Posted in Being Healthy, Cooking, corn free, gluten free, nut free, soy free

Greek Penicillin–Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

There’s this new local soup and sandwich shop Ladles in Sweetgrass (the new Harris Teeter off Hwy 17 N) that serves up a fantastic Greek Lemon Chicken Soup…not tart, but fresh lemon flavor, hint of garlic, and just oh so comforting…even in the hot Lowcountry summer, which has gotten an early start.

But it’s not always convenient to go get it. And I needed something to make for my lunches this week that would make a little extra for one of our dinners. And…I’m a soup fanatic. Love it….hot or cold weather…but not really many cold soups.

So…what makes Greek Lemon Chicken Soup special? Well, to tell you the truth, it’s basically homemade chicken noodle soup with a special touch right at the end. Here’s how it goes.

Ingredients:

  • 6 large chicken breasts, skinless and boneless (about 4 lbs)
  • 64 oz (8 cups total) chicken broth (homemade is best; for corn free, use Pacific Organic Free Range Chicken Broth or Harris Teeter Organic Chicken Broth)
  • 4-6 large carrots, cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 1-2 large sweet onions, roughly chopped
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper as desired
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous (little tiny pasta balls)–or 2 cups white rice which is more traditional and naturally gluten free
  • 3 eggs
  • juice and zest of 2 large lemons (alternate: 1 cup lemon juice)

Place the chicken, carrots, onions, garlic, bay leaves, and salt and pepper in a stock pot; cover with 32 oz of chicken broth (about 4 cups). Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. This is to cook and flavor the chicken.

Remove the chicken and add the couscous and another 32 oz of chicken broth (about 4 cups). Cover and simmer while you shred (or chop) the chicken.

Add the chicken back in and stir well.

At this point, you have a fantastic and well-flavored Chicken Noodle Soup…and might very well choose to stop here.

Or…you can make and add the “Greek” part.

Whisk together three eggs and the juice and zest of two large lemons (about 1T zest and about 1/2 cup juice) in a large bowl. Be sure to use a large bowl, much larger than you think you need, because next you are going to add 2 cups of soup broth while whisking.

Get 2 cups of hot broth out of the soup pot; it’s okay if there’s some onion or couscous in it. I dip the broth out with a soup ladle and into a large measuring cup with a pour spout. This will come in really handy as I pour it into the egg mixture.

Now, take the measuring cup of broth in your left hand and your whisk in your right hand (or vice versa if you are left-handed).

Start whisking away gently.

Dribble the hot soup broth into the egg mixture very slowly, whisking the whole time.

It will take about five minutes, so be patient and DO NOT rush this  step. This is called “tempering” the eggs, warming them up without cooking them so that when you add the mixture to the soup, it will become naturally creamy from all of the proteins!

When you’ve incorporated all of your broth, take the soup off of the heat and add the mixture to the soup. Taste and see what you think.

If you want more lemony taste, add some more lemon juice.

NOTE: this recipe is based off of one posted by Whole Foods for Greek Lemon and Chicken Soup.

Posted in Being Healthy, Cooking

Classic Weight Watchers Taco Soup

Last Thursday night at the Weight Watchers meeting in Mount Pleasant, there was a request for a refresher on Taco Soup, a filling, nutrious, very tasty soup…and most importantly LOW in points.

So Jan, the leader, went over the recipe while I wrote it up on the board. Then discussion ensued regarding the possible points change from Points to Points Plus. Well, let’s find out.

Ingredients (classic):

  • 1 lb ground beef (95% lean) = 16 points
  • 1 large white/sweet onion, diced at whatever size you like = 0 points
  • 1 can black beans with juice = 10.5 points
  • 1 can red/kidney beans with juice = 7 points
  • 1 can white/northern/cannelini beans with juice = 7 points
  • 1 can corn, drained or 1 cup frozen = 3 points
  • 3 cans Rotel tomatoes =0  points
  • 1 package dry ranch dressing mix = 0 points
  • 1 package dry taco seasoning = 0 points
  • salt, pepper, and additional taco-ish spices to your liking

Total soup points =43.5

Approximate # of 1 cup servings* = 8

*tested using the Weight Watchers 1-cup ladle and a soup tureen to count the servings.

Saute the onions in cooking spray right in your big soup pot until clear (or carmelized if you like, which I do). Dump in the ground beef and cook thoroughly. Dump in everything else: black beans, red beans, white beans, corn, tomatoes, ranch dressing mix, taco seasoning, and any other seasonings. Simmer for 30 minutes on medium low for flavors to meld together.

Old Points for WW Taco Soup = 4 points per serving

New PointsPlus for WW Taco Soup = 5.5 points per serving

Alterations:

  • 1 lb ground turkey breast = 16 points
  • 1 lb ground or shredded chicken = 16 points
  • 1 lb shredded pork (bbq) = 16 points
  • 1 can hominy (instead of corn) = 6 points