(Skinny!) Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

I always seem to catch colds at the most inconvenient times.

I know — getting sick is never really convenient.

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Carnitas Caldo (Carnitas Soup)

I mentioned on Instagram¬†recently that my family is unashamedly obsessed with Mexican food. We love it local, we love it authentic, we love it good, and we love it OFTEN. So of course, even while we were in Chicago celebrating Thanksgiving for a few days, we had to get our Mexi fix. So we ended up trying XOCO, one of Rick Bayless‘ restaurants. The line on Black Friday was practically out the door, but we were freezing and once I saw the long menu of caldos (soups), I was hooked. I had a minor crisis trying to decide what to order (they literally ALL looked amazing!), but I read that the XOCO carnitas caldo was the most popular soup. So I had to try it. Let’s just say that my family was a little stunned when I finished¬†the entire bowl. It was massive. But holy cow – I had to. This soup was insane. Based on the most yummy spicy broth, this soup had everything from tender carnitas, to yummy avocado, these amazing little potato-masa dumplings, amassive bunch of fresh cilantro and arugula on top, and all garnished with lots of lime. Without a doubt, one of the best soups I’ve had in my life. (And I don’t say that lightly.) So of course, I had to come home and try to recreate it. I would never presume to top (or match) a Rick Bayless recipe, since the guy is a Mexican food genius. But I have to say that this recipe turned out pretty awesome. I even succeeded with the little potato-masa dumplings! (Although you could easily just use diced potatoes.) ;) It definitely took a bit of time to prep when making the carnitas from scratch. But let me tell you, the final product is completely worth it. And it’s also one of those soups that tastes better and better each time you warm it up for leftovers.

What are some of your favorite Mexican soups? Has anyone been to XOCO?

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Roasted Butternut, Sausage & Fennel Stuffing

(Before I begin, would love to invite you to head over to the Holiday Recipe Exchange to vote for my vanilla chai cupcakes! It only takes about 5 seconds to vote — just scroll down, and I’m #9. Would love to win the vanilla gift basket and have more yummy vanilla recipes to share with you! Thank you so much!!)

Allow me to introduce to you…the best stuffing recipe ever!!! Well, at least it’s the best stuffing recipe I’ve had in all my 27 years of life. :)

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White Bean & Ham Soup

After a few glorious weeks of sunny and surprisingly warm fall weather, the temperature in Kansas City finally dropped today, making it feel much more like the chilly November we know! While I seem to be becoming less and less a fan of cold weather (am anti-being-cold!), I absolutely love all of the little traditions that come with cozy-ing up for winter. Today, for example, pulled out some of my favorite warm blankets (and then snuggled up with them to read), lit a favorite caramel-vanilla candle, made some hot cider, bought some candy canes (for soon-to-be-posted peppermint mochas!), and pulled out some favorite sweaters for me and my puppy, Henry, to wear (see the cuteness below). :)

And of course….had to make some warm soup. So for day six of Cheap Eats week, we get to celebrate one of my favorites — white bean and ham soup. Absolutely delicious, simple, and very affordable. And I’m happy to say the star of the soup is my all-time favorite broth ever — ham broth!!! YUM. If you’ve never made it before, run to the store and buy yourself a ham shank (or hock) and give it a try. I promise you won’t regret it. :) Seriously the most flavorful, delicious broth ever!!

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Butternut Squash and Crab Bisque

I still remember being introduced to this amazing soup a few years ago, and I had my first taste of the brilliant sweet butternut squash and salty crab combination. It’s without a doubt my kind of comfort food. Absolutely delicious!

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