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Take the Chill Off with Soup

By Erin Rutherford from Open Road Kitchen

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chicken and corn chowder

Ingredients:
3 slices Bacon
1 T Unsalted Butter
1/2 Sweet Onion (Vidalia), finely chopped (approx. 1 cup)
1 Red Bell Pepper, finely chopped (approx. 1 cup)
3 Garlic Cloves, minced (approx. 1 T)
1 1/4 t Salt
3/4 t Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3 c Frozen Corn Kernels (or Fresh off the Cobb)
1 Yukon Gold Potato, skin on, diced into 1/4 inch cubes (approx. 1 cup)
2 c Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth
2 1/2 c Whole Milk
1 1/2 c diced, roasted chicken breasts, skin removed (preferably from a Rotisserie Chicken)
1/3 c chopped Fresh Cilantro, packed, plus additional to garnish (optional)
2 T Honey
2 T freshly squeezed Lime Juice
Green Onions (optional)

Instructions:
In a large soup pot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and let cool on a plate lined with a paper towel. Crumble and set aside.
Pour off a majority of the bacon drippings from the pot, retaining approximately 2 tsp in the pot. Add the butter to the pot and melt it over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, salt and pepper and cook 5 minutes. Add the corn and the potatoes and cook 2 additional minutes, stirring often. Stir in the chicken broth, cover and cook 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
Uncover and remove from heat to cool 20 minutes.
Measure 2 cups cooked soup vegetables and put in a medium-sized bowl. Transfer the remaining soup mixture to a blender, along with the milk. Puree for 15 seconds, until relatively smooth (a few bits are acceptable). Pour back into the soup pot and stir in the reserved cooked soup vegetables and the roasted chicken. Warm over medium heat 5 to 10 minutes; stir in cilantro, honey and lime juice. Serve with reserved, crumbled bacon and green onions, if desired

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tomato bisque;

3 T Unsalted Butter
1 T Olive Oil
1/2 Sweet Onion (Vidalia), chopped (approx. 1 cup)
2 medium Carrots, chopped (approx. 1 cup)
2 Celery Stalks, chopped (approx. 3/4 cup)
3 Garlic Cloves, minced (approx. 1 T)
3/4 t Salt
1/2 t Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3 cups Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth
1 16 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes
1 16 oz. can Diced Tomatoes
1 T Tomato Paste
1 T Sugar, (plus 1 t. reserved, optional to taste)
1 c Heavy Cream
1/4 c packed, chopped Fresh Basil
1/3 c finely grated Parmesan
1 T freshly squeezed Lemon Juice

Instructions:
In a large soup pot, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic cloves, salt and pepper and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables have softened.
Add the broth, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and the 1 T. sugar to the pot. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered 30 minutes.
Remove pot from heat, stir in the heavy cream and basil and let rest 20 minutes.
Working in small batches (3 to 4 cups at a time, depending on blender size), puree soup in a blender until smooth. Return to pot, and simmer over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes until warm. Stir in the parmesan cheese, lemon juice and and additional 1 t. sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


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