How I Fall Back Into Family Traditions & Create My Own

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Moving from summer into fall is a gradual process for us Floridians, but eventually the long, hot, and lazy days of summer give way to the cooler, short days of autumn. Life just seems to move faster when the temperatures drop and nights begin earlier. Kids are back to a busy school routine, work seems to pick up, and just when there's more to do there's less time to do it. Before we know it, the holiday season is upon us. Seems like Halloween is barely on the radar, and then suddenly it's time to prepare for Thanksgiving, and that means Christmas is around the corner. Who has time to do it all? I don't!

Even with the busyness looming, we look forward to that first day when the air seems lighter and cooler; it is a sign that fall has truly arrived. That first morning when you walk out to get the newspaper and realize there's a hint of crispness to the air is always cause for celebration. It's finally time for fall and all of the wonderful traditions we've created throughout the years! While this can be daunting, it also means family togetherness, festive decorations, and of course delicious, warm comfort foods. Soups are usually one of the first things we enjoy to welcome the fall.

For many years, fall meant a big, steaming pot of chili for dinner, the kind that had been simmering all afternoon while I put the finishing touches on hand-crafted Halloween costumes, set out elaborately carved pumpkins, or made sure that my Thanksgiving decor was done just so. As the kids have grown older and we're all busier, we've streamlined our fall traditions with store-bought costumes, simple decorations and faster, easier meals. A quick soup is just as hearty and filling as the simmer-all-day chili and leaves more time to relax, spend time together and enjoy the season with my family.

Still, I don't like to compromise too much when it comes to cooking and eating. Because fresh, high-quality, natural ingredients are a must, I've learned to create simple recipes, often with whatever I happen to have on hand, instead of the pre-packaged convenience foods I grew up with. They don't take all that much longer and they're so much better!

When starting soups, a buttery roux base is an easy way to make a creamy, rich soup. Adding a few simple ingredients to simmer is easy, and by the time the table's set, dinner is ready. Just as I take pride in creating great meals for my family, the folks at LAND O' LAKES take pride in producing the same great butter for you as they do for their own families.

Creamy Chicken Potato Soup

  • Chicken Tenderloins, 2 pound bag (Chicken not thawed? No worries, just increase the cooking time a little. It really won't make a difference.)
  • LAND O LAKESĀ® Butter, 1/2 cup
  • Flour, 1/2 cup
  • Poultry Seasoning, 2 teaspoons (or a combination of your favorite herbs such as sage, marjoram or thyme)
  • Potatoes, 3 or 4 medium
  • Black Pepper, 1 teaspoon
  • Yellow or White Onion, 1 medium, sliced
  • White Wine, 1 cup
  • Chicken Stock or Bouillon, 6 to 8 cups
  • Cream, 1/2 cup

Slice the onion and dice the potatoes.

In a large stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat.

Add onion and cook for a few minutes, until the onion softens and begins to brown a bit.

Stir in the flour and poultry seasoning then cook for a minute or two, until the roux just begins to brown.

Pour in the wine and stir continuously until the mixture is nice and smooth.

Add the chicken, potatoes and the bouillon and bring it to a nice simmer. Reduce the heat, and cook uncovered for another 20 minutes or so, until the chicken is done.

Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the cream, season with black pepper, and serve it up nice and hot. Enjoy!

 

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