There is nothing quite like an amazing bowl of hearty soups & stews on an autumn, windy and rainy blustery day, or a cold winters’ night. It is not only nutritious, but just feels nourishing to the soul somehow, as well. We’ll look at how to turn your favorite (or discover a new one), hearty soup or stew, into a whole elegant experience, one to be shared for certain!
Start by making your favorite (or try a new recipe) hearty soup or stew. Personally, I love making them in a slow cooker or crock pot. They are my top favorite appliances ever, for several reasons. If it’s a work night, they are so easy to load in the morning, turn on and leave for work and return home to an amazing dinner, ready to eat after a hard day of work. I also love them on weekends cooking, as they fill the home with such a delicious aroma as they slow cook your meal, and best all of, it’s very difficult to ruin any meal in a crockpot.
beautiful soup bowls. Now is also time to decide if you want this meal to be by candlelight or not. If so, get your candles lit. Unscented taper candles are usually best for meals. You don’t want a scented candle at your dinner table to compete with the aroma of your meal.
Fresh bread. Mmmm. You can opt to have purchased a special loaf of specialty bread at your favorite bakery. You could also choose to make your own bread. Bread machines make this a simple process and gives you the ability to add your own custom ingredients. I love add sunflower seeds, coriander and other herbs to mine. There is something SO amazing about the scent of homemade bread baking, and to cut into a warm loaf fresh out of the oven (or machine). And of course, it must be served with real butter.
Use cloth napkins for this meal as well, and a bouquet of fresh flowers adds a very special touch. Alternatively, a small table arrangement of small pumpkins, corn husks, fruit and gourds can transform a table as well, into a visual delight.
A glass of amazing wine adds much to this elegant meal. If you don’t want to serve wine, or have children you are serving, consider sparkling cider (or both). They both add a special ambiance to the occasion.
This might be a good time to also serve some of your favorite cheese, or try a new cheese.
Of course, to top off this elegant experience, serve a decadent dessert. It just wouldn’t be the same without it, that is if everyone is not too full to eat dessert.
This is one of life’s rich and simple pleasures, good food, good company, good conversation and warm times with loved ones.
Below try one of my favorite fall hearty soup recipes, hope you enjoy as much as I do!
Mexican Chicken Soup
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 envelope Taco seasoning mix
- 1 32 ounce can V8 juice
- 1 16 ounce jar salsa
- 1 15 ounce can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 10 ounce package frozen corn
- 6 Tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
- 6 Tablespoons sour cream
- 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Saute chicken breast in oil until no longer pink. Add water and taco seasoning and stir until it begins to thicken. Pour this into a crock pot and all over ingredients except cheese, sour cream & cilantro (toppings). Cook 4-6 hours on low. Makes 6 servings. You may want to double or triple this recipe.
After serving in bowls, top with cheddar cheese, sour cream and cilantro. Excellent!
Side note: Many excellent soup recipes out there are creamed soups and require being blended. You can’t go wrong with a Vitamix for creating these delicious soups, as well as smoothies and many other foods. It’s another one of my top favorite kitchen appliances that I use year around. Keep your eye out for other hearty soups & stews you can add to your collection.
Until next time,
Here’s a cookbook I really love