Creamy Chicken Asparagus Soup

When I was a kid my winter days were filled with sledding, ice skating, skiing, igloo building and snowball fights. But as I’ve gotten older, winter has lost some of it’s appeal to me. 

Maybe as a kid it was my friends that motivated me to get outside, or maybe it was my mother who insisted my sister and I find something to do – other than torment each other. 

Regardless, it’s been a cold and snowy weekend here in the Finger Lakes.  Not complaining though, the big snow maker in the sky has tread lightly on our region so far this year.  We’ve had  a lot of unseasonably  warm, and yes, sunny days. 

Whether you hibernate, or love spending the day outside, this soup will warm your spirits and fill you up.

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Ingredients:

1 pound thin fresh asparagus

3 small potatoes, peeled and diced

1 large onion, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

2 garlic cloves, minced

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 32 oz. container of chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided

2 cups cooked boneless chicken breast, cubed

2 cups half-and-half cream

Instructions:

Cut tips from asparagus spears – approximately 1/4 of the way down the spear; cut tips in half again; set aside. Place stalks in a large stock pot and cover with water (you will need 3 1/2 cups of broth later so be generous with the water). Bring to a boil and reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for approximately 40 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Strain 31/2 cups asparagus broth from the pot and set aside. Discard stalks; rinse pot for late use.

In large sauté pan, add 3 tbsp. of oil, potato, onion, celery, carrot, parsley and garlic. Cook until vegetables are tender; set aside

In a medium sauté pan, add 3 tbsp. oil: cube chicken breast and cook until lightly browned; set aside.

In stock pot, add chicken, sautéed vegetables, asparagus tips, reserved asparagus broth, chicken broth, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes.  Cool slightly.

Add cream and remaining 1/4 tsp. of pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.

Makes about 10 servings (about 2 quarts).

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What is your favorite soup?

Sunday Morning and Doughnut Holes

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This Sunday morning I enjoyed my first cup of coffee while looking out our window at the thick blanket of snow that now covers the ground here in the Finger Lakes.   Shortly thereafter, I crawled out from under my warm blanket and made my way into the kitchen to whip up an amazing treat.

My inspiration to crawl out from under my warm blanket came after reading a post written by Heather at  Curly Girl Kitchen.   I ask you this, who could resist making  Vanilla Bean Sour Cream Cake Doughnuts

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These doughnuts are baked, not fried.  For some reason they remind me of a cross between a muffin and a baked doughnut.  The flavor is delicious.

I modified the recipe slightly by using two teaspoons of pure vanilla extract in place of the vanilla bean.  I  quartered a naval orange and squeezed the juice of one of those quarters into the batter.  And lastly, I also added two pinches of cinnamon to my batter.  So, the name for my version of the recipe? Vanilla Orange Cinnamon Baked Doughnut Holes. I don’t have a doughnut pan so I broke out my trusty Babycakes Cake Pops maker which  worked like a charm, and I got about 2 1/2 dozen doughnut holes in all.

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These are a great way to ward off any cold winter morning…