soup’s on

I love soup… and soup season is upon us.  Naturally, I’m very excited.  My new favorite to make is homemade chicken and wild rice soup.  It looks like a ton of ingredients, but it’s a lot of spices and things you may already have on hand.  I like making it when I already have leftover chicken and/or wild rice.  It makes a ton… like 16 cups?  Make some today!  You won’t be disappointed…

What’s your tried and true soup recipe?

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup


  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1+ cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 bouillon cube or 1 tsp chicken base (I use Better than bouillon from Costco)
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder (optional, but I think it makes it yummy)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or sherry or additional chicken broth)
  • 3+ cups cooked wild rice
  • 2+ cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded chunks
  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, combine the first 11 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt butter. stir in flour until smooth. Gradually whisk in broth mixture, or as much as you can fit in the small saucepan. Stir for ~2 minutes, then add the contents of the saucepan back into the dutch oven… (the easiest way to combine everything without dirtying an extra pot).  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for a couple of minutes while the soup thickens.
  3. Whisk in soup and wine (or broth).  Then add rice and chicken and simmer until it’s heated.

>Recipe Post – Black Bean Dip

>Alright this is for my mom as well as a few friends who had asked for the black bean salsa recipe. It’s really easy to make and involves only a small amount of chopping, mixing, etc. I got this recipe from an old co-worker, so I’m not sure who to credit on this one! And I don’t have a photo of the finished product, but snapped a few shots as my mom and I were making this delicious dip for the baby shower a few weeks ago:
1) The canned ingredients plus the onion

2) separating the cilantro leaves from the stems.

Black Bean Dip:

I usually do this in three steps, starting with the canned goods, then the chopped items, and finally the liquid ingredients.

In a large container, combine:
1 can of black beans – rinsed and drained
1 can of whole kernel corn – rinsed and drained
1 can of diced tomatoes with green chiles – do not drain

Then Add:
About 1/2 purple onion – chopped as finely as you like
A bunch of cilantro – a handful or so of chopped leaves
One avocado – sliced and cut into small pieces.

About 1/8c. olive oil
About 1/8c. balsalmic vinegar
1/2 tsp of tabasco sauce
(Some people like more oil, vinegar or tabasco… these amounts are all on the conservative side)

Anyway, that’s it! It keeps in the fridge fairly well, and if you want to make it the day before you need it, the flavor gets even better when the ingrediends have time to mix together… just add the avocado and cilantro on the day you’ll use the dip so the bright green color really stands out! Enjoy!

>Baking Bears

>I meant to post this awhile back… but time has escaped me. We’ve been really busy lately. After graduating, there was a flurry of activity. Friends in town, Graduation weekend, followed by my birthday. Then more friends in town, the 4th of July, and then a wonderful trip to Maui. Now that we’re back, I’m working a short teaching job Monday through Friday for the next 4 weeks. Then I’ll go straight to my new permanent teaching job. It’s a good summer, but very busy!

So back to my original point… during the last few weeks of school, I was able to do some substitute teaching at the school I spent a lot of time at this year, which was so much fun. My first grade classroom from student teaching also wanted to celebrate my birthday! That meant I would get to bring treats in and see all of my students for one last time before school let out for the summer. I decided to make cupcakes, but wanted to be a little more creative than using the box mix and frosting I had in my pantry already… (a friend of mine did something similar for her son’s first birthday party) here is the result:

They are supposed to be bears… I think they turned out pretty cute! All of the kids really liked them. They also liked picking off the candies and altering the bears faces.
Besides chocolate cake and cream cheese frosting, I used:
-Brown sugar crystals
-Jelly Beans
-Milk and carmel chews
-Chocolate chips