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Brazilian Chicken Soup (Canja) for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays & Regional Recipes

Posted Nov 28 2010 5:15pm
Everything month when the country for the Regional Recipes event, hosted by my friend Joanne at Eats Well With Others is announced I have the same simple goals--I won't wait until the last minute to choose something to make and it won't be a soup. But come the end of the month, it happens--I am scrambling to make something and it is almost always soup. What can you do?!? Procrastination and soup are intertwined in my soul! ;-)

This month the country is Brazil and I am making a classic bowl of comfort: Brazilian Chicken Soup (or Canja as it is known in Portuguese). Basically it is a basic chicken and rice soup and something your Brazilian mom or grandma might make for you. This one comes from "Soup's On!: Soul-Satisfying Recipes from Your Favorite Cookbook Authors and Chefs" by Leslie Jonath and Frankie Frankeny.

"Soup's On" says, "This chicken soup or canja, as it is called in Portuguese, is the Brazilian grandmother's cure-all. This recipe, by cookbook author and historian Jessica Harris, is adapted from her book Tasting Brazil."

Brazilian Chicken Soup (Canja)
From "Soup's On!" by Leslie Jonath and Frankie Frankeny
(Serves 6)

half a 3- to 4-pound chicken
4 medium, ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery with leaves, chopped (including 1 1/2 tablespoons leaves)
1 sprig fresh parsley, minced
3 large carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup uncooked white rice
freshly ground black pepper

Place the chicken, tomatoes, onion, celery, and parsley into a large stockpot. Add 2 quarts water, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the broth is flavorful, about 1 hour. Remove the soup from the heat.

Remove the chicken from the stock and let it cool. When it is cool enough to handle, strip the meat from the bones. Set the meat aside and discard the bones and skin.

Put the cooking liquid and vegetables through a food mill (or you can use an immersion blender) to obtain a thick, rich chicken stock.

Return the stock to the pot, add the reserved chicken meat, carrots, rice, and 2 cups water to the pot. Place it on medium heat and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for an additional 30 minutes, or a bit longer if you like mushy rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.

Notes/Results: Simple but good, sure to make you feel better if you are sick, sad or tired and it makes your kitchen smell like home when it is cooking. I had a good, thick and hearty homemade chicken stock already in my freezer, so I started with the final steps, adding some chopped rotisserie chicken breast and adding a little celery to the carrot and rice mix. This was the perfect light dinner on a breezy night--perfect for the after-Thanksgiving detox. I would make this again.

Joanne will be rounding up all the Brazilian fare on the Regional Recipes site after the first of the month.

Due to the busy Thanksgiving holiday week, we are a little slower in the Souper Sunday kitchen today (actually kind of a nice little holiday break for me), ;-) but we still have some very delicious soups and a hearty sandwich to share--let's take a look.

Lovely Roz at la bella vita kicks us off with her mother's version of the Italian classic Minestra di Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and Bean Soup) and says, "My parents may not have enjoyed abundance when they were growing up as children of immigrants, but their mothers kept the kitchen aromas filling their homes, as pots of soups or pasta simmered slowly on the stove. My father said they had Pasta e Fagioli soup nearly every night for dinner when my grandfather was a coal miner in the Midwest. Nothing represents love and comfort as much as a simple, hearty warm soup and some bread to sop it up with! Although this soup was considered the food of the poor, one certainly is never hungry after one full bowl; it is that satisfying. Plus soup is so restorative to our health and our souls!"

Always creative Reeni at Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice came up with a new way to eat spaghetti squash with her Spaghetti Squash and Mini Meatball Soup with Roasted Red Peppers. Reeni says, "The broth is drenched with the flavor of aromatics including onion, garlic, roasted red and green bell peppers. It is the perfect backdrop for the tender little orbs of mini meatball deliciousness and the squash spaghetti which makes up the bulk of the soup by adding great body and texture. My father was quite impressed with the entire concept and summed things up best when he asked "Who else do you know that is making spaghetti squash and meatball soup?" A quick Google search turned up nothing, making it a truly unique original that I hope I've inspired you to try!"

A win by her favorite college team is the inspiration for girlichef to celebrate with her warming Spartan (Green & White) Chili . She says, "My boys are Big Ten Champs!! Go Spartans!! Okay, we're tied for first, but I'll take it. This chili is perfect for a game day. We warmed up with a bowl while tailgating...and refueled with a bowl during half time. There's nothing a little GREEN and WHITE can't fix. Not today, at least. Serve topped with any or all of the garnishes. Keeps well in a warm crockpot all day long. Tastes even better after sitting (in the refrigerator) overnight and then re-heated! Go Green! Go White!"

Kim at Liv Life puts her Thanksgiving leftovers to good use with this gorgeous bowl of goodness and says, "With many of us here in America cooking Turkey, leftovers are another thing to be thankful for! Garlicky Tortellini Soup is a perfect vehicle for some of your spare turkey, and a simple, satisfying meal to toss together when you may not really feel like cooking. Filled with ingredients that you most likely have in your pantry or freezer, this fragrant soup goes together in record time, and if you make enough, will provide its own leftovers for another day." Kim's beautiful soup photo made the FoodBuzz Top 9 yesterday--Congrats Kim!

Speaking of hearty and gorgeous soups, Nicole at Cocoa and Coriander made a warm-your-belly, Bacon Tomato Soup and says, "I have had a recipe for Roasted Tomato and Smoked Bacon Bisque bookmarked since it first showed up on my Google reader. I decided to try and make it tonight because of the fact that I have bacon in my refrigerator for once, but I needed a simpler recipe (mostly because fresh tomatoes are way too expensive when they aren't in season). The version I adapted from is creamy in consistency but lacks the dairy that would make it a bisque. It is really just a simple tomato soup, but the bacon adds a nice smoky, saltiness. Matt made a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches that we cut into 1 inch squares and served on top of the soup. Perfect!"

Along with our soups, we have a made-healthier, but not necessarily better Fish Po'Boy sandwich from Michelle at Ms. Enplace . She says, "Most seafood po'boys are loaded with fried seafood and fatty tartar sauce. Mmmm...fatty tartar sauce. And if I want to keep you thinkin that I'm some hot little number (ha! sucker!) I need to lay off all that and eat like a grown up. So I decided to be sensible and lighten them up. I did this some time ago, but other more seasonal things kept cutting in line. That gave me time to think about what I've done. And learn my lesson ...which is not to mess with a good thing. Is it wrong to want a po'boy just for the tartar sauce?"

A few fabulous soups and even a sammie too--thanks to Roz, Reeni, Heather, Kim, Nicole and Michelle for joining in this holiday week. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the guidelines and details.

Have a great week!
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