Sunday, February 05, 2006

Soup-er Bowl Sunday, or Adventures in Slow-Cooking

All you cooking friends should be proud of me... I actually made something homemade today! I've been feeling kinda sick all weekend, with a head cold and cough, so I really wanted some comfort food. And since I knew I would have *hours* in front of the tv tonight with the Super Bowl (go Steelers!), I decided to dust off my trusty crock pot and make myself some chicken soup.

My crock pot is quite possibly the best invesment I've ever made. I believe I paid $12.99 for it about 7 years ago at a Phar-Mor in Pittsburgh. I use it a lot, to make chili and a variety of vegetable and chicken soups. Today I went with a simple old standard - just some chicken, veggies, and pasta.

I tried something new, though. Safeway now has these little half-pints or so of pre-diced veggies in their produce section. As I've mentioned before, one of the worst features of my current kitchen is there's no room to do any major prep. So I did take a shortcut and bought a package of pre-diced onion. I also got a package of snack-size carrots and celery, and then diced them down from there. That covered the veggies for my soup.

Then it was time to prep the chicken. I bought a package of lean chicken tenders and cut them down to sorta-cubes. Here's another area where I'm ill-prepared - I don't have a good kitchen knife. So I had to use a serrated steak knife to trim and cube the chicken, which was not the best way to do it. I onlyused 3 of the tenders, cuz I got tired of using that knife, so the soup didn't have as many chicken pieces as it could have.

The broth part was simple - 1 can of Campbell's 98% fat-free cream of chicken soup, 1 can of Safeway reduced sodium chicken broth, and about 3 cans of Brita water. (My soup will not be tainted by gross DC tap water.) I added some pepper and some pre-mixed poultry seasoning, but I really wanted the chicken and the onions to create the main flavor of the soup.

After 3 hours of cooking on the low setting, I added in about 1/2 a box of farfalle bow-tie pasta. I let that cook still on low for another hour. My apartment smells fantastic - chicken and onion-y. I just ate my first bowl of the soup, and it was really good. I probably could add more seasoning next time, and the pasta is definitely well done. But overall, I'm very pleased.

As for points... like most homemade things, this is based on estimates. But the pasta has the highest point value of all the ingredients, since there's so little chicken in it and I used the low sodium/reduced fat broth and soup as a base. So I am figuring approximately 3.5 points for a bowl. Which means I can have another bowl during the second half! :-)


Brunette said...

You made soup?!?!? Baby steps...

Sounds very good, though. Just the thing for a congested head.

Stef said...

Oh, I can crock with the best of them! That doesn't require crazy equipment and stuff. All I do is throw stuff in and fire it up. :-)