Sunday, January 12, 2014

scenes from the weekend / whatever's-in-your-pantry soup

Look at me!
Blogging on a Sunday!
Good things are happening in 2014 already, I tell ya!

Truth be told, Joe asked me earlier when I was going to share another recipe because it's been awhile, and that gave me the motivation I needed to crack open my laptop and get to work.
If he's noticing it's been awhile, it has been awhile.

Luckily, I accidentally made a good soup tonight!
I say accidentally because it was literally by luck alone that it turned out so good.

Sundays are usually the day that I do my grocery shopping, but today I just wasn't feeling it.
{Although I did manage to get to the gym!  I'll see you soon, wedding dress!}
So around dinnertime, I decided to just throw all the veggies we have into a pot with some chicken and see what I could come up with.
Make it up as I go along, if you will.

FYI, sometimes the best dinners happen when you do this.

This soup was light, yet surprisingly hearty because of the potatoes, and extremely warming thanks to the seasonings that made up the broth.
Which reminds me, I have this new thing I'm doing.
Instead of using chicken/beef/vegetable broth in all of my soups lately, I've been using water instead.
This is a trick I've learned watching The Chew everyday for the last six months.
Michael Symon always uses water instead of broth because 1. it's cheaper {aka free}, and 2. it allows the ingredients to really shine, which I have found to be completely true.
And seriously, you can't beat free!

Don't let the water trick scare you.
We seriously haven't noticed any difference in the flavor of any soup I've tried this with, so I don't think I'll ever go back!

Anyway, back to the soup.
This is totally customizable, so feel free to change it up wherever you like.
But here's what I did.

Things you'll need:

2 chicken cutlets, cubed
1/2 white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
3 russet potatoes, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
5 1/2 cups water
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
poultry seasoning, to taste
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper {optional}


Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large soup pot.
Liberally season chicken with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning, and cook for 4-5 minutes, until all sides are browned.
Add onion and garlic and sauté until aromatic, about 1 minute.
Add carrots, celery, and potatoes.  Give them all a quick toss, then add the water.
Add a good pinch of salt and pepper, another dash or two of poultry seasoning, and the oregano and cayenne pepper.
Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

This was super easy, ready in about 30 minutes, and Joe loved it!
Probably because it was simple, and when it comes to food for him, simple is better.
Also, who doesn't love a warm, brothy soup on a chilly day?
Days like this are made for soup.

I call this 'whatever's in your pantry' soup because, seriously, I think this would work with any veggie you had on hand.
Have some fresh green beans you haven't used?  Toss 'em in!
Leftover zucchini or squash you don't want to throw away?  Yep.
Heck, I think this would even be great with some spinach or kale ribbons added in near the end.
The more color the better if you ask me.

Other fun things that happened this weekend include:

Eating the largest taco salad known to man.
{I went to the gym today, don't look at me like that!}

Reliving our engagement with some Katheryn Hall cabernet.
{Joe proposed with a similar bottle, story to come soon!}

Catching up on blogs and breaking in my new favorite coffee cup on a lazy Sunday morning.
Thanks, Kayla!

The most important activity, which is not pictured here, was having brunch at Cafe Intermezzo and shopping for a wedding venue with my sweet groom-to-be.
We looked at three {his parents coming along for two}, and I think we may have found the place!
A hold has been placed on a date while we make our final decision, but once the plans are made I'll make it official and share it here.
Because nothing is really official until it's announced via blog.

How was your weekend?

I hope you're watching the Golden Globes with me right now so we can discuss later.
All I'll say for now is WAY TO GO, BRYAN CRANSTON!

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