Cream of Chicken with Wild Rice
2 tbsp. oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into small cubes (If you use other chicken parts, you will need to skim the fat off the top of the soup before adding flour mixture.)
1-1/2 quarts water + 4 tsp. chicken stock or 4 cups broth + 2 cups water
1 small to medium size onion
3 stalks of celery
1-1/4 cups of prepared wild rice (follow package directions) I used 1 cup water and 1/4 cup Fall River Wild Rice.
3 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
1-1/2 cup half and half or milk (half and half makes a richer, creamier soup with more calories. Both are very good.)
1/4 tsp. parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Brown chicken cubes in hot oil over medium heat. Stir and cook about 5 min. for a flavorful start on your broth. Add water and broth, celery and onion. Cook 2 hours. In a small sauce pan, melt butter on low heat and add flour to form a paste. Stir well quickly and then add milk or cream slowly while stirring. Bring back to a light boil and stir constantly while mixture thickens. Add this mixture to the soup. Add cooked rice and parsley. Heat back to a small boil, stirring well. Turn off and serve.
Good Old-Fashioned Vegetable Beef Soup
2 lbs. beef – Get a piece of flavorful beef from the butcher. (Flank, round, tri tip (coulotte), or chuck are good)
2 tbsp. cooking oil
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3/4 cup shredded cabbage (optional)
3 large carrots, diced
2 quarts of water plus beef base – enough to turn 5 cups water to broth (Better than Bullion® is a great tasting organic choice)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup of fresh cut raw green beans
3 potatoes, cut in bite-sized pieces
1 zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise, then cross-sliced
Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
Cut meat in bite-sized pieces and brown in hot fat on all sides. Lower heat to medium low and cook 5 minutes, stirring to prevent burning.
Add onions, celery and cabbage if desired. Stir in for a minute or two to brown slightly. Add water and tomatoes. Cook 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
Taste. Add more beef base if desired but only a little at a time, if needed. Skim any fat off the top of the soup with a spoon or ladle.
Add carrots and green beans. Bring back to simmering and simmer 25 minutes. Add zucchini and potatoes. Cook 30-40 minutes more until vegetables are tender. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese if desired.