Saturday, December 4, 2010

wednesday - creamy chicken and brown rice soup, quesadillas

This creamy chicken and rice soup, based on this recipe from, is a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken and rice. Plus, it's delicious and a much healthier version of traditional creamy soups. The original recipe calls for turkey and wild rice, but I use chicken and brown rice instead--it's flexible, so feel free to use whatever you have on hand.

I also served delicious quesadillas with pinto beans and green chiles (as you'll see in the photo, they were a tiny bit overcooked but still very tasty). They were similar to what I've made before, but I used canned green chiles instead of fresh and left out the kale.

Creamy Chicken and Brown Rice Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups cooked brown rice
3 cups shredded cooked chicken (about 1 large chicken breast)*
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms, celery, carrots, and onion. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add flour, salt, and pepper, stirring for 2 minutes more.

Add broth and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add rice and chicken. Reduce heat and simmer until heated through, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream and parsley; remove from heat.

Makes 6 servings.

*To poach chicken breasts, place boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a medium skillet or saucepan. Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes.

Quesadillas with Pinto Beans

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 4-ounce can diced green chiles, drained
1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans (or 1 15-ounce can, rinsed)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 flour tortillas
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add green chiles, beans, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper, and stir until beans are heated through, about 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to a small bowl, and wipe out skillet with a paper towel.

Place one tortilla in skillet over medium heat. Spread half of bean mixture over the tortilla, and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Place another tortilla over the bean mixture, and cook until the quesadilla is golden on bottom and cheese begins to melt. Carefully flip the quesadilla over and cook until the other side is golden. Repeat with remaining tortillas, bean mixture, and cheese. Cut quesadillas into wedges before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

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