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Rutherford Weekly's Favorite Reader Recipes 10-27-16

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Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced thin (about 1 1/2 large carrots)

1 cup celery, sliced thin (about 2 stalks)

1 cup sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, peeled and diced small (about 1 medium onion)

2 garlic cloves, minced

64 ounces (8 cups) low-sodium chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon pepper, or to taste

12 ounces wide egg noodles (or your favorite noodles or pasta)

2 cups shredded cooked chicken (use storebought rotisserie chicken to save time; or roast or cook your own chicken in a skillet)

3 to 4 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice, optional

salt, to taste

To a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add the oil and heat over medium-high heat to warm. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and sauté for about 7 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently. Add the garlic and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, pepper, and bring to a boil. Allow mixture to boil gently for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are fork-tender. Add the egg noodles and boil mixture for about 10 minutes, or until noodles are soft and cooked through. At any time while making the soup, if the overall liquid level is lower than you like and you prefer more broth, adding a cup or two of water is okay. At the end you will adjust the salt level. Add the chicken, parsley, optional lemon juice (brightens up the flavor), and boil 1 to 2 minutes, or until chicken is warmed through. Taste soup and add salt to taste. I added about 1 tablespoon but this will vary based on how salty the brand of chicken broth used is, how salty the rotisserie chicken is, and personal preference. Make any necessary seasoning adjustments (i.e. more salt, pepper, herbs, etc.), remove the bay leaves, and serve immediately. Soup will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Taco Soup

1 lb ground meat/protein (turkey, beef, tofu)

1 can Rotel tomato

1 can stewed or diced tomato (don't drain)

1 can corn (don't drain)

1 can pinto or black beans (don't drain)

1 can kidney beans (don't drain)

1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix

1 pkg taco seasoning

Cook meat/protein thoroughly, drain fat if necessary, and add taco seasoning. Mix all cans and Ranch seasoning in large pot. Add in cooked, seasoned meat. Let sit on medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soup is hot. Top with shredded cheese, reduced-fat sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips.

Creamy Potato Soup

6 cups peeled and diced Russet potatoes (about 5 medium potatoes. Dice into small cubes about 3/4-inch)

1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 medium

1 1/4 cups peeled and diced carrots (3 medium)

1 cup diced celery (2 stalks)

2 (14.5 oz) cans low sodium chicken broth

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup sour cream

For serving:

Crumbled bacon or chopped cooked ham, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green onions or chives

Combine diced potatoes, carrots, celery and onions with chicken broth in a large stockpot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat (it will take about 10 minutes to reach a boil), once it reaches a boil reduce heat to medium and continue to cook about 15 - 20 minutes longer until potatoes are very soft when pierced with a fork. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat, add flour and cook for 1 minute while whisking constantly. While whisking, slowly add milk and cook, stirring constantly until mixture begins lightly bubble and thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Once potatoes are soft add thickened milk mixture to potato soup mixture and stir (potatoes should start breaking down into soup, if not cook a few minutes longer). Add sour cream and mix well. Ladle soup into serving bowls, top each serving with bacon or ham, cheddar cheese and green onions (Note that the soup will thicken as it rests so if you happen to have left overs you can thin with a little water).

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