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Chase the winter chills away with warm soup

Series: Welcome to my Kitchen | Story 5

Last updated 3/17/2019 at 9:03pm

Winter is not letting loose of March willingly. Soup on the menu is still in order. Lecia Fink brought Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup to a recent soup supper. She shared the recipe and some tips on preparing. The recipe comes from “Cinnamon and Spice and Everything Nice” by Reeni Pisano.

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 small green or red pepper, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

Course salt and fresh ground black pepper

1 can (11 ounces) Ro-tel diced tomatoes and green chilies

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 1/4 pounds boneless chicken breasts

2 cups kernel corn

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, optional

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp oregano (preferably Mexican) crushed between your finger tips

1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack, plus more for serving

1 cup sour cream, plus more for serving

Tortilla chips for serving

Sliced avocado for serving, optional

In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, peppers and garlic, season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, stirring often, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile combine Rot-tel tomatoes, chicken broth, chicken, corn, beans, chili powder, cumin, oregano and 1 tsp course salt or 1/2 tsp table salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper in slow-cooker crock. Mix in the onion mixture.

Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 5-6 hours. Remove chicken breasts to a cutting board. Stir the cheese and sour cream into the soup. Shred the chicken or cut into bite size pieces and add back to the crock. Taste and season as needed. Cook 1 more hour on low.

Serve garnished with more cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips and avocado slices. Yield: 6 large servings.

Lecia noted, she prefers red peppers in this recipe. For the soup supper, she omitted the cumin.

Shredding chicken or other meats can be time consuming. I learned a trick to speed up the process. Place the cooked meat in the large bowl of your stand mixer, and using the dough hook, let the machine do the work. Use a lower speed and watch closely, it doesn’t take long. This method also means you don’t have to wait for the meat to cool.

Biscuits and dinner rolls are a great accompaniment to soup. I recently made Winter Squash Rolls, a favorite at our house. You may view a picture of them on our Facebook page, Welcome to My Kitchen. Lightly spiced with ginger and nutmeg, they go well with any meal. If you flatten the rolls before the last raising, they make a nice slider bun.

Winter Squash Rolls

6 1/2 to 6 3/4 cups un-sifted all-purpose flour

2 packages fast rising or regular dry yeast.

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 /4 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp salt

2 cups mashed cooked squash

1 cup milk

1/4 cup butter or margarine

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 2 cups of the flour, yeast, brown sugar, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Mix well.

In a 2-quart saucepan, combine squash, milk and butter. Heat until hot (120 to 130 degrees)

With mixer at low speed, add hot squash mixture to the flour mixture; beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. If mixing by hand, use a wooden spoon to stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff, not sticky dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-6 minutes.

If using a stand mixer, stir in remaining flour one cup at a time to form the dough. When all the flour has been added, switch to a dough hook and knead the dough by machine for 5 minutes. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and form into a ball.

Place kneaded dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a towel and let set to rise in a warm place until double in bulk. (about 45 minutes)

Lightly grease two large baking sheets. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut into 24 equal pieces. Form into balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Flatten balls slightly. Cover and let rise 30 to 45 minutes, until double.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake each pan 20 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 24 rolls.

Laundry duties seem to fall to the same person doing the cooking. This time of year drying clothes takes a little longer. Outside air is colder and has some affect on the starting temperature in the dryer, since most are vented outside.

Another drying time extender is build up of fabric softener residue on the dryer lint trap screen. You can’t easily see it, but you can test for it. If you run water on the screen and it doesn’t easily pour through, there is buildup.

Fill a pan or sink with very warm water liberally mixed with Dawn detergent and let it soak 10 minutes, then use a stiff brush to scrub the screen well from both sides. Rinse well to remove all soap residue, re-install in the dryer. Now the dryer will have clear air flow and dry clothes faster. Remember to remove lint from the screen after each load.

On the off chance, spring thaw might come, remember to keep a pencil lead thin stream of water flowing from at least one faucet. As the ground thaws, frost goes down and can freeze the incoming water line in the ground. No one wants a burst waterline under ground.

Share your favorite winter time recipes, kitchen and household tips by sending them to: Welcome to My Kitchen, c/o The Odessa Record, P.O. Box 458, Odessa, WA 99159, email or drop them in the Welcome to My Kitchen mail tin in The Odessa Record office. Follow us on Facebook at Welcome to My Kitchen. Don’t get in a hurry to start seeds indoors. Wait a couple weeks or your plants will get very leggy.


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