We lead busy lives, whether we're rushing to get kids to soccer practice on time, juggling volunteer commitments, or, like me, rushing to meet deadlines at work. I write four to six romance and women's fiction novels per year. Four to six full-length books, plus research, editing, promotion... the list never ends. I don't often have time to spend hours cooking. Most days, I need to get in, get out, and get the family fed, all in less than an hour.
Supermarket rotisserie chickens are perhaps the best innovation of the past twenty years. Yes, even better than the iPhone. What did we do before we had this fabulous, ready-made poultry at our disposal? When you're really in a hurry, you can grab a chicken and a bag of salad, and you're done. If you have a few minutes more, you might want to try this delicious Creamy Chicken Ranch Soup, a recipe I came up with in a fit of creativity. From start to finish, this soup takes about half an hour.
1 Rotisserie chicken, fully cooked
6 Cups chicken broth
1 Small onion, chopped
1 Head of cauliflower, chopped
1 Head of broccoli, chopped
2 Cups of whipping cream
1 Packet of Hidden Valley Ranch mix
Discard the skin of the chicken and tear the meat from the bone. Put the chicken, broth, and all the vegetables in a pot. If you don't like cauliflower or broccoli, feel free to substitute about six cups of your favorite vegetables. Potatoes, carrots, corn, celery, peas, red peppers... this is a very versatile soup. Heat to boiling over high heat, then lower the heat, cover the pot, and allow to simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Mix the ranch mix with the cream and add to the soup, stirring gently to blend. Allow to sit a couple of minutes to blend the flavors and to allow the cream to heat through.
Pair with a nice Chardonnay. If you want, you can even substitute a cup of wine for one cup of the broth in step 1 above, then serve the same wine with dinner. Add a hunk of fresh, crusty bread from the bakery at the grocery store, and you've got a hearty meal that's sure to satisfy even the finicky eaters in your family.
Susan Mallery is the New York Times bestselling author of over one hundred romances and women's fiction novels, and she has yet to run out of ideas! Her funny and sexy family stories consistently appear on the USA Today bestseller list and have landed as high as #5 on the New York Times list. She has won many awards, including the prestigious National Reader's Choice Award. Her books have been named to the Top 10 Romance Novels lists of 2007, 2008, and 2009 by Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association, and she was the only author on the list all three years. Because her degree in Accounting wasn't very helpful in the writing department, Susan earned a Masters in Writing Popular Fiction.
Susan makes her home in the Pacific Northwest where, rumor has it, all that rain helps with creativity. Susan is married to a fabulous hero-like husband and has a six pound toy poodle...who is possibly the cutest dog on the planet.
Join the free Members Only area at SusanMallery.com to read excerpts and exclusive short stories, play games, and watch the video adventures of the world's cutest dog. Connect with Susan on Facebook and Twitter.
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