You’ll be delighted by how easy this luxurious fast-fix chili recipe is to make. Chicken and great northern beans in a delicious creamy sauce is a welcome change of pace.

1 pound chicken breasts
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic or 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cans (14 – 16 ounces) great northern beans
1 can (14 – 16 ounces) chicken broth or stock
2 4-ounce cans chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper, freshly cracked and ground
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream

Bone and skin chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Chop the onion. Mince the garlic if you’re using cloves. Drain and rinse the beans.

Place the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the cubed chicken, onion and garlic until the chicken is no longer pink.

Add the beans, broth or stock, chilies, salt, oregano, pepper and cayenne. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in the sour cream and cream and serve immediately.

Tip: if the entire recipe isn’t needed for your meal, you can refrigerate or freeze a portion for later use. Before adding the sour cream and cream, remove 1/2 of the chili to a storage container. Reduce the sour cream to 1/2 cup and whipping cream to 1/4 cup and add them only to the portion that you’re serving immediately.

Gently reheat the stored portion at a later date and add 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/4 cup whipping cream just before serving. Reheating the chili after the sour cream and whipping cream have been added can “break” the sauce, creating a watery texture.

Yield: 4 – 6 servings.

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Creamy and delicious, celery soup is a perfect companion for grilled cheese sandwiches. Keep some on hand in the freezer to add to your favorite recipes.

6 stalks celery, approximately 2 cups
1 small onion
3 cups chicken broth
1-1/2 cups half and half
Pepper, freshly cracked and finely ground

Tip: Use the inner stalks of celery, or celery hearts, for a brighter flavor and nicer texture.

Remove any fibrous ribs from the celery by catching them at the bottom of the stalk with a paring knife and pulling upward. Wash and chop the celery. Clean and chop the onion.

Place the celery and onion into a lidded pot with the chicken broth and simmer until the celery is tender, approximately 30 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly and carefully transfer to a blender or food processor. Process until you have a smooth puree. Return the puree to the pot, placed over very low heat. Add the half and half, add salt to taste and slowly reheat.

Yield: 2 – 4 servings

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Potato soup is a comfort food that satisfies heart and soul. With a bit of sour cream and bacon, this simple and delicious recipe is easy to make.

7 large russet potatoes
1 bunch green onions
4 – 6 cups water
1-1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons dill weed
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper, freshly cracked and ground
1 pint sour cream
1/4 cup butter
1/2 pound bacon
1/4 cup parsley

Fry the bacon until it’s crisp and set aside to drain excess fat. Meanwhile, wash and cube the potatoes and slice the onions. Place the potatoes and onions in a Dutch oven with enough water to cover by about 1/2 inch. Add salt. Boil over medium-high heat until tender, adding a little water if tips of potatoes become exposed. Add the milk and dill, season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes start falling apart and soup thickens, approximately 20 minutes.

Crush or chop the bacon to bits, rinse and chop the parsley. When the soup has thickened, add the butter and 2 tablespoons of the sour cream. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 3 – 5 minutes, until thoroughly heated.

Ladle the hot soup into warmed bowls and garnish the top with a heaping spoonful of sour cream, a generous sprinkling of bacon bits, a dusting of parsley and a dash of dill weed if you like.

Yield: 6 – 8 servings.

*Magic: this recipe is exclusive to I Love You Recipes. It is from my personal, unpublished collection.

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This vegetarian barley, beans and vegetable soup with greens recipe packs a nutritional punch that’s delicious and satisfying. It’s easy to prepare and almost too pretty to eat.

1/2 pound carrots
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 cups onions
3 cloves garlic
1-1/2 cups mushrooms
6 cups vegetable broth
2 cups barley, cooked
1 16-ounce can Great Northern beans
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1-1/2 pounds (6 – 7 cups) collard greens
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Pepper, freshly cracked and ground
Hot pepper sauce (Crystal Sauce, if you have it)
1/2 red bell pepper (optional)

Scrub the carrots and cut into quarters lengthwise, then chop into 1/4 inch pieces. Skin and chop the onions. Skin and mince the garlic. Wipe debris from the mushrooms and slice. Drain the beans. Wash, stem and chop the collard greens. Slice bell pepper into thin strips.

Place the olive oil in a Dutch oven and place over medium heat. When hot, add the carrots, onion and garlic; cook for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms. Continue stirring frequently and cook for 5 – 7 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and begin to release their juices.

Add the broth, barley, beans, bay leaves, sugar and thyme. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves and stir in the vinegar. Add pepper sauce to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with red bell pepper strips.

Yield: approximately 10 cups.

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A delicious fast-fix soup from canned broth, some left over chicken, a bit of rice, eggs and lemon juice. Enjoy this soup hot or cold for a year round treat.

6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup rice
3 eggs
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup chicken, cooked
1/4 cup fresh parsley or green onion

Bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the rice, stir and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes; until rice is tender. Skin, bone and chop or shred the chicken. Stem and roughly chop the parsley, or finely slice the green onion.

Place all 3 egg yolks in a bowl and beat with a wire whisk. Slowly add the lemon juice, beating thoroughly until the yolks are pale yellow. Add the egg whites and beat until frothy.

Temper the eggs by adding 1 cup of the hot broth to the egg-lemon mixture in a slow stream while whisking constantly. Slowly add the tempered eggs to the broth pot, stirring constantly.

Increase the heat under the pot to high and watch carefully. You do not want your soup to boil. You want it to get extremely hot, just about to boil, before immediately removing from the heat. Stir in the chicken and parsley, cover and allow to stand for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.

Yield: 4 – 6 servings.

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