roasted red pepper & sweet potato soup

This Sunday, I was a mess.  I woke up exhausted and feely crummy from all of the movie theatre popcorn/buffalo wings from the night before.  This pregnancy has been interesting for me: even since I have gotten past the first-trimester nausea that plagued my every waking hour…I haven’t been able to eat unhealthy without feeling gross.  I think this baby is already healthier than I am.

That being said, I had nothing planned for dinner on Sunday and I needed something to revitalize my body.  After a trip to Whole Foods to pick-up 3 extra ingredients, I had dinner planned.  This recipe comes purely from me, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we (including baby!) did.

Roasted Red Pepper & Sweet Potato Soup

  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Mexican paprika
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Prep Work: 10-15 minutes

  1. Wash, peel, and dice the sweet potatoes into small chunks.
  2. Mince the garlic cloves into small pieces.
  3. Over a gas burner, roast the red pepper over medium heat until it becomes charred.  Don’t be afraid to put the pepper directly onto the open flame.  Be sure to flip it often, and be careful to keep an eye on it so it does not burn.  If you don’t have a gas burner, you can also roast the pepper in the oven.IMG_1021-001
  4. Dice the roasted pepper into chunks.IMG_1023-001

Cooking: 50-60 minutes

  1. In a large pot, combine the diced sweet potato, broth, and water.  Bring to a boil, and then let the potatoes simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. After the potatoes have turned soft, add the roasted red pepper and garlic.  Allow the picture to simmer for another 10 minutes.
  3. Add the chili powder, cumin, sea salt, and paprika.
  4. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, carefully pour the hot mixture into a blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Stir in the half & half.
  6. Serve the soup, garnished with the cilantro and cheddar cheese.IMG_1027-002

This soup should easily serve 4 people.  I think it would be delicious paired with steak or chicken, served in a smaller portion.  It’s also great by itself, served with bread or tortilla chips.  For added protein, I think black beans or bacon would be a delicious addition.

Take care and happy Wednesday!

I am linking up with Buns In My Oven for What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!  

jalapeño popper chicken chili

Happy Wednesday!  As I’ve mentioned in past posts, we love soups around our nest.  In fact, my hubby loves them so much, I try to make soup most Sundays.  This Sunday, I pulled out all the stops and made his absolute favorite.

This is the soup that my husband requests by name…when it’s 90 degrees in July.  I’ve made this soup so many times, I don’t even need to look at the recipe.  I cannot take credit for this recipe idea, and you find find the original here.  However, I’ve made a few modifications and lightened it up to fit our tastes.

Once you taste this chili, you will never be the same.

This…is Jalapeño Popper Chicken Chili.

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  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 6-8 slices of turkey bacon
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 4 jalapeño peppers, seeds removed
  • 2 cans of cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup corn (frozen, canned, or fresh)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (reduced sodium)
  • 6-8oz Neufchatel cheese (to light cream cheese), to taste
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
Prep Work: 10-15 minutes
  1. Mince the onion into small pieces
  2. Mince the garlic cloves into small pieces.
  3. Remove the seeds from the jalapeño peppers and dice into small pieces.
  4. Remove the seeds from the 3 bell peppers and dice into small pieces.
  5. Cook the turkey bacon until it’s crispy and chop into small pieces.  These will serve as crumbles on the top of the chili.
 
Cooking: 45-60 minutes
  1. In a large Dutch oven or pot, brown the ground chicken with salt and pepper until it’s cooked all the way through.  Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside, leaving the drippings behind.
  2. In the same pot, add the 1 Tbsp of olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Once the onion and garlic have started to cook, add the peppers and cook until the onion and peppers are soft (7-10 minutes).IMG_0965
  4. Once the onion and peppers are soft, add the chicken broth, beans tomatoes, corn, and spices (chili powder, paprika, and cumin) to the pot.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and let the soup simmer for at least 20 minutes.  I let mine sit for about 30 minutes.
  6. Once the flavors of have blended, add the ground chicken back to the soup.
  7. Add the Neufchatel cheese to taste.  Start with 6oz, and work up to 8oz for a creamier soup.
  8. Allow the Neufchatel cheese to melt completely.  Serve immediately, garnished with the turkey bacon crumbles and fresh jalapeño peppers.

This recipe will serve 4 people comfortably; I made this on Sunday, and it was as excellent leftovers on Monday (I never feel like cooking on Monday).  This chili actually tasted better the second day!  It’s excellent to dip with bread or tortilla chips, and sharp cheddar would add even more richness (and probably just a few more calories).

Jalapeño Popper Chicken Chili is my go-to, I am so glad I found it on Pinterest 2 years ago.  Share it, make it, change it, and love it!

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I am linking up with Buns In My Oven for What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!  

I linked up with The Diary of a Real Housewife for Friday Favorites.

buffalo chicken chili

After a crazy Nor’easter this past week, the weather has finally turned consistently cool.  Time for some quality chili recipes!
I LOVE buffalo sauce.  I don’t just mean that I prefer it over other sauces.  I mean that I use it as salad dressing and dip carrots in it.  I also have a pretty high tolerance for spice.
A few weeks back, I was craving buffalo chicken one night, but I also wanted chili.  After careful consideration, I decided it would be best to combine them.
I used to make a Jalapeño Popper Chicken Chili quite often.  I reused some ideas from this recipe as my base (mainly adding some creaminess to counteract the spice).
Buffalo Chicken Chili
2 lbs ground chicken (or 1 lb ground chicken and 1 lb ground turkey)
8 oz mini sweet peppers
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1-2 can cannellini beans
4 cups chicken broth
¾-1 cup buffalo sauce
4-6 oz. of Neufchâtel cheese, light cream cheese, or goat cheese
1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp flour
3 tsp granulated garlic
3 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp smoked salt (optional)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
  1. In a large frying pan or wok, saute the ground turkey and chicken with 1 Tbsp of the EVOO, salt, and pepper until it is cooked.  Drain the meat in a strainer and set aside
  2. In the same pan, sauté the diced onion in 1 Tbsp. of EVOO until translucent.  Add the diced garlic and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  3. Rinse the cannellini beans under warm water to get the canned juices off.IMG_0737
  4. Dice the mini sweet peppers and set aside.  Remove the seeds if you are worried about the level of spice.IMG_0736
  5. In a slow cooker or large pot, add the cooked onions/garlic, cooked meat, rinsed beans, diced peppers, and chicken broth.  Add the granulated garlic, chili powder, oregano, and smoked salt.
  6. In a slow cooker, cook on high for 2-3 hours.  In a large pot on the stove, bring to a boil and then let it simmer for 2-3 hours.
  7. The longer you let the chili sit, the better the flavors will blend!  About 15 minutes before serving, add the buffalo sauce and Neufchâtel cheese.
  8. Serve hot with toasted bread, tortilla chips, or carrots and celery.  For more creaminess, add some blue cheese crumbles!
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This dish reheats very well, and you could easily double it for lots of leftovers.  As it stands, the recipe makes about 4 servings.  Beside  the cheese, it is a pretty healthy dish with a good amount of protein.  The amount of cheese can be modified to make it healthier.  If you are really into spice, try leaving the cheese out completely.
Get cozy!   It’s finally fully fall.