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TMCNet:  Soup's On!

[January 23, 2013]

Soup's On!

Jan 23, 2013 (The Register-Herald - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- No other dish is as timeless, as satisfyingly sip-able and as convenient as soup. In fact, the word restaurant, originating in 16th century France, was inspired by the restorative elixir sold there by street vendors, the first chicken soup for the body and soul.

As a quick meal before a home game, a slow-cooked pot of perfection or the hearty highlight to a Super Bowl showdown, soup is the undeniably restoring meal, the clutch player for any chef's line-up.

Swanson brand broths and stocks have built an ingredient empire on the belief that boiling a chicken carcass with a mirepoix of vegetables, fresh herbs and several gallons of water isn't an option for most soup-makers a.k.a. busy home chefs. The next best thing to homemade stock, Swanson has taken January's position as National Soup Month seriously by launching an impressive collection of winter soup recipes, made hours easier by beginning with their products. (Most can be made well in under a half hour, and one slow simmers in the crock.) So in response to the age-old question of which came first, the chicken or the egg, perhaps a more significant question exists to be answered-- which came first, the soup or the spoon Either way, it's all good eating.

Recipes and images courtesy of Swanson Chicken & Tortellini Stew What You'll Need 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 tablespoon water 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into cubes 1 cup frozen crinkle-cut carrots 1 cup frozen cut green beans 3/4 cup chopped onion 6 cups Swanson® Chicken Broth or Swanson® Chicken Stock 1/2 of a 12-ounce package uncooked dry cheese-filled tortellini (about 1 cup) 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley How to Make It 1. Stir the cornstarch and water in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 6-quart saucepot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until it's well browned, stirring often. Remove the chicken from the saucepot.

3. Heat the remaining oil in the saucepot over medium heat. Add the carrots, beans and onion and cook until they're tender-crisp.

4. Stir in the broth and heat to a boil. Add the tortellini and parsley, if desired. Cook for 10 minutes or until the tortellini is tender. Return the chicken to the saucepot and cook until the chicken is cooked through.

5. Stir in the cornstarch mixture. Cook and stir until the mixture boils and thickens.

Slow Cooker Poblano Corn Chowder with Chicken and Chorizo What You'll Need 4 cups Swanson® Chicken Broth (Regular, Natural Goodness® or Certified Organic) 1 tablespoon sugar 2 cans (about 14.5 ounces each) cream-style corn 1 large potato, diced (about 2 cups) 2 large poblano chiles, seeded and diced (about 2 cups) 1 package (10 ounces) frozen whole kernel corn, thawed 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts and/or thighs, cut into cubes 1/2 pound chorizo sausage, diced 1 cup heavy cream 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves How to Make It 1. Stir the broth, sugar, canned corn, potato, chiles, thawed corn, chicken and sausage in a 6-quart slow cooker.

2. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the cream and cilantro.

Chipotle Black Bean Soup with Avocado Cream What You'll Need 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 large carrots, peeled and diced (about 2 cups) 2 large onions, diced (about 2 cups) 1 can (7 ounces) chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced 4 cups Swanson® Chicken Broth (Regular, Natural Goodness® or Certified Organic) 3 cans (about 15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained 1 small ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into cubes (about 1/2 cup) 1/4 cup sour cream 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves 1 tablespoon lemon juice How to Make It 1. Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepan. Add the carrots and onions and cook until they're tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Add the peppers and cook and stir for 1 minute.

2. Stir the broth and beans into the saucepan and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook for 25 minutes.

3. Mash the avocado with a fork in a small bowl. Stir in the sour cream, cilantro and lemon juice.

4. Spoon one-third of the broth mixture into a blender. Cover and blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Repeat twice more with the remaining broth mixture. Return the blended mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is hot and bubbling. Divide the soup among 8 serving bowls. Top with the avocado mixture.

Creamy Irish Potato Soup What You'll Need 2 tablespoons butter 4 medium green onions, sliced (about 1/2 cup) 1 stalk celery, sliced (about 1/2 cup) 1 3/4 cups Swanson® Chicken Broth (Regular, Natural Goodness® or Certified Organic) 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper 3 medium potatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick (about 3 cups) 1 1/2 cups milk How to Make It 1. Heat the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and cook until they're tender.

2. Stir the broth, black pepper and potatoes in the saucepan and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

3. Place half of the broth mixture and half of the milk in a blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth. Repeat with the remaining broth mixture and remaining milk. Return to the saucepan and heat through.

For more recipes and cooking tips visit SwansonBroth .com or follow on Facebook at Swanson.

-- E-mail: ___ (c)2013 The Register-Herald (Beckley, W.Va.) Visit The Register-Herald (Beckley, W.Va.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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