Grit Blogs > Waking up in Kansas

Weekends Call for Soup

By K.C. Compton


Tags: Soup, Sweet Potato Soup, Chicken Soup, K.C. Compton,

KC ComptonOver the weekend the weather began to cool down and my mind turned, as it often does, to thoughts of soup and something that would warm the cockles. If I ever open a restaurant, it will be "K.C.’s Soup Kitchen," and I will only serve bread, soup and pie. This is because, once you’ve made a few, they’re all really easy — yet so impressive, guests think you’ve done something really special.

This was an ad hoc soup, prepared from whatever I could find around the house. It was so easy, simple and loaded with nutrition, I think it will now be added to my list of favorites. In the future, if I wanted to bump up the nutrition or was feeling threatened with a cold or flu, I’d add some shitake mushrooms toward the end of the cook time. But this was good enough to share anyway, and I’m glad I have a bowl in my lunch box to tuck into as soon as I post this blog.

Here you go. Mangia!

Try a taste of delicious Sweet Potato Chicken Soup.

K.C.’s Sweet Potato Chicken Soup 

  • 6 to 8 chicken thighs  [I used boneless. You could use breasts, but I think thighs are more flavorful and they're cheaper...]
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut in bite-sized pieces
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut in rounds
  • 1 tsp. Frontier Thai seasoning [a tasty combo of onion & garlic powder, coriander, paprika, basil, black pepper cilantro and white pepper—if you don’t have it, you can just sort of dash in any of those ingredients that appeal to you]
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh orange thyme [or 1 tsp. dried thyme of any variety: lemon would be great. I just happened to have orange fresh in my container garden.]
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic [I used 6, but that’s just how I roll!]
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups chicken broth [I had a large jar of chicken broth I’d made the last time I roasted a chicken. I think it was about two cups, but basically, enough chicken broth to make it soup]
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 cup of wild rice, cooked

[I started this on top of the stove in my Dutch oven then put it in the oven after I’d finished browning the chicken and onion and had added the other ingredients, except the lemon and wild rice.]

Brown chicken thighs in olive oil. After they’ve browned, add onion and stir until translucent. Add other ingredients down to “Zest of one lemon.”

Put in oven, covered, and cook at 300 degrees for one hour.

While it’s cooking, boil wild rice al dente and add a bit of salt. [I like mine a bit chewy.]

When you bring the soup out of the oven, add the lemon zest and lemon juice; drain the rice and add to soup. Salt or adjust flavors as you see fit. I added more garlic. :)

I love the slightly sweet flavor the sweet potato provides, plus the citrusy zing of the thyme and lemon zest.

I ate this with some fresh whole-wheat bread Hank’s wife Karen baked last week. The bread had gotten a little hard, so I toasted it, then tore it into pieces and put it on top of the soup just before I served it, ad hoc croutons for my ad hoc soup.

The dish was hearty, scrumptious and left my cockles thoroughly warmed.

k.c. compton
10/25/2010 12:36:42 PM

Deanna-- That sounds delicious -- and easy -- my favorite combination! One of the great things about soup is that it's a tasty way to put the old "Waste not, want not" adage to practical, and also nutritious, use. --KC


deanna
10/24/2010 11:28:08 PM

We do refrigerator soup, too. At least once a week, we'll have a roast, some green beans or peas, corn...then all I need to do is chop some carrots, celery, and onion (if I don't have some leftover from salads) and it all works out pretty tasty. The kids don't complain too much about it, but then we normally have fresh bread to go with the soup. Another favorite is to make ham and potato soup the day after having a ham dinner. Our ham dinners always include mashed potatoes (the leftovers are used to thicken the potato soup). Melt a pad of butter in the bottom of your pot, toss in some diced onion and sautee. Add your leftover mashed potatoes just to heat them up. Pour in milk (about 2 parts milk to 1 part potatoes) and whisk to break up lumps. Dice your leftover ham and a few potatoes and toss them in. Salt and pepper to taste and top with your favorite toppings. Bacon, shredded cheese, chives... *If you don't have enough leftover mashed potatoes, you can add a couple tbsp of cornstarch before the potatoes or thicken with instant mashed potatoes after adding milk.


sylvia w
10/15/2010 10:58:21 AM

Oh yum! Saved to try ASAP ;-) I am another soup lover - in fact I started my first official beef barley last night by roasting some marrow bones and tossing lots of garden onions, carrots, some of last years dried mushrooms and of course barley. I added a bag of mixed beans in this time, as an experiment. My seasoning of choice lately is Bragg Sprinkle, as it has a lovely balance of flavors and no salt. Once the cool weather sets in I start making chili (the first was last week, loaded with garden goodies), stews and soups. Now I am going in search of that sweet potato sausage soup recipe - that sounds good too ;-)


k.c. compton
10/15/2010 9:29:32 AM

Hi there, Lonesome Dave -- I do indeed expect to be here in HQ when you stop this way again and am looking forward to joining you and the crew for lunch. My mother used to make refrigerator soup, too. I didn't like it because she saved all the vegetables left in the serving dishes, all the "pot liquor" and froze it in various jars until soup day. Then she'd brown some beef or chicken and throw all this leftover stuff in it with some potatoes and canned tomatoes. I thought it was icky because it was a bunch of leftovers. NOW? I miss the taste of her wonderful soup. See you soon! --KC


nebraska dave
10/14/2010 5:14:12 PM

@K.C. Oh man you are right on topic. I love soup any kind of soup. Red soup, green soup, white soup, brown soup, I love soup. Hot soup, cold soup, warm soup, I love soup. Bean soup, potato soup, vegetable soup, I love soup. Spicy soup, bland soup, grand soup, I love soup. Soup, soup, soup, I love soup. Thick soup, thin soup, I love any kind of soup. Nail soup, stone soup, I love soup. Road kill soup, yucky soup …. I do not love that soup. Of all the soups I love, the best is my soup. I call it refrigerator soup. To make the soup, start with this container, that container, mixed with a little of this and a little of that. Add a few carrots and potatoes with a sprinkle of this and a pinch of that. Simmer until all things are tender. Spoon the mixture in a bowl, sprinkle with something green, and enjoy. I love soup. Winter soup, summer soup, spring soup, fall soup, I love soup. It’s nutritious, tasty, and easy to fix. I love soup. There’s just nothing like a good bowl of soup. Thanks K.C. for reminding me that I love soup. P.S. I hope you will be at Headquarters on the 18th. I will be passing through and stopping for lunch again. I hope to see you then.


k.c. compton
10/13/2010 2:46:05 PM

Thanks for the comments. {Carolyn, I see that you ran afoul of our repeating comment gremlin. We're working on it!) I never have made minestrone, believe it or not. I'll have to give that a try this winter. The potato-sausage soup from Mother Earth also sounds great. Which reminds me that I have a sweet-potato [or pumpkin] soup with sausage that I ought to try sometime soon. I probably could eat soup every day from October through March and be happy as a clam [chowdah]! --KC


s.m.r. saia
10/13/2010 2:13:26 PM

That sounds delicious. I'm a soup lover too. Weekend before last the temps got down into the 50s and it rained, and I immediately thought soup! Friday I made the potato/sausage soup in the latest Mother Earth News, and it was fantastic. Saturday was beef stew and Sunday was pea soup. It really hit the spot. As I have plenty of sweet potatoes on hand, and I'm picking up 6 chickens from the farm tomorrow, I will definitely put this on my list of soups to try. Thanks!


carolyn binder
10/12/2010 7:52:31 AM

I love soup, and we usually have a pot on the stove from October through March or April. My favorite is a minestrone that is packed with veggies from the garden and seasoned with Parmesan and pancetta. Delicious! Your soup sounds wonderful, and I will add it to my weekend repertoire, starting this Saturday. Happy soup season! Carolyn


carolyn binder
10/12/2010 7:52:05 AM

I love soup, and we usually have a pot on the stove from October through March or April. My favorite is a minestrone that is packed with veggies from the garden and seasoned with Parmesan and pancetta. Delicious! Your soup sounds wonderful, and I will add it to my weekend repertoire, starting this Saturday. Happy soup season! Carolyn


carolyn binder
10/12/2010 7:51:54 AM

I love soup, and we usually have a pot on the stove from October through March or April. My favorite is a minestrone that is packed with veggies from the garden and seasoned with Parmesan and pancetta. Delicious! Your soup sounds wonderful, and I will add it to my weekend repertoire, starting this Saturday. Happy soup season! Carolyn www.cowlickcottagefarm.com