I grew up near Lake Tahoe for the 2nd half of my childhood life. If you’ve never visited Lake Tahoe, you’re totally missing out. It’s perfectly lovely in the summer… gorgeous lake, unbelievable sunsets, mountain hikes, fresh mountain air, and cute cabins to rent all around the lake. In the winter it’s covered in a thick layer of snow. Skiers take over the towns and inhabit the many world-class ski resorts that Tahoe has to offer. It was fun living close to Tahoe. As a kid I rode the ski bus every Saturday in the winter for lessons at the nearest resort. In high school, I talked my way onto the ski team, where we had the privilege of leaving school at 11am every Wed for a half-day on the slopes, and then I skied on Saturdays and Sundays too. Skiing makes you tired- exhausted, in fact-and it makes you ravenously hungry. After a full day of skiing, you really want to down a bowl of hot soup like this one: Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
It’s creamy, but not in a “heavy cream” sort of way. And it’s completely hearty enough to fill a freezing belly in the winter. Our family is headed out on a ski vacation next week- the first one we’ve gone on in a couple of years. SO excited!
Here’s what all of this crazy stuff means:
French fries with mayonnaise: When I was in high school, I often skied with my friend Carrie. Every time we went to the lodge for lunch, she ordered french fries with mayonnaise. I never quite understood the appeal, but eating in a ski lodge always reminds me of that.
Adam Ant: Back in high school, walkmans were popular (anyone remember what those were?!) My friend Pattie and I listened to Adam Ant on the slopes, often plugging our headphones into the same walkman as we were skiing down the mountain together. Crazy kids!
Hot beverages on the mountain: There is absolutely nothing like drinking a hot chocolate with Baileys after you’ve skied the moguls all day long. Best thing ever.
Hot blond, ski instructors: When I was younger (not now… of course!) my friends and I were always on the lookout for hot, blond ski instructors. There were always at least a few to chase down the mountain.
Soup: The best-ever meal while spending a day on the slopes (or after) is soup. Warmth floating into your belly is just what you need when you’re defrosting.
My family loved this soup. Next time I will add peas and corn too! And I can’t wait to make it again when we head to the slopes next week! It’ll be the perfect after-ski meal, I think. Warm comfort in a bowl. I’m kind of a wimp these days when it’s a cold ski day, so my body will welcome this soup indeed… while we listen to Adam Ant, drink a hot beverage, reminisce about the hot ski instructors and eat french fries with mayonnaise (not!)
Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
Yield: 4 to 5 servings
Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 25 min
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh green beans
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Two 14.5-ounce cans chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons All Purpose Gold Medal® Flour
One 5-ounce can fat-free evaporated milk
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1 cup cooked brown rice (I make it separate, then add to the soup)
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and green beans. Stir and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until slightly tender. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the broth, seasoning, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and milk until smooth. Stir it into the soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes, until thickened. Stir in the chicken and rice and heat through until the soup is creamy. If the soup thickens too much upon cooking or standing, it's okay to stir in a little extra chicken broth.
Source: RecipeGirl.com (Adapted from Taste of Home)