January 23, 2017

This week’s forecast includes a chance for a mix of rain and snow. Warm up on the inside with unique, crowd-pleasing soups.


Buffalo Chicken Soup

Buffalo chicken dip is always a winner at parties. Buffalo chicken soup is comforting and full of all the flavors you love. It’s ideal for a cold night or a recipe to save for the upcoming Super Bowl.

My friend Pam came to school raving about a recipe she found in a crockpot cookbook that came with her new crockpot she received for Christmas. She served the soup with celery sticks and a loaf of French bread.

2 1/2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breast

2 bottles hot wing sauce

1 lb shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1 quart half & half

8 tablespoons butter

8 tablespoons flour

32 oz chicken stock

1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped

celery sticks

bleu cheese crumbles (if desired)

Place the chicken in a large skillet with a lid. Add one bottle of hot wing sauce to skillet. Simmer chicken until cooked through.

Remove chicken and shred. Add chicken and remaining wing sauce to crock pot.

Add butter to same skillet (do not wash skillet) and melt. Add flour to melted butter and whisk to create a roux. Cook on low heat until the roux is a light brown color. Add half & half to skillet and whisk. Cook until the mixture thickens. Sprinkle in shredded cheese and stir until completely melted. When it begins to thicken, remove from heat and add the mixture to the slow cooker. Add the chicken stock and red onion to the crock-pot and mix with a spoon. Do not add any salt to this soup as the cheese is enough salt. Add as much of the second bottle of hot wing sauce to suit your taste. Cover and cook on low for 1-2 hours.


Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

My son Kellan is in third grade and really enjoys trying new things. He recently participated in a session of Kids in the Kitchen. The session focused on nutrition and measuring ingredients. The kids made four different recipes and then sat down to enjoy each dish.

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup served as both the soup and the dip for the Garlic Cheese Bombs (see recipe below).

When I arrived to pick up Kellan he was at the stove stirring the soup. When the kids sat down to eat I sampled a bite of each thing they made. This soup is flavorful and a kicked-up version of traditional tomato soup. It can be served as tomato-based or creamy with the addition of whole milk.

2 tablespoons butter

1 yellow onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 (15 oz) cans crushed tomatoes, undrained

12 oz jar roasted red peppers, lightly drained

2 cups vegetable broth

¼ teaspoon dried basil

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

Freshly cracked black pepper

1 cup whole milk (optional)

Combine diced onion, minced garlic, and butter in a large soup pot. Saute over a medium flame until onions are soft (about 5 minutes).

Add flour to the pot. Continue to stir and cook for 1-2 minutes. The mixture will form a past and will begin to coat the bottom of the pot.

Once the flour paste begins to stick to the bottom and turns slightly golden, remove from heat.

Add crushed tomatoes with juices, roasted red peppers and the flour paste into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

Add mixture back into the soup pot. Add vegetable broth, basil, thyme, and cracked pepper to the soup. Stir. Heat over a medium flame and continue to stir until the soup begins to simmer. Use spoon to help dissolve any leftover flour stuck to the bottom.

Once soup simmers, turn off heat. Add milk (if desired) and stir. Serve hot.

Note: For some reason that night the blender did not work. They did not blend the soup, but instead cut up the roasted red peppers and added the to the soup.


Garlic Cheese Bombs

This appetizer is beyond easy. Kids will love to help make these garlic cheese bombs and dip them in warm marinara sauce.

1 can pre-made biscuits (10 pieces)

20 cubes cheese (any flavor)

3 tablespoons butter

1 clove garlic

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons dried parsley


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut each biscuit in half and press down to make it flat and slightly round. Place a cheese cube in the middle and wrap the biscuit dough around the cube.

Place butter and garlic in a small bowl and melt in the microwave (about 12 seconds).

In a separate small bowl combine Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Dip each biscuit piece into the butter mixture and then into the cheese mixture.

Place biscuits on a pan lined with parchment paper (or sprayed with non-stick spray) and bake for 10-12 minutes or just until brown.