Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Great Computer Meltdown and... Soup's On!

***Recipe update below ***

Well, my little computer snafu will, from here on out, be referred to as "The Great Computer Meltdown of 2008." Really. It's worthy of its own Weather Channel graphic. If I was able to, I would have created a snappy little graphic myself, but I'm afraid to make one wrong move for fear that I'll screw something up.

My dear, sweet husband spent literally all weekend cleansing and rebuilding my laptop. Everything had to be wiped off the hard drive because this particular virus (or series of viruses -- I told you the virus scan discovered about 400) was ruthless. Fortunately, I did manage to back up our photos to an external hard drive before we left for vacation. And, for once my procrastination actually paid off -- I needed to download 1,145 pictures off my digital camera (I have a HUGE memory card), so I think the important stuff -- family photos -- was preserved.

My laptop is now like Fort Knox. Nothing should be getting through and we even updated the virus scan software to the "deluxe" auto scan version. I can assure you that was $70 well spent.

All that to offer you a friendly little reminder -- have you backed up your computer lately? How's your virus protection? Do yourself a favor and make sure it's up to date. Or buy a Mac. Either option would work.

Secondly, I did promise soup, right? I am so glad the temps are dropping because I can finally pull out all of my soup recipes. I love to make soup in the winter. And, while this is not a recipe blog, I'm going to try and share a soup recipe each Monday for a few weeks. If you have a recipe to share, leave a link in the comments. I'd love to try some new recipes.

This soup is a take on Panera's Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. So good! We had this the other night for dinner and my 5-year-old ate every bite. She'll be taking the leftovers for lunch this week.

Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Serves 8

**I originally got this recipe from my mom, who is notorious for changing the original recipe. True to form, she revamped this one as well. I have changed the measurements below to reflect her changes.**

1/2 cup butter
1 finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 pound fresh sliced mushrooms (I leave these out, because if my daughter spotted a mushroom, she'd refuse to eat the soup.)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (you can use a rotisserie chicken to save time)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup slivered almonds (optional)
3 tablespoons dry sherry
2 cups half-and-half

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, celery and carrots and saute for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for 2 more minutes. Then add the flour and stir well to create a roux. Gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly, until all has been added. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer.

Next, add the rice, chicken, salt, curry powder, mustard powder, parsley, ground black pepper, almonds and sherry. Allow to heat through, then pour in the half-and-half. Let simmer for 1 to 2 hours. Be sure not to boil the soup, or your roux will break.

**Note: The longer this soup sits, the thicker it gets. When you reheat it, you'll need to add some water or chicken broth to thin it out slightly.

And, if you're looking for more great menu ideas, don't forget -- it's Monday! Laura's got a whole slew of menus up for your perusal at Menu Plan Monday!


workthatwardrobe said...

Sorry to hear about your computer troubles. I back up and back up as I've lost stuff before. I have an external hard drive, a pen drive and I back up my laptop to my PC and vice versa. Then I download all my photos to a photo archive!

I will try the soup for my little ones - looking forward to the next one.

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Okay, never mind my comment about your computer on your giveaway post...just read the answer here!

Soup looks amazing. I loved the other recipe I got from you so much that I'm going to try this one asap!

I also forgot to give you a book recommendation in the giveaway comment. My favorite book is Peace Like A River by Leif Enger. Let me know if you read it!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Oh wow...this looks fantastic. I am going to book mark this right now and try it this week.

Kellie said...

OH my! When a recipe starts with butter and ends with half & half, you KNOW it's gonna be good!

And thanks for the reminder to back the computer up! I am HORRIBLE about this and all our family pictures on this dreaded (but needed!) machine!

I am going to work on that this very week!

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

I just made the soup and have it simmering until J gets home...OH MY's tasty! I know my family is going to love it!

Like Kelly said, any recipe that starts with butter and ends with half-n-half has GOT to be good.