birthday there wasn’t much emphasis on actual tea, but we made up for it with proper tea party food…mainly tea sandwiches and chocolate chip oatmeal scones, but more on the food later.

tea for two birthday partytea for two birthday party

Décor was easy. We started with a few banners and garlands, and decorated the food table with white doilies and flowers in gold tea pots and cups. I found the invitations and other personalized printables on Etsy, and printed them out myself on cardstock. I’m generally not into everything being so matchy matchy, but when spread out throughout the party, it really just made it feel cohesive and not over the top. We had little children’s tables scattered in the living room for eating and coloring, and covered those with white cloth. My favorite part of the décor, however, was a window frame with painted wood letters spelling “Tea for Two.” My mother-in-law made it, and it was exactly what I had in mind. If you ever need anything crafty, call her. She loves doing it and is really good at it.

tea for two birthday partytea for two birthday party

The only “activity” we had was coloring. My friend Katie from The Blissful Willow drew these pages for me, and they were perfect! We went with a tea pot, tea cup and bow tie. Check out her website – I love the custom family illustrations, but really everything she draws is beautiful.

tea for two birthday party

Now onto the best part – the food! Our menu was as follows:

Sandwiches

Ham and Swiss on Puff Pastry
Chicken Salad on Croissant
Cucumber with Lemon Dill Spread

Savory

Crackers and Cheese (sharp cheddar, Colby jack, pepper jack)
Mini Quiche

Sweet

Berry Cups (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Scones
Cupcakes (vanilla, chocolate)
Birthday Cake (chocolate)

Drinks

Citrus Infused Water
Sweet Iced Tea
Sweet Tea Sangria

tea for two birthday partytea for two birthday partytea for two birthday party

It seems like a lot of food, but it was just a bunch of small bite type things, and it was really easy to pull together. My favorite part, hands down, were the scones. I had never made scones before because I’m really not much of a baker. I always thought they would be really involved, but these were super easy. My friend Catherine came over two nights before the party, and we made three batches in just over an hour. The recipe below is based on an oatmeal raisin scone recipe by Nick Malgieri, but I tweaked it by adding cinnamon, vanilla and heavy cream, and swapping raisins for mini chocolate chips. (I can’t find a link to his recipe because it was from his cookbook, “How to Bake”.) Don’t get used to this. I don’t plan to do much in the way of creating recipes for baked goods. It’s too daunting to think that an extra tablespoon of an ingredient can totally throw the whole thing off. I prefer eyeballing too much for that 😉

I’ve said this about other parts of the party, but another favorite thing was the favors. I originally planned on not having favors, but then saw this cute idea on Pinterest, and I love how they turned out!

tea for two birthday party

I can’t believe my baby is already a two-year-old. The time has truly gone by in the blink of an eye…and now I need to go cry. I’ll leave you with the recipe for my Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Scones, but let me know if you have questions about anything else (food or décor).

tea for two birthday party

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup all purpose flour
1 ½ cup rolled oats
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
8 tbsp (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk (I use 1%)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and set rack to middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine dry ingredients (flour through salt) in the bowl of a food processor and pulse at 1-second intervals until combined (make sure brown sugar isn’t in big clumps).
  3. Cut the stick of butter in half lengthwise, then into smaller chunks (about 16 total). Add to the food processor and pulse 12 times, until the mixture resembles a fine meal.
  4. Combine milk, heavy cream and vanilla in a small bowl. Add mixture to the food processor and pulse 3-4 times to form a soft dough.
  5. Transfer the dough into a bowl and gently stir in the mini chocolate chips, making sure not to overwork the dough.
  6. Generously flour your work surface, turn the dough out onto it and fold over itself 3-4 times until it is less sticky.
  7. Divide the dough into two equal parts and press each into a disk. Using a pizza cutter, cut each disk into six wedges.
  8. Arrange the scones on the prepared pan. Brush tops with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
  9. Bake for 15-18 minutes until just starting to brown on top.
creamy potato and white bean soup with sausage and kale

Creamy Potato and White Bean Soup with Sausage and Kale

I’m back with another mouthful of a recipe name – shocker. The only other name that came to mind that would truly make sense is Winter Bliss Soup, but I am not that obnoxious with my recipe names just yet. This Creamy Potato and White Bean Soup with Sausage and Kale feels like giving yourself a hug from the inside out, so “winter bliss” could totally be an appropriate name if that’s what you want to call it. Friends, I don’t even feel like I can give you an adequate description of how delicious this soup is, which is very sad for a food blogger. I’ve tried and just can’t come up with the words that express it well enough. Seriously, though, this might be the best soup I’ve ever made or eaten. There’s not one thing that makes it what it is. It’s everything combined that just makes it so perfect. Literally, I’ve had people taste this and offer to actually PAY me to make a batch for them. Personal-ish chef? Me? *Blushes*

creamy potato and white bean soup with sausage and kale

Something you’ll learn about me is that I’m a raging soup enthusiast. Obsessed. Literally, if I ever open a restaurant it will be called Laura’s Bisquetro and serve soup year-round, which is why I will probably never open a restaurant because I am likely the only person that still wants soup when it’s 90+ degrees outside. I love love love making soup – maybe even more than eating it, okay fiiine it’s a tie. I have several quick and easy recipes, but there’s just something about spending a little time here and there on a long, lazy Saturday that makes me so happy (probably because I have so few long, lazy Saturdays 😉 ). This soup is somewhere in between quick and easy and long and involved. It’s pretty hands on from start to finish, but really doesn’t take more than about 45 minutes. Here’s the gist: cook sausage, cook shallots and potatoes, add beans, puree, add sausage and kale. Dunzo bunzo.

creamy potato and white bean soup with sausage and kale

Now that I’ve said “dunzo bunzo” twice now, I have to explain. This is something my sweet little niece started saying a couple of years ago, and it stuck around the Peascoe house. Here is a pic of my perfect little Abigail. She just loves Anna Ruth to pieces and the feeling is mutual, which makes my heart happy happy happy. If you ever see AR holding a toy like a phone, ask her who she’s calling and she will say Abby or Jack 99% of the time. (Jack is Abigail’s brother/AR’s cousin-twin, and he’ll definitely show up later on!)

abigail mae

This creamy potato and white bean soup with sausage and kale is everything your freezing self wants needs during the winter. All with fresh, cozy ingredients. The potatoes, white beans and heavy cream puree into the creamiest, silkiest soup base ev-er. I’m generally not one that goes for heavy cream in recipes, but it just adds so much to this soup that I can’t forgo it. I don’t peel the potatoes (duh, all the nutrients, and ->LAZY GIRL<-), so the combination of that with the white beans gives it an earthy taste, which isn’t bad, but just needs to be mellowed out by a little cream IMO. Made as is this soup has a good kick of spice, so if you’re making it for kids I would suggest either leaving out the red pepper flakes and/or using a mild sausage. Side note: I’m interested in making this with turkey or chicken sausage, so let me know how it turns out if you do it first! Guess what else I love about this soup…it freezes beautifully! <– You probably knew that was coming, right? I’m so typical. I’ll admit I was a little skeptical about how the kale would handle it, but it comes out of the freezer and is 100% as good as the fresh version. Just make sure to let it thaw out completely in the fridge before reheating. Enjoy!

creamy potato and white bean soup with sausage and kale

Serves 8 (435 calories per serving)

Ingredients:
1 pound hot Italian sausage
1 tbsp butter
1 large shallot – diced
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 tsp each salt and pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
8 cups chicken broth
3 large russet potatoes – diced
2 (15.5 oz) cans cannellini beans – drained and rinsed
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
1/2 -1 bunch kale – stems removed and leaves rough chopped or torn

Directions:
1. In a dutch oven or large stock pot over medium heat, cook sausage until done, using a wooden spoon to crumble as it cooks. Remove from pot and set aside*.
2. In same pot melt butter and add shallot and cook until soft. Add garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (if using) and stir until fragrant – about one minute. Add broth, scrape up the browned bits on the bottom and then add the potatoes.
3. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. During the last five minutes of cooking time, add the beans.
4. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until smooth. Stir in heavy cream.
5. Return the sausage to the soup, then add the kale a couple handfuls at a time. It will look like it’s too much, but kale wilts down a lot, so keep adding!
6. Serve with crusty bread (if desired) and enjoy!

*I use sausage that doesn’t render much fat, so I just leave what’s left in the pot after scooping it out. If your sausage renders a lot of fat, spoon most of it out and leave 1-2 tsp.

sriracha honey lime chicken thighs

Sriracha Honey Lime Chicken Thighs

I’m taking a break from my obnoxious veggie prep obsession to bring you my current sweet, spicy, tangy, chickenny kind of obsession…don’t you worry, I’ll be back next week with an in your face veggie lasagna, but for now let’s just adore these Sriracha Honey Lime Chicken Thighs together, mmkay?

sriracha honey lime chicken thighs

I love when I can make a bunch of something and freeze the leftovers for later on.  I mean, don’t we all love that?  Well these Sriracha Honey Lime Chicken Thighs are just what we need.  A couple weekends ago we had a break from the dreary winter cold, so what did Andy want to do? -> Grill.  Always grill.  And while we’re firing up the grill, why not use the opportunity (aka: cooking space) to make extras?  I love this recipe so much because it is so super easy (hiiiii, 4 ingredients!) and completely adjustable for what you want.  Want to only make enough for dinner?  Fine.  Want to go boneless, skinless?  Okay (weirdo).  Want to bake in the oven rather than grill?  Absolutely!  Want to make these using chicken wings?  Yes, and you’ll officially be my hero.  You just take the basic recipe, and tweak it to fit your needs.

sriracha honey lime chicken thighssriracha honey lime chicken thighs

My need, however, is having as many of these babies grilled, cooled and frozen as I can for easy weeknight meals for the rest of the winter.  I’ll freeze them in packs of four – two for Andy’s dinner, one for my dinner and one for Andy’s lunch the next day.  Full disclosure: these are better when you eat them fresh just after grilling (or baking).  They’re still really good after being frozen, but just not aaaaas good.  Still, for me and my life right now, I’m willing to sacrifice a little fresh cookedness for the easy meal it gives me.  Here is my favorite kind of weeknight: get home from a late afternoon playdate, throw some broccoli florets in the oven to roast, heat up a package of organic, pre-cooked rice (buy this brand at Costco for $8) and reheat these delicious sriracha honey lime chicken thighs.  Dinner is done in less than 30 minutes with maybe 5 minutes of actual hands on time.  Easy peasy!

Random side note – this blog was thiiiiis close to being named “Easy Peasy”– get it? Peascoe -> Peasy?  I thought it’d be a fun way to use our name and give an idea of what types of recipes you’d find here.  Anyways, I’m really glad I came up with something else because sometimes a girl just wants to make long, involved recipes, and then blog about it.  Amiright?  Second random side note – you’ll also notice a yellow sauce in the pic below…you guys, this curry yogurt sauce has been my LIFE for the last couple of weeks.  If I can get it together, then I’ll do a mid-week post to share it.  Moving on…

sriracha honey lime chicken thighs

Friends, if you like spicy things, you’re likely to love this.  It is so super simple and incredibly delicious.  First, you get the zing from the lime juice, followed by a hint of sweetness from the honey and then you finish with a one-two punch of heat from the sriracha.  The last thing you do is add a little torn cilantro on top, which is optional, but not really optional if you know what I mean.   The recipe below is the basic, but I generally double or even triple it depending on how much freezer space I have at the time.  Enjoy!

sriracha honey lime chicken thighs

Ingredients:

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
4 tbsp honey
6 tbsp sriracha
Juice of one lime
Cilantro for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a bowl whisk together the honey and sriracha.
  2. Place chicken thighs in a zipper plastic bag and add the marinade.
  3. Marinate at least two hours and up to overnight.
  4. Heat the grill to medium then start with the skin side down.
  5. Pour the leftover marinade into a small sauce pot, add the lime juice and bring to a boil.  Allow to simmer 5-10 minutes to thicken.
  6. Continue to cook the chicken over medium heat, flipping and basting with the marinade 3-4 times.
  7. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the grill, top with cilantro and enjoy!
chicken pipette stew

Soul Warming Chicken Pipette Stew

Winter has finally arrived in North Carolina…if you need me you can find me bundled up in a chunky sweater and fluffy socks and probably curled up under a big blanket.  All that unless there is snow on the ground!  People tend to laugh at the South for shutting down when it snows, but I actually love it.  As a teacher, Andy is automatically in the group that gets to stay home, and sometimes my office will close or tell everyone to work from home if we’re able.  We’ve only had one dusting this year, but snow’s in the forecast for Friday, and I’m really hoping it’s a good one.  Last year Anna Ruth was just under a year old and we were dealing with ear infection after ear infection, so we didn’t take her outside much.

chicken pipette stew

This year I have visions of sledding and building snowmen, then coming inside for hot chocolate and warming up by the fire.  The reality, though, will be playing trying to get a perfect picture outside for 10 minutes before deciding AR is too cold, then trekking back in and getting snow and dirt all over our mudroom.  Then no hot chocolate because this loser mom generally just can’t justify the amount of sugar, and also HAVE YOU EVEN SEEN MY KID HOPPED UP ON SUGAR??  <—I’m sure it’s like most almost two-year-olds, but I try to avoid it as much as possible.  I know the day’s coming when she’ll know what sweets are, but for now she doesn’t and, therefore, doesn’t feel deprived by not having them.

chicken pipette stew

One thing I can get behind on a cold, snowy day is this Soul Warming Chicken Pipette Stew.  Yes, I just went there.  It doesn’t even have to be a cold, snowy day.  Below 80 degrees?  I’ll have the soul warming stew, please.  This is really somewhere in between a stew and a soup, but closer to stew, so that’s what I’m going with.  This is so easy – especially when prepped ahead.  A couple of variations – if I happen to have it I like to make it with homemade turkey stock and leftover turkey from Thanksgiving or Christmas.  Also, *leaning forward, looking at you over the rim of my glasses* I cannot stress this enough – subbing tortellini with the pipette takes it completely over the top.  I’ll use tortellini if I have it, but generally just use whatever little tube pasta I have on hand, which in this case is almost always pipette (Barilla brand).  There’s just something so fancy sounding about making Chicken Pipette Stew, right?  Any small tube pasta works, but then it can’t realllly be called Chicken Pipette Stew…it would be something like Chicken Elbow Macaroni Stew, which would be very sad.  Ok, fiiiiine, you can still call it Chicken Pipette – I won’t tell.  Anyways, back to the point, this is great for a crowd and freezes really well if there are leftovers.  We generally get two dinners and two lunches out of the batch, but Andy eats a lot, so it may go even further for some families.

chicken pipette stew

If you’re making this all at once, you’ll need to give yourself about an hour (though, more than half of that is just time to let it cook).  Let’s talk about your prep ahead plan for a minute.  When I plan this for a weeknight meal I always dice the veggies and shred the chicken on the Sunday afternoon before.  I prepped this during the commercial breaks while watching the first quarter of the #Panthers game.  Then the night of it’s simply softening the veggies, adding the other ingredients and stirring occasionally.  If you’re making this all the night of, just dice the veggies first, then shred the chicken after you’ve added the broth.  Feel free to add any other herbs or spices you like.  I like to add a little crushed red pepper or hot sauce, but don’t add it until serving so that AR can eat it.  Ok, now it’s your turn – run on to the store and make sure you have everything on hand, so you can have this ready to warm you back up after a long, cold day.  Thanks for reading!

I’m looking for a reliable recipe calorie calculator, but when I put the ingredients into a free online counter it came out to roughly 380 calories per serving if you break this into 8 servings.  One serving is perfect for me, but Andy generally goes for seconds.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil
3 carrots – fine diced
4 stalks celery – fine diced
2 small shallots (or one medium onion) – fine diced
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 (24 oz) can crushed tomatoes (I use the kind with basil, garlic and oregano)
8 cups chicken broth or stock  (or 6 cups broth and 2 cups water)
2 cups uncooked short tube pasta (I use Pipette from Barilla)
1 whole rotisserie chicken – skin removed and shredded off the bone (or 3 chicken breasts cooked and shredded)

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add carrots, celery and shallots and cook until tender – about 5-7 minutes
  3. Stir in Italian seasoning, bay leaf, garlic, crushed tomatoes and chicken broth. Reduce heat to just under medium, but not quite medium-low.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil then add pasta and cook according to package directions.
  5. Towards the end of the pasta’s cooking time, add the shredded chicken.
  6. Serve hot garnished with parmesan and hot sauce if desired.
  7. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for three months.
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