Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup & A Luncheon Idea

Yesterday was such fun!  The ladies in my Tuesday Bible Study group came over for a luncheon.  I packed box lunches with chicken salad and served a creamy tomato soup.  


Here is the main thing, I prepared the lunch the night before.  You do not want to be cooking when your guests arrive.  The ladies were coming from 12-1 p.m. and, I wanted the lunch ready to serve.


1)  I always serve chicken salad on Pepperidge Farm's Cinnamon Raisin bread.  I love the taste of it!  Wrap two slices of bread in wax paper.



2)  I found this all natural wax paper at a local specialty grocery store.  The brown is a nice touch for fall. 



 3)  I packed the bread and chicken salad in these clear deli boxes.  The manager of the deli (same specialty grocery store) was so nice and, she gave these to me, at no cost.  I was tickled! 



4) For the chicken salad, boil 4 large boneless chicken breasts.  Season the water with dried rosemary, salt and pepper.  Boil for 30 minutes.  I saved 2 cups of the broth for the tomato soup and, the rest went in this storage container.  I placed it in the freezer to use in soups, as the weather turns 
cold. 




Chicken Salad Recipe ( From my Sis-in-Law, Emily Bryson Clem)


4 large chicken breasts, cooked and cut in small cubes
1 1/2 cups Hellman's Mayonnaise
3/4 cup chopped pecans
4 boiled eggs, chopped
5 slices crispy bacon, ( I use the thick sliced bacon), crumbled
Salt, Pepper and garlic powder- to taste (I start with 1/2 t. of each and add more to taste) 
1 small onion, chopped  (optional) 
Mix all together and, chill overnight.  


Easy and SO good, I love the bacon in it!  



5)  Assemble the boxes.   Rinse and dry curly green leaf lettuce.  Lay a piece of the lettuce in the bottom of the box.  Use an ice cream scooper and, place the chicken salad on top of the lettuce.  Lay the raisin bread (or bread of your choice) beside the salad and, close up. 



6)  Assemble the boxes and place in the refrigerator to chill over night.  Once your guests arrive, you pull out and serve.  No waiting and, EASY clean-up!  





7)  Assemble the Creamy Tomato Basil Soup.



CREAMY TOMATO BASIL SOUP 

(so, so easy...make adjustment as you need to - you can't hurt it)

1 Pkg. refrigerated cheese tortellini
2 cans Campbell's Tomato Soup
1 cup vegetable broth (may need more for thinning)
1 1/2 cup 2% milk
1 cup half-and-half cream
1 small jar sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Additional shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook tortellini according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven (or crockpot), 
combine the soup, broth, milk, cream, tomatoes and seasonings.  Heat through, stirring 
frequently.  Drain tortellini; carefully add to soup.  Stir in cheese.  Sprinkle each serving 
with additional cheese if desired.

*Here's the deal...I never make it strictly by the recipe...I always seem to need to add a
 little more of this or that.  The consistency is the main thing...you may need more 
vegetable broth and less milk or cream.  It's so rich!  But yummy ;-) 

This recipe is from my dear friend, Sue Parker.  Notes:  I used chicken broth instead
of the vegetable broth.  I doubled the above ingredients.  I also added fresh 
chopped basil to the soup.  I did not add the tortellini this time.  



The color of the soup turned out so pretty!!!!   I made this the night before and, chilled it overnight.  Heat up the next day and serve.   YUM!!!!

8)  I purchased a bundle of fresh flowers and, cut the stems and arranged them in this clear square vase.  LOVE a short square vase!  


I will call this "Five Minute Flowers"....literally did not take long at all to arrange these.  One white hydrangea, a few kermit mums and the wonderful berry looking bundles....sorry, can't think of what they are called!  ....and, silver dollar eucalyptus.  So pretty! 


I LOVE fresh flowers!!!!


9)  Also completed the night before....wrap a fork in a festive paper napkin and tie with a ribbon.  I used two pieces of ribbon and tied it around the napkin.  Stack up and you are ready to go. 







Party Time!  The day of the luncheon (yesterday),  I served the soup, passed out the boxed lunches and, we sat down for a time of sweet, sweet visiting and fellowship.  Such a  lovely time!   These women are amazing!  Thankful for community and great friends in my life. 




There you go, a lunch prepared, flowers arranged, serving pieces ready...in just nine easy steps.  Plan a luncheon today and, enjoy your friends.  


Hugs & Flair,
Beth


Linking To:
This Chick Cooks
Lady Behind The Curtain
Inspired By you Wednesdays
Wow Us Wednesdays

Tea Time Tuesday
Blue Cricket Design

We Are That Family
Passionately Artistic
My RePurposed Life
Somewhat Simple
Transformation Thursday
Fingerprints on the Fridge







Debbiedoo's blogging and blabbing


kojodesigns
Weekend Bloggy Reading












The Shabby Nest

11 comments:

Chyrll said...

I am crazy about this; great way to serve others without all the fuss (and clean-up)!!

Maggie said...

Luv the serving container idea for a nice picnic lunch.
Would luv for my readers to follow this, inviting you to link at
http://www.passionatelyartistic.com/2011/10/halloween-ideas-and-home-decor-party.html
Thanks
Maggie
http://passionatelyartistic.com

At The Picket Fence said...

How absolutely lovely! What a great idea to prepare it all in those deli containers and have it all ready to go. Can I come be in your Bible study? :-) Thank you so much for sharing this with us at Inspiration Friday this week!
Vanessa

Jilly said...

Your idea of keeping napkins for the reception table is gratifying. Rolling up is very unique idea, well, using colourful ribbons will looks more attractive.
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Aimee said...

Everything looks GREAT! We love Cinnamon Bread, but never have tried it with Chicken Salad ~ Brilliant! Thanks for the great ideas!!!

Aimee @ ItsOverflowing

Gayle Page-Robak said...

Everything is so beautiful, I think I need to come for lunch!! The soup looks delicious, the flowers look delightful.I have joined your followers list and invite you to join my followers list; as well,I hope you will grab a blog button. Hugs, Gayle
http://atastefultouch.blogspot.com

Helen's Decor said...

Hi Beth, you have such great ideas. Chicken salad looks wonderful. And the flowers are gorgeous and add a festive feel along with the colorful napkins. Thanks for sharing.
Helen

Debbiedoo's blogging and blabbing said...

Sounds and looks fantastic. I love soups this time of year, and your recipe sounds perfect. Thanks for sharing.

Terri @ A Creative Princess said...

I love tomato soup and you had me at that, but your whole lunch was awesome!! I would love for you to link up Thursday (actually it starts tonight) to It’s a Party!
www.acreativeprincess.blogspot.com

Honey at 2805 said...

Looks and sound fabulous. I'm sure your luncheon was lovely! Thanks for linking to Potpourri Friday. I appreciate your participation, Beth!

Jamie said...

Your soup sounds delicious. Just discovered your blog and I love it. I'm a new follower. Hope you stop by and check out my blog. I also have a link party every Monday. Would love for you to stop by and link up.
Jamie
http://diyhshp.blogspot.com/