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Rain? We've got it today and we'll get plenty in April and our reservoirs are full already.  I'm not a fan!

I'm still only able to do long walks every other day and this week has been dry every other day: 57° and sunny Monday, rain Tuesday, 73° and sunny Wednesday, rain Thursday, 71° with clouds and sun Friday.  Wednesday, I ran 1/4 mile (mostly downhill) for the first time in a while in the middle of our walk and could have gone a mile but know I need to get back in shape a little at a time.  My shoulders felt sore Wed. night and I'm a little stiff today, Thursday.  But I'll still do a longer, hillier, 3 mile walk with Jake on Friday at the park that has the demonstration farm run by the 4H Club.  I'll do a short run again - there's a great, long downhill section toward the end of the walk.

Saturday" "Mostly cloudy and warm with the temperature approaching the record of 78 set in 1918 with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm.".  Between showers, Saturday may make a good day for some weeding I need to do.  During the showers, I'll cut up the celery, carrots, and onions for the chicken soup I'll make for dinner.

Instant Pot (or crock pot) Version: Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

I've made this in a crock pot set on medium for 6 hours or in an Instant Pot (set to high pressure for 25 minutes).  Dissolve the Better Than Bouillon Chicken base in a small pot with 4 cups of hot water.  Throw all the ingredients except diced tomatoes and any frozen veggies for soup into a 5-6 qt pot, add the chicken (still frozen pieces ok!) and more water to cover the veggies (4 qt. max in 6 qt. Instant Pot) and cook to the end.  Take the chicken pieces out and stir in any frozen veggies for soup, let the pieces cool several minutes, then break the meat into small pieces and add back to the pot. At that point, add the diced tomatoes and you’re ready to eat.

Ingredients (for a 6 quart Instant Pot. Makes 5 qts soup, six 26 fl.oz. servings):

1 lb, carrots, either baby carrots cut in thirds or whole carrots cut into 1/4-inch slices [some sauté (fry in a small amount of cooking oil for several minutes) all the veggies first for sweetness]

12 oz, 6 medium stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch slices.

10-12 oz. 1 large onion, chopped [some add garlic, sautéing it with the onion first]

8 oz of veggies for soup (or can/frozen/fresh: corn, peas, parsnips, etc.).

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon(s) dried thyme [and/or 1 tbsp dry Italian Seasoning]

Salt (6 tsp called for – use zero if low sodium is desired and add at table)

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

2-3 lb chicken parts (I use four (2+ lb) chicken thighs with skin & bones), very heavy on chicken: 5 lb chicken (whole, 3 1/2 to 6 lb ok)

4 cups + more later water to fill Instant Pot to 4 qt. Mark and, at end 5 qt mark

2 tbsp Better than Bouillon Chicken Base or 6 chicken bouillon cubes.

1 tsp garlic powder optional or 5 cloves garlic (optional, perhaps sautéing it with the onion first)

Optional: 2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes with juice (added while shredding chicken)

Optional: 4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (or 1 tbsp dried parsley)

Optional: 12 oz. dry egg noodles (cooked) or 2 oz. Per 25 oz. serving of soup.

Optional (not better for me): 1 tbsp dried or ¼ cup fresh chopped dill (some reviewers rave!)

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What a great soup recipe, @MickinMD. Frying the carrots, celery, and onion first in a couple of tbs. of butter or oil is mirepoix. It does add good flavor. Do the added tomatoes darken the finished soup, or do they just float around like all the other vegetables? 

How did your chili with beans turn out? Have you tried cooking just beans yet? 

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